In vitro exposure to isoprene-derived secondary organic aerosol by direct deposition and its effects on COX-2 and IL-8 gene expression
Abstract. Atmospheric oxidation of isoprene, the most abundant non-methane hydrocarbon emitted into Earth's atmosphere primarily from terrestrial vegetation, is now recognized as a major contributor to the global secondary organic aerosol (SOA) burden. Anthropogenic pollutants significantly enhance isoprene SOA formation through acid-catalyzed heterogeneous chemistry of epoxide products. Since isoprene SOA formation as a source of fine aerosol is a relatively recent discovery, research is lacking on evaluating its potential adverse effects on human health. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of isoprene-derived SOA on inflammation-associated gene expression in human lung cells using a direct deposition exposure method. We assessed altered expression of inflammation-related genes in human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) exposed to isoprene-derived SOA generated in an outdoor chamber facility. Measurements of gene expression of known inflammatory biomarkers interleukin 8 (IL-8) and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) in exposed cells, together with complementary chemical measurements, showed that a dose of 0.067 µg cm−2 of SOA from isoprene photooxidation leads to statistically significant increases in IL-8 and COX-2 mRNA levels. Resuspension exposures using aerosol filter extracts corroborated these findings, supporting the conclusion that isoprene-derived SOA constituents induce the observed changes in mRNA levels. The present study is an attempt to examine the early biological responses of isoprene SOA exposure in human lung cells.