Genotoxic and epigenotoxic effects of fine particulate matter from rural and urban sites in Lebanon on human bronchial epithelial cells

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Abstract

Assessment of air pollution by particulate matter (PM) is strongly required in Lebanon in the absence of an air quality law including updated air quality standards. Using two different PM2.5–0.3 samples collected at an urban and a rural site, we examined genotoxic/epigenotoxic effects of PM exposure within a human bronchial epithelial cell line (BEAS-2B). Inorganic and organic contents evidence the major contribution of traffic and generating sets in the PM2.5–0.3 composition. Urban PM2.5–0.3 sample increased the phosphorylation of H2AX, the telomerase activity and the miR-21 up-regulation in BEAS-2B cells in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, urban PM2.5–0.3 induced a significant increase in CYP1A1, CYP1B1 and AhRR genes expression. The variable concentrations of transition metals and organic compounds detected in the collected PM2.5–0.3 samples might be the active agents leading to a cumulative DNA damage, critical for carcinogenesis.

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