Pure ultra-fine carbon particles do not exert pro-coagulation and inflammatory effects on microvascular endothelial cells
Pro-thrombotic and inflammatory changes play an important role in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, resulting from short-term exposure to fine particulate air-pollution. Part of those effects has been attributed to the ultra-fine particles (UFPs) that pass through the lung and directly contact blood-exposed and circulating cells. Despite UFP-induced platelet activation, it is unclear whether the penetrated particles exert any direct effect on endothelial cells. While exposure levels are boosting as a result of world-wide increases in economic development and desertification, which create more air-polluted regions, as well as increase in demands for synthetic UFPs in medicine and various industries, further studies on the health effects of these particles are required. In this study, human pulmonary and cardiac microvascular endothelial cells (MECs) have been exposed to 0.1, 1, 10, and 100 μg/ml suspensions of either a natural (carbon black) or a synthetic (multi-walled carbon nano-tubes) type of UFPs, in vitro. As a result, no changes in the levels of coagulation factor VIII, Von Willebrand factor, Interleukin 8, and P-selectin measured in the cells’ supernatant were observed prior to and 6, 12, and 24 h after exposure. In parallel, the spatio-temporal effect of UFPs on cardiac MECs was evaluated by Transmission Electron Microscopy. Despite phagocytic uptake of pure UFPs observed on cellular sections of the treated cells, Weibel-Palade bodies remained intact in shape and similar in number when compared with the untreated cells. Our work shows that carbon itself is a non-toxic carrier for endothelial cells.
KeywordsHuman cardiac microvascular endothelial cells Human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells FVIII VWF IL-8 P-selectin Weibel-Palade bodies
Coagulation factor VIII
Human cardiac microvascular endothelial cells
Human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells
Limit of detection
Transmission electron microscopy
Special thanks to Mrs. Zahra Ramezani for her technical support with TEM at Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics Department of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
HD, MH, and TSH wrote the manuscript. HD, ZP, LS, and RN performed/analyzed the experiments. MH, AB, MJ, and TSH contributed to the study design and data analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This work is supported by Zanjan University of Medical Sciences (ZUMS) grant number A-12-776-2 and Iran’s National Institute for Medical Research Development (NIMAD) grant number 940200.
Compliance with ethical standards
The study was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration and approved by Zanjan University of Medical Sciences Ethics Committee (ZUMS.REC.1394.132; 01-Sept 2015).
Consent for publication
Availability of data and material
The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors on reasonable request.
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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