Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 189, Issue 1, pp 301–310 | Cite as

Investigation and Comparison of In Vitro Genotoxic Potency of PM10 Collected in Rural and Urban Sites at Tehran in Different Metrological Conditions and Different Seasons

  • Maryam Ghanbarian
  • Mohammad Hossein Nicknam
  • Alireza Mesdaghinia
  • Masud Yunesian
  • Mohammad Sadegh Hassanvand
  • Narjes Soleimanifar
  • Soheila Rezaei
  • Zahra Atafar
  • Marjan Ghanbarian
  • Maryam Faraji
  • Mohammad Ghanbari Ghozikali
  • Kazem NaddafiEmail author


The particulate matter has become a serious health problem in some large cities in the world. These particles are a complex mixture of chemical compounds which change based on location and time and, consequently, can cause different health-related effects. The exact mechanism of the effect of these particles is not yet known for certain. However, it seems that numerous mechanisms through the production of ROS and, eventually, DNA destruction, which are related to a wide range of diseases, are among the causes of particles’ health-related effects. The present study is aimed to evaluate and compare the genotoxicity potential of particles collected in Tehran, Iran, in urban and rural regions during spring and autumn as well as dusty and inversion conditions. These effects were examined using the comet assay on human pulmonary epithelial cells (A549). Results showed that all the particles had the potential for genotoxicity at the concentration used in this study (75,150 and 300 μg/ml). Moreover, DNA destruction changed with season, site, and even dusty and inversion atmospheric conditions. These changes mostly belonged to urban particles. In general, urban particles in autumn and, specifically, on days with inversion had higher genotoxicity (p < 0.01). Difference was observed between dusty and regular days so that regular days were more potent (p < 0.05). A strong correlation was observed between the effects of most PAH compounds and other metals such as Cr, Co, Cd, Mn, As, and also SO4, which were mostly the result of combustion in vehicle engines in urban regions. No difference was observed for rural particles at different conditions and seasons.


Genotoxicity Particulate matter Chemical composition Health effects DNA damage 



Particulate matter with diameter less than 10 μm


Reactive oxygen species


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Cardiovascular diseases


Particulate matter


Polyaromatic hydrocarbon


Particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 μm



This study was financially supported by the Institute for Environmental Research (IER) of Tehran University of Medical Sciences (grant no. 94-04-46-31040) and Iran National Science Foundation (INSF) (project no. 95831321). Also, the authors are grateful to the Molecular Immunology Research center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences for technically support and staff collaboration.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018
corrected publication August/2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maryam Ghanbarian
    • 1
  • Mohammad Hossein Nicknam
    • 2
  • Alireza Mesdaghinia
    • 1
    • 3
  • Masud Yunesian
    • 1
    • 4
  • Mohammad Sadegh Hassanvand
    • 3
  • Narjes Soleimanifar
    • 2
  • Soheila Rezaei
    • 5
  • Zahra Atafar
    • 1
  • Marjan Ghanbarian
    • 6
  • Maryam Faraji
    • 1
  • Mohammad Ghanbari Ghozikali
    • 7
    • 8
  • Kazem Naddafi
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Molecular Immunology Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Center for Air Pollution Research (CAPR), Institute for Environmental Research (IER)Tehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Research Methodology and Data Analysis Department, Institute for Environmental Research (IER)Tehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  5. 5.Social Determinants of Health Research CenterYasuj University of Medical SciencesYasujIran
  6. 6.School of Public HealthShahroud University of Medical SciencesShahroudIran
  7. 7.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public HealthTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  8. 8.Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Research CenterTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran

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