Air particulate matter as enhancer of ozone-induced skin damage

Full Title: Air particulate matter as enhancer of ozone-induced skin damage

Journal: Free Radical Biology and Medicine

Year of Publication: 2017

PHHI Author(s): Giuseppe Valacchi
Publication Author(s): Carlotta Cavicchio, Ilaria Crivellari, Mascia Benedusi, Alessandra Pecorelli, Ximena Maria Muresan, Franco Cervellati, Pablo Evelson, Timoteo Marchini, Giuseppe Valacchi


The skin is a biological shield against environmental stressors, such as O₃, UV and CAPs(concentrated air particles). It is well known that chronic exposure of the cutaneous tissue to the pollutants causes oxidative stress (OS) and inflammation and this has been associated with several skin diseases and premature aging. On the other hand, many studies have been performed using only one pollutant although we are daily exposed to several stressors. Therefore, the purpose of the present work was to analyze the combined effects of CAPs and O3 on skin by the use of reconstructed human epidermis (RHE). Results showed that the combination of the two stressors induced a further up-regulation of OS markers (4HNE), increased tissue defense (HO-1) and inflammatory responses (COX-2 and MMP-9), when compared to the single treatment. Interestingly, these effects were more evident when treatment with CAPs preceded O₃, probably due to the capability to penetrate RHE. Moreover, these results were confirmed by H&E staining: the histological examination allowed us to note that the exposure to CAPs and then O3 was able to perturb the skin structure. Our study underlines how important is trying to reduce CAPs levels since they are able to additively affect the skin when in the presence of other pollutants.

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