Physicochemical properties, in vitro cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of PM1.0 and PM2.5 from Shanghai, China

Yajuan Zou, Yizhao Wu, Yali Wang, Yinsheng Li, Chengyu Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) links with a variety of respiratory diseases. However, compared with coarse particles (PM10) and fine particles (PM2.5), submicrometer particles (PM1.0) may be a more important indicator of human health risks. In this study, the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of PM1.0 samples from Shanghai were examined using A549 cells, and compared with the effects of PM2.5, to better understand the health effects of PM1.0 in this area. The PM1.0 and PM2.5 samples were characterized for morphology, water-soluble inorganic ions, organic and elemental carbon, and metal elements. The cytotoxicity of PMs was measured using cell viability and cell membrane damage assays. The genotoxic effects of PMs were determined using the comet assay, and DNA damage was quantified using olive tail moment (OTM) values. The physicochemical characterization indicated that PM1.0 was enriched in carbonaceous elements and hazardous metals (Al, Zn, Pb, Mn, Cu, and V), whereas PM2.5 was more abundant in large, irregular mineral particles. The biological results revealed that both PM1.0 and PM2.5 could induce significant cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in A549 cells, and that exposure to PM1.0 caused more extensive toxic effects than exposure to PM2.5. The greater cytotoxic effects of PM1.0 can be attributed to the combined effects of size and chemical composition, whereas the genotoxic effects of PM1.0 may be mainly associated with chemical species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19508-19516
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • A549 cells
  • Cytotoxic effects
  • DNA damage
  • Genotoxic effects
  • Physicochemical properties
  • PM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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