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Title: Maternal particulate matter exposure impairs lung health and is associated with mitochondrial damage
Authors: Wang, B
Chan, YL
Li, G
Ho, KF
Anwer, AG
Smith, BJ
Guo, H 
Jalaludin, B
Herbert, C
Thomas, PS
Liao, J
Chapman, DG
Foster, PS
Saad, S
Chen, H
Oliver, BG
Issue Date: Jul-2021
Source: Antioxidants, July 2021, v. 10, no. 7, 1029
Abstract: Relatively little is known about the transgenerational effects of chronic maternal exposure to low-level traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) on the offspring lung health, nor are the effects of removing such exposure before pregnancy. Female BALB/c mice were exposed to PM2.5 (PM2.5, 5 µg/day) for 6 weeks before mating and during gestation and lactation; in a subgroup, PM was re-moved when mating started to model mothers moving to cleaner areas during pregnancy to protect their unborn child (Pre-exposure). Lung pathology was characterised in both dams and offspring. A subcohort of female offspring was also exposed to ovalbumin to model allergic airways disease. PM2.5 and Pre-exposure dams exhibited airways hyper-responsiveness (AHR) with mucus hyperse-cretion, increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial dysfunction in the lungs. Female offspring from PM2.5 and Pre-exposure dams displayed AHR with increased lung inflammation and mitochondrial ROS production, while males only displayed increased lung in-flammation. After the ovalbumin challenge, AHR was increased in female offspring from PM2.5 dams compared with those from control dams. Using an in vitro model, the mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ reversed mitochondrial dysfunction by PM stimulation, suggesting that the lung pathology in offspring is driven by dysfunctional mitochondria. In conclusion, chronic exposure to low doses of PM2.5 exerted transgenerational impairment on lung health.
Keywords: Air pollution
Lung function
Mitochondrial dysfunction
Reactive oxygen species
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Journal: Antioxidants 
ISSN: 2076-3921
DOI: 10.3390/antiox10071029
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
The following publication Wang, B.; Chan, Y.-L.; Li, G.; Ho, K.F.; Anwer, A.G.; Smith, B.J.; Guo, H.; Jalaludin, B.; Herbert, C.; Thomas, P.S.; et al. Maternal Particulate Matter Exposure Impairs Lung Health and Is Associated with Mitochondrial Damage. Antioxidants 2021, 10, 1029 is available at
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