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From particles to patients: oxidative stress and the cardiovascular effects of air pollution

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-602
Number of pages26
JournalFuture cardiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


Air pollution, especially airborne particulate matter (PM), is associated with an increase in both morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease, although the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely established. The one consistent observation that links the pulmonary and cardiovascular effects of inhaled PM is oxidative stress. This article examines the evidence for the role of oxidative stress in the cardiovascular effects of air pollution, beginning with observations from epidemiological and controlled exposure studies and then exploring potential mechanistic pathways involving free radical generation from PM itself, to effects of PM on cell cultures, isolated organs, healthy animals and animal models of disease. Particular emphasis is placed on the vascular and atherosclerotic effects of urban air pollution and diesel exhaust emissions as rich sources of environmental ultrafine particles.

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