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The biological effects of subacute inhalation of diesel exhaust following addition of cerium oxide nanoparticles in atherosclerosis-prone mice

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2012


Background: Ceriumoxide(CeO2) nano particles improve the burning efficiency of fuel,however,little is known about health impacts of altered emissions from the vehicles.
Methods: Atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein Eknockout (ApoE/) mice were exposed by inhalation to diluted exhaust (1.7mg/m3, 20, 60 or 180 min,5 day/week,for 4 weeks),from an engine using standard diesel fuel(DE) or the same diesel fuel containing 9 ppm ceriumoxide nanoparticles (DCeE). Changes in hematological indices,clinical chemistry, atherosclerotic burden, tissue levels of inflammatory cytokines and pathology of the major organs were assessed.
Results: Addition of CeO2 to fuel resulted in a reduction of the number(30%) and surface area(10%)of the particles in the exhaust, whereas the gaseous co-pollutants were increased (6–8%). There was, however, a trend towards an increased size and complexity of the atherosclerotic plaques following DE
exposure,which was not evident in the DCe Egroup. There were no clear signs of altered hematological or pathological changes induced by either treatment. However, levels of proinflammatory cytokines were modulated in a brain region and liver following DCeE exposure.
Conclusions: These results imply that addition of CeO2 nanoparticles to fuel decreases the number of
particles in exhaust and may reduce atherosclerotic burden associated with exposure to standard diesel fuel. From the extensive assessment of biological parameters performed, the only concerning effect of cerium addition was a slightly raised level of cytokines in a region of the central nervous system.
Overall, the use of cerium as a fuel additive may be a potentially useful way to limit the health effects of vehicle exhaust. However,further testing is required to ensure that such an approach is not associated
with a chronic inflammatory response which may eventually cause long-term health effects.

    Research areas

  • Cerium oxide, Diesel exhaust, Atherosclerosis, Nanomaterial, Neuroinflammation, Inhalation

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