Urban particulate matter in air pollution penetrates into the barrier-disrupted skin and produces ROS-dependent cutaneous inflammatory response in vivo

Seon Pil Jin, Zhenyu Li, Eun Kyung Choi, Serah Lee, Yoen Kyung Kim, Eun Young Seo, Jin Ho Chung, Soyun Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Particulate matter (PM) is an integral part of air pollution, which is a mixture of particles suspended in the air. Recently, it has been reported that PM is associated with increased risks of skin diseases, especially atopic dermatitis in children. However, it is unclear if PM directly goes into the skin and what mechanisms are involved in response to PM. Objective: To see whether PM could penetrate into the barrier-disrupted skin, produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), and elicit an inflammatory response. Methods: We collected PMs during a winter in Seoul and used cultured keratinocytes for in vitro study and tape-stripped BALB/c mice for in vivo study. Results: Keratinocyte cytotoxicity increased in a dose-dependent manner by PM treatment. IL-8 and MMP-1 mRNA expression and protein levels were significantly increased compared to control by qPCR and ELISA, respectively. Cellular ROS production was increased by PM treatment, and antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine pretreatment prevented induction of inflammatory cytokines IL-8 and MMP-1. In PM-treated keratinocytes, electron-dense subcellular particles were observed by transmission electron microscopy. PM was observed inside hair follicles in both intact and barrier-disrupted skin in vivo. Additionally, intercellular penetration of PM was seen in the barrier-disrupted skin. Repeated PM application induced epidermal thickening and dermal inflammation with neutrophil infiltration. Finally, N-acetyl cysteine could ameliorate skin inflammation induced by PM application. Conclusion: PM penetrates into the barrier-disrupted skin, causing inflammation, demonstrating detrimental effects in the skin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Dermatological Science
Volume91
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Acetyl cysteine
  • Air pollution
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Barrier defect
  • Barrier-disrupted
  • Cutaneous inflammation
  • PM
  • Particulate matter
  • ROS
  • Skin barrier
  • Skin penetration

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