Epidemiological studies consistently show a positive relationship between airborne matter (PM) and increased morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms underlying PM-associated cardiovascular toxicity are largely unknown. We have discovered aromatic chlorinated hydrocarbons combine with metal-containing PM to form surface stabilized, environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs). We have shown that EPFRs: 1) are capable of redox cycling and continuously forming reactive oxygen species, 2) produce inflammation and oxidative stress (OS) in the lung, 3) increase the expression of proinflammatory genes in the heart, 4) produce cardiac inflammation, 5) decrease left ventricular function in vivo, and 6) increase OS and the magnitude of cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury (l/R). These data suggest EPFR mediated OS and inflammation underlies the observed functional deficits and increased vulnerability to l/R injury. Cellular homeostasis in response to OS and inflammation is maintained by the balanced activation of tier 2 antioxidant genes via the transcription factor, Nrf2, and the proinflammatory NfKB pathway. We hypothesize that: EPFR-induced oxidative stress and inflammation enhance cardiac injury and dysfunction by "tipping the balance" between the antioxidant Nrf2 and the proinflammatory NFKB pathway to favor NFKB. TO test this hypothesis, we propose 3 specific aims.
Aim 1 will determine the dose-response relationship between EPFRs and cardiac function in vivo and will characterize OS and inflammatory responses in the heart and lungs.
Aim 2 will explore the ability of EPFRs to increase infarct size and enhance the deficits in left ventricular function after l/R injury in vivo.
Aim 3 will explore the effect of EPFRs exposure on the activity of the Nrf2 antioxidant and NFkB inflammatory pathways. Project 4 relies on the interdisciplinary strengths of the LSU-SRP. Lung tissue from our studies will be analyzed for OS and inflammation in Project 2. Project 5 will examine P450 expression and function with respect to OS in our cardiac tissue. We will also draw heavily on the expertise and analysis performed by the Oxidative Stress Core, while all of the samples tested will be generated by the Materials Core.

Public Health Relevance

Our observation that EPFRs decrease cardiac function and increase cardiac vulnerability to ischemic injury poses a substantial and virtually unstudied risk factor for individuals having or at risk of developing ischemic heart disease. This increased vulnerability, may explain the causal relationship between exposure to airborne particulates and increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Hazardous Substances Basic Research Grants Program (NIEHS) (P42)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1-SET-V)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Louisiana State University A&M Col Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge
United States
Zip Code
Huang, Huaqiong; Saravia, Jordy; You, Dahui et al. (2015) Impaired gamma delta T cell-derived IL-17A and inflammasome activation during early respiratory syncytial virus infection in infants. Immunol Cell Biol 93:126-35
Park, Ji Won; Reed, James R; Brignac-Huber, Lauren M et al. (2014) Cytochrome P450 system proteins reside in different regions of the endoplasmic reticulum. Biochem J 464:241-9
Cormier, Stephania A; Shrestha, Bishwas; Saravia, Jordy et al. (2014) Limited type I interferons and plasmacytoid dendritic cells during neonatal respiratory syncytial virus infection permit immunopathogenesis upon reinfection. J Virol 88:9350-60
Lee, Greg I; Saravia, Jordy; You, Dahui et al. (2014) Exposure to combustion generated environmentally persistent free radicals enhances severity of influenza virus infection. Part Fibre Toxicol 11:57
Saravia, J; You, D; Thevenot, P et al. (2014) Early-life exposure to combustion-derived particulate matter causes pulmonary immunosuppression. Mucosal Immunol 7:694-704
Gehling, William; Khachatryan, Lavrent; Dellinger, Barry (2014) Hydroxyl radical generation from environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) in PM2.5. Environ Sci Technol 48:4266-72
Kiruri, Lucy W; Khachatryan, Lavrent; Dellinger, Barry et al. (2014) Effect of copper oxide concentration on the formation and persistency of environmentally persistent free radicals (EPFRs) in particulates. Environ Sci Technol 48:2212-7
Schwingshackl, Andreas; Teng, Bin; Makena, Patrudu et al. (2014) Deficiency of the two-pore-domain potassium channel TREK-1 promotes hyperoxia-induced lung injury. Crit Care Med 42:e692-701
dela Cruz, Albert Leo N; Cook, Robert L; Dellinger, Barry et al. (2014) Assessment of environmentally persistent free radicals in soils and sediments from three Superfund sites. Environ Sci Process Impacts 16:44-52
Hettiarachchi, Suraj U; Prasai, Bijeta; McCarley, Robin L (2014) Detection and cellular imaging of human cancer enzyme using a turn-on, wavelength-shiftable, self-immolative profluorophore. J Am Chem Soc 136:7575-8

Showing the most recent 10 out of 33 publications