Changes in immune status have been suggested as a possible biologic mechanism by which particulate matter (PM) air pollution could lead to adverse health effects. The authors studied associations between ambient PM 2.5 and immune status among 115 postmenopausal, overweight women in the greater Seattle, Washington, area. The authors evaluated 3-day, 30-day, and 60-day average PM2.5 values in relation to inflammation markers (C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, interleukin-6) and functional assays of cellular immunity (natural killer cell cytotoxicity, T-lymphocyte proliferation) at 3 time points for each woman during 1 year. Three-day averaged PM 2.5 was inversely associated with anti-CD3-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation. There were no notable associations between the inflammation markers and PM2.5. If additional studies confirm our findings, then future health effect assessments for PM2.5 should consider changes in cellular immunity as an endpoint that may lead to overt clinical disease.
- air pollution
- immune function
- particulate matter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis