Effects of reactive oxygen species generation induced by Wonju City particulate matter on mitochondrial dysfunction in human middle ear cell

Su Hoon Lee, Sun Mok Ha, Min Jae Jeong, Dong Jun Park, Carlos Noriega Polo, Young Joon Seo, Seong Heon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) contains different components that can elicit varying adverse health effects in humans and animals. Studies on PM toxicity and its underlying mechanisms in the middle ear are limited, and they generally use a PM standard. However, as PM composition varies temporally and geographically, it is crucial to identify the toxic PM constituents according to season and region and investigate their associated health effects. Thus, we sought to determine whether PM induces cytotoxicity and inflammatory factor and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in human middle ear epithelial cells obtained from patients with otitis media. The cells were treated with both standard urban PM and PM directly captured from the atmosphere in Wonju City. The association between mitochondrial dysfunction and PM was investigated. PM exposure significantly increased COX-2 and TNF-α mRNA expression, increased ROS generation, induced inflammatory responses, and caused abnormalities in mitochondrial motility and function. Furthermore, PM induced cell apoptosis, which consequently reduced cell survival, particularly at the concentration of 100 μg/mL. Overall, our study provides new insights into the toxic effects of standard and atmospheric PM on middle ear cell line.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49244-49257
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (grant number 2019R1A6A3A01096651) and by the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) grant funded by the Korea government(MSIT) (No. NRF-2020R1A2C1009789) and by National Information Society Agency(NIA) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT. The funding agency had no role in the design of the study; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the manuscript; and the decision to submit the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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