Subclinical markers of cardiovascular toxicity of benzene inhalation in mice

Marina V Malovichko, Wesley T Abplanalp, Samantha A McFall, Breandon S Taylor, Nalinie S Wickramasinghe, Israel D Sithu, Igor N Zelko, Shizuka Uchida, Bradford G Hill, Saurin R Sutaria, Michael H Nantz, Aruni Bhatnagar, Daniel J Conklin, Timothy E O'Toole, Sanjay Srivastava

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5 Citationer (Scopus)


Benzene is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant. Recent population-based studies suggest that benzene exposure is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. However, it is unclear whether benzene exposure by itself is sufficient to induce cardiovascular toxicity. We examined the effects of benzene inhalation (50 ppm, 6 h/day, 5 days/week, 6 weeks) or HEPA-filtered air exposure on the biomarkers of cardiovascular toxicity in male C57BL/6J mice. Benzene inhalation significantly increased the biomarkers of endothelial activation and injury including endothelial microparticles, activated endothelial microparticles, endothelial progenitor cell microparticles, lung endothelial microparticles, and activated lung and endothelial microparticles while having no effect on circulating levels of endothelial adhesion molecules, endothelial selectins, and biomarkers of angiogenesis. To understand how benzene may induce endothelial injury, we exposed human aortic endothelial cells to benzene metabolites. Of metabolites tested, trans,trans-mucondialdehyde (10 μM, 18 h) was most toxic. It induced caspases-3, -7 and -9 (intrinsic pathway) activation, and enhanced microparticle formation by 2.4-fold. Levels of platelet-leukocyte aggregates, platelet macroparticles, and proportion of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells were also significantly elevated in the blood of the benzene-exposed mice. We also found that benzene exposure increased the transcription of genes associated with endothelial cell and platelet activation in the liver; and induced inflammatory genes and suppressed cytochrome P450s in the lungs and the liver. Together, these data suggest that benzene exposure induces endothelial injury, enhances platelet activation and inflammatory processes; and circulatory levels of endothelial cell and platelet-derived microparticles and platelet-leukocyte aggregates are excellent biomarkers of cardiovascular toxicity of benzene.

TidsskriftToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Sider (fra-til)115742
StatusUdgivet - 15 nov. 2021
Udgivet eksterntJa

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