AsthmaThe role of particulate pollutants in pulmonary inflammation and asthma: evidence for the involvement of organic chemicals and oxidative stressNel, Andre E. MD, PhD; Diaz-Sanchez, David PhD; Li, Ning MD, PhDAuthor Information Department of Medicine/Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA. Correspondence to Andre E. Nel, Department of Medicine/Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University of California Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Ave., 52-175CHS, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; e-mail: email@example.com Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine: January 2001 - Volume 7 - Issue 1 - p 20-26 Buy Abstract We review the literature indicating that the adverse health effects of ambient particulate matter involve the generation of oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as immunomodulating effects by particle-associated chemicals. We discuss evidence that diesel exhaust particle organic extracts induce reactive oxygen species in macrophages and bronchial epithelial cells, two key cell types targeted by particulate matter in the lung. Reactive oxygen species activate the promoters of cytokines and chemokines involved in allergic inflammation through activator protein-1 and nuclear factor- κB signaling pathways, which may explain exacerbation of allergic inflammation. Organic diesel exhaust particle chemicals also induce apoptosis and necrosis in bronchial epithelial cells via a mitochondrial pathway. This may be responsible for epithelial shedding and bronchial hyperreactivity in asthma. © 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.