Inhalation Toxicology Core

    Alexandra Noel (Leader) and Arthur Penn

    Inhalation is the most representative route of human exposure to airborne particulate matter.  Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals (EPFRs) are pollutant-particle systems formed during thermal treatment (TT) of organic materials and other hazardous substances commonly found at Superfund remediation sites.  Approximately 30% of all Superfund sites are remediated using TT and nearly 53 million people live within 3 miles of a Superfund site. This suggests that many US residents are at risk of inhalation exposure to PM containing EPFRs. One of the major objectives of our Center is to clarify the pulmonary and cardiovascular health effects associated with inhalation exposure to Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals (EPFRS). 

    Recreating an environment representative of real-life exposure scenarios is critical for inhalation toxicology studies. The mission of the ITC is to provide the expertise, training, facilities, and equipment necessary for LSU SRP investigators to expose either mice or cell systems to well characterized EPFR-containing aerosols, as well as to assess lung function in exposed mice.  This support will be provided through the following three specific aims:

    Inhalation Exposure Studies

    For exposures to airborne PM, with the lungs as a primary target organ, whole-body inhalation is one of the most relevant and least stressful exposure routes for experimental animals. The ITC’s integrated EPFR aerosol inhalation exposure system will enable the production of stable aerosols under real-life environmental exposure conditions and provide physical and chemical characterization of the inhalable pollutants in the breathing zone of the animals.  This exposure system can accurately mimic human exposures using mice, contributing to our understanding of the health impacts of EPFRs on humans.

    Lung Function Testing in Mice

    The ITC will provide the equipment and technical support to assess lung function in mice exposed by inhalation to EPFR aerosols. Lung function measurements will be assessed using the flexiVent system (SCIREQ) to accurately determine lung resistance, compliance, and pressure-volume curves – indicators used to assess pulmonary function dysfunction.

    Air-liquid Interface Exposures

    For in vitro studies (studies performed on cells outside their normal biological context, including in a test tube or a petri dish), the ITC will provide the equipment and technical expertise to expose cells, or co-cultures of cells, to airborne PM, containing EPFR, at the air-liquid interface (ALI). The ALI exposures enable cells to be grown on a membrane where the top of the cells are exposed to air and the bottom of the cells are exposed to culture media.  ALI exposures more closely mimic real-life exposure scenarios and cellular dosimetry than traditional immersed cell culture exposure systems.