Effects of Urban Particulate Matter on the Olfactory System in a Mouse Model

Boo Young Kim, Ju Y. Park, Kwang J. Cho, Jung H. Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Exposure to urban particulate matter (UPM) is linked to the aggravation of various health problems. Although the nasal cavity is the first barrier to encounter UPM, there is a lack of studies on the impact of UPM on the olfactory area. The purpose of this study was to investigate the cytotoxic effects of UPM on mouse olfactory epithelium, the underlying pathophysiology involved, and changes in cytokine levels. Methods: Mice were divided into 4 groups: control, 400UPM (administered 400 µg UPM daily; standard reference material 1649b; average particle diameter 10.5 μm) 1week, 400UPM 2weeks, and recovery 1week after 400UPM 2weeks (n = 10, 6, 6, and 6, respectively). Olfactory function was evaluated by conducting a food-finding test once a week. The olfactory neuroepithelium was harvested for histologic examination, gene ontology, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and western blotting. Results: Compared to those in the control group, olfactory marker protein, olfactory receptor 1507, adenylyl cyclase 3, and GNAL mRNA levels were lower and S-100, 2′,3′-cyclic nucleotide 30-phosphodiesterase, nerve growth factor receptor-associated protein, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and tachykinin receptor mRNA levels were higher in the 400UPM group olfactory neuroepithelium. There were no significant differences in neuroepithelial inflammatory marker levels between the 400UPM and saline group. Conclusions: UPM decreased olfactory function and might have cytotoxic effects on the olfactory epithelium. Olfactory ensheathing cells and trigeminal nerve might be related to the regeneration of the olfactory epithelium after olfactory destruction associated with UPM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Rhinology and Allergy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

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© The Author(s) 2021.


  • ensheathing cells
  • olfaction
  • olfactory dysfunction
  • urban particulate matter


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