Diesel exhaust particles and endothelial cells dysfunction: An update

22 Jun 2017

Epidemiological studies have shown a consistent positive correlation between exposure to particulate matter (PM) and increased mortality largely due to increased rates of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Diesel exhaust particles (DEPs) are major constituents of atmospheric PM and have been shown to cause disruption of the endothelial cell monolayer integrity, thereby affecting organ functions. Endothelial cells are very active metabolic components of biological tissue that performs a number of important physiological functions. Therefore, anything that compromises the integrity and functions of the endothelium will lead to organ dysfunction and disease. This review focuses on scientific evidence that link DEP exposure to endothelial cell dysfunction in various pathophysiological conditions affecting the cardiovascular system. The various mechanisms involved in the DEP-induced endothelial cell dysfunction are also addressed together with the preventive and therapeutic approaches to overcoming these challenges.