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Activity of antioxidant enzymes and oxidative stress in human lung cells, in vitro, exposed to atmospheric particulate matter

Grant number: 19/15727-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2019
Effective date (End): November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Toxicology
Principal Investigator:Marisa Narciso Fernandes
Grantee:Letícia Silva de Andrade
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


In Brazil, atmospheric particulate matter (APM) is directly related to the emission of particles in the atmosphere as a result of industrial activities and urbanization processes. In the coastal region of Espírito Santo, Grande Vitória, where there is the metallurgical complex of Tubarão, the APM is composed mainly of metals and nanoparticles emitted by the mining and steel industries, generating continuous contamination of terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems. The constant exposure of the population to the APM causes the metallic nanomaterials to be internalized in the organism, particularly in the lung cells, via respiration. Internalized APM components can trigger changes in the redox balance in lung cells generating oxidative stress which, in general, is the etiology of different diseases. In view of this, this study aims to determine if exposure to APM collected near the Tubarão Complex, Espírito Santo, alters the activity of antioxidant defenses in human lung cells, in vitro. The cells will be exposed to sublethal concentrations of APM (PM 10) and the activity of the antioxidant enzymes catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione level (GSH) will be determined and the lipid peroxidation level (LPO) in exposed cells to evaluate the occurrence of oxidative stress. In general terms, since APM presents toxic potential for the ecosystem and human population of the region, it is hoped that this study may contribute to norms and regulations that ensure the protection of the environment and society exposed to these contaminants.