Erythrocyte Vulnerability to Airborne Nanopollutants

Cristina Hermosillo-Abundis, Aracely Angulo-Molina, Miguel A. Méndez-Rojas*

*Autor correspondiente de este trabajo

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva


The toxicological impact of airborne polluting ultrafine particles (UFPs, also classified as nanoparticles with average sizes of less than 100 nm) is an emerging area of research pursuing a better understanding of the health hazards they pose to humans and other organisms. Hemolytic activity is a toxicity parameter that can be assessed quickly and easily to establish part of a nanoparticle’s behavior once it reaches our circulatory system. However, it is exceedingly difficult to determine to what extent each of the nanoparticles present in the air is responsible for the detrimental effects exhibited. At the same time, current hemolytic assessment methodologies pose a series of limitations for the interpretation of results. An alternative is to synthesize nanoparticles that model selected typical types of UFPs in air pollution and evaluate their individual contributions to adverse health effects under a clinical assay of osmotic fragility. Here, we discuss evidence pointing out that the absence of hemolysis is not always a synonym for safety; exposure to model nanopollutants, even at low concentrations, is enough to increase erythrocyte susceptibility and dysfunction. A modified osmotic fragility assay in combination with a morphological inspection of the nanopollutant–erythrocyte interaction allows a richer interpretation of the exposure outcomes. Membrane–nanoparticle interplay has a leading role in the vulnerability observed. Therefore, future research in this line of work should pay special attention to the evaluation of the mechanisms that cause membrane damage.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo92
EstadoPublicada - ene. 2024

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© 2024 by the authors.


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