Motorcycle exhaust particles up-regulate expression of vascular adhesion molecule-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells

Chen Chen Lee, Shih Hsuan Huang, Ya Ting Yang, Yu Wen Cheng, Ching Hao Li, Jaw Jou Kang

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Epidemiological studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between atherosclerosis and ambient air pollution. In this study, we found that motorcycle exhaust particles (MEP) induced adhesion between cells of the human monocytic leukemia cell line (THP-1) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in a time-and dose-dependent manner. In addition, MEP treatment induced both mRNA and protein expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in HUVECs. The IκB degradation and p65 nuclear translocation was found in MEP-treated HUVECs, suggested the involvement of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). MEP-induced VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 protein expression was inhibited by NF-κB inhibitor BAY 11-7085. Oxidative stress was also involved in the signaling of VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 expression. MEP treatment caused hydrogen peroxide and superoxide formation. Pretreatment with α-tocopherol could inhibit MEP-induced reactive oxygen intermediates generation and suppressed MEP-induced IκB degradation and adhesion molecules expression. Furthermore, the carbon black (CB) nanoparticles with different diameters could induce VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 protein expression; however, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) only increased the expression of ICAM-1 but not that of VCAM-1 in HUVECs. In this study, we found that MEPs could induce ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression through oxidative stress and NF-κB activation in HUVECs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-560
Number of pages9
JournalToxicology in Vitro
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • Cell adhesion molecule
  • Motorcycle exhaust particle
  • NF-κB
  • Oxidative stress
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology

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