Several diseases have been linked to particulate matter (PM) exposure. Outdoor activities, such as road running or jogging, are popular aerobic exercises due to few participatory limitations. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive degenerative joint disease, usually observed at age 40, and not noticed before pain or diagnosis. Although exercise has health benefits, it is unclear whether outdoor jogging in higher PM (standard reference material 1649b, SRM 1649b) concentration environments could affect OA development or severity. Hence, a PM exposure monosodium iodoacetate (MIA)-induced OA animal jogged model was established for investigation. Results showed that high doses of PM (5 mg) significantly increased pro-inflammatory factors such as tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6, and M1 macrophages in the lung region, also obtained in systemic IL-6 and TNF-α expressions in this MIA-OA rat model. Moreover, levels of osteocalcin, cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP), and N-telopeptides of type I collagen were especially influenced in MIA+PM groups. Morphological and structural changes of the knee joint were detected by micro-computed tomography images (micro-CT) and immunohistochemistry. MIA + PM rats exhibited severe bone density decrease, cartilage wear, and structure damages, accompanied by lower levels of physical activity, than the sham group and groups receiving MIA or PM alone. The findings suggest that the severity of OA could be promoted by PM exposure with a PM concentration effect via systemic inflammatory mechanisms. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to provide direct effects of PM exposure on OA severity.
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