Environmental Public Health Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory (NHEERL), Office of Research and Development (ORD), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA. email@example.com
Exposure to diesel exhaust (DE) and associated gases is linked to cardiovascular impairments; however, the susceptibility of hypertensive individuals is poorly understood. The objectives of this study were (1) to determine cardiopulmonary effects of gas-phase versus whole-DE and (2) to examine the contribution of systemic hypertension in pulmonary and cardiovascular effects. Male Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats were treated with hydralazine to reduce blood pressure (BP) or l-NAME to increase BP. Spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats were treated with hydralazine to reduce BP. Control and drug-pretreated rats were exposed to air, particle-filtered exhaust (gas), or whole DE (1500μg/m(3)), 4h/day for 2days or 5days/week for 4weeks. Acute and 4-week gas and DE exposures increased neutrophils and γ-glutamyl transferase (γ-GT) activity in lavage fluid of WKY and SH rats. DE (4weeks) caused pulmonary albumin leakage and inflammation in SH rats. Two-day DE increased serum fatty acid binding protein-3 (FABP-3) in WKY. Marked increases occurred in aortic mRNA after 4-week DE in SH (eNOS, TF, tPA, TNF-α, MMP-2, RAGE, and HMGB-1). Hydralazine decreased BP in SH while l-NAME tended to increase BP in WKY; however, neither changed inflammation nor BALF γ-GT. DE-induced and baseline BALF albumin leakage was reduced by hydralazine in SH rats and increased by l-NAME in WKY rats. Hydralazine pretreatment reversed DE-induced TF, tPA, TNF-α, and MMP-2 expression but not eNOS, RAGE, and HMGB-1. ET-1 was decreased by HYD. In conclusion, antihypertensive drug treatment reduces gas and DE-induced pulmonary protein leakage and expression of vascular atherogenic markers.