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Particulate Matter Exposure Enhances Connexin 43 Expression and Function to Exacerbate Endothelial Barrier Disruption

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Particulate matter (PM) air pollution is a known factor to exacerbate cardiopulmonary diseases. We previously demonstrated that PM mediated endothelial injury and barrier disruption via modulation of the endothelial cytoskeleton and cell-cell junctions, while the effects of PM exposure on

Particulate matter (PM) air pollution is a known factor to exacerbate cardiopulmonary diseases. We previously demonstrated that PM mediated endothelial injury and barrier disruption via modulation of the endothelial cytoskeleton and cell-cell junctions, while the effects of PM exposure on cell-cell communication and gap junction activity are still unknown. This study is focused on the characterization of PM-mediated endothelial dysfunction via Connexin 43 (Cx43), the most abundant Gap junction protein expressed in lung endothelial cells (ECs). PM exposure induces a time-dependent elevation of Cx43 in human lung ECs, at both mRNA and protein levels. N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), an ROS scavenger, significantly suppresses PM-induced Cx43 expression. Membrane-associated and ER/ Golgi apparatus Cx43 protein are elevated upon PM challenge. In addition, PM also activates the gap junction activity, indicated by the transportation of green fluorescence dye between two adjacent ECs. Moreover, GAP27, a selective Cx43 channel inhibitor, attenuates PM-reduced human lung EC barrier disruption, measured by trans-endothelial electrical resistance (TER) with an electric cell-substrate impedance sensing system. Moreover, knock-down the expression of Cx43 by its selective siRNA alleviates PM-induced MLC phosphorylation. These results highly suggest that Cx43 plays a key role in PM-mediated endothelial barrier disruption and signal transduction. Cx43 may deputy as a therapeutic target in PM-mediated cardiopulmonary disorders.

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2020-12

The Effects of an Energy Efficiency Retrofit on Indoor Air Quality

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To investigate the impacts of an energy efficiency retrofit, indoor air quality and resident health were evaluated at a low‐income senior housing apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona, before and after a green energy building renovation. Indoor and outdoor air quality

To investigate the impacts of an energy efficiency retrofit, indoor air quality and resident health were evaluated at a low‐income senior housing apartment complex in Phoenix, Arizona, before and after a green energy building renovation. Indoor and outdoor air quality sampling was carried out simultaneously with a questionnaire to characterize personal habits and general health of residents. Measured indoor formaldehyde levels before the building retrofit routinely exceeded reference exposure limits, but in the long‐term follow‐up sampling, indoor formaldehyde decreased for the entire study population by a statistically significant margin. Indoor PM levels were dominated by fine particles and showed a statistically significant decrease in the long‐term follow‐up sampling within certain resident subpopulations (i.e. residents who report smoking and residents who had lived longer at the apartment complex).

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2015