Ambient air pollution alters heart rate regulation in aged mice

Juan P. Ramos-Bonilla, Patrick N. Breysse, Francesca Dominici, Alison Geyh, Clarke G. Tankersley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Context: Heart rate alterations associated with exposure to particulate matter (PM) and gaseous pollutants have been observed in epidemiological studies and animal experiments. Nevertheless, the time-lag of these associations is still unclear. Objective: Determine the association at different time-lags between the complex mixture of ambient concentrations of PM, carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and markers of cardiac function in a model of aged mice. Materials and methods: AKR/J inbred mice were exposed to ambient air, 6h daily for 40 weekdays. During this period, the animals' electrocardiogram (ECG), deep body temperature (Tdb), and body weight (BW) were registered, and concentrations of PM, CO, NO2, as well as air temperature and relative humidity (RH) were measured. Data analysis included random effects models with lagged covariate methods. Results: CO was significantly associated with declines in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV), PM was significantly associated with declines in HRV and BW, and NO2 was significantly associated with declines in HR. Some significant associations occurred in the same day (PM and HRV, PM and BW, CO and HR), whereas others were delayed by 1 to 3 days (CO and HR, CO and HRV, NO 2 and HR, PM and HRV). Discussion and conclusion: Finding significant declines in heart function in aged mice associated with the combined effects of air pollutants at ambient concentrations and at different time-lags is of great importance to public health. These results further implicate the potential short term and delayed effects of air pollution on HR alterations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-339
Number of pages10
JournalInhalation Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Aging
  • Gaseous pollutants
  • Heart rate variability
  • Longitudinal data analysis
  • Particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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