The Acute Effects of Age and Particulate Matter Exposure on Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability in Mice

Blake A. Bennett, Ernst W Spannhake, Ana M. Rule, Patrick N. Breysse, Clarke Tankersley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) is associated with increased cardiac morbidity and mortality with the elderly considered to be the most susceptible. The purpose of this study was to determine if exposure to PM would cause a greater impact on heart regulation in older DBA/2 (D2) male mice as determined by changes in heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV). D2 mice at the ages of 4, 12, and 19 months were instilled with 100 µg of PM or saline by aspiration. Before and after the aspiration, 3-min echocardiogram (ECG) samples for HR and HRV were recorded at 15-min intervals for 3 h along with corresponding measurements of homeostasis, such as temperature, metabolism, and ventilation. PM exposure resulted in an increase in HRV, declines in HR, and altered measures of homeostasis for a subset of the 12-mo mice. The PM aspiration did not affect cardiac or homeostasis parameters in the 4- or 19-mo mice. Our results suggest that a select group of middle-age mice are more susceptible to alterations in their heart rhythm after PM exposure and highlight that there are acute age-related differences in heart rhythm following PM exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-519
Number of pages13
JournalCardiovascular Toxicology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • Aging
  • Cardiac
  • Heart rate variability
  • Mouse
  • Particulate matter
  • Susceptible populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Toxicology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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