Potential Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Ultrafine Particle Toxic Effects in Humans
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Epidemiological and clinical studies suggested the association of the particulate matter ambient air pollution and the increased morbidity and mortality, mainly from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The size of particles has great influence on their toxicity, because it determines the site in the respiratory tract where they deposit The most well established theory explaining the mechanisms behind the increased toxicity of ultrafine particles (UFP, LT 0.1 mu m) is that It has to do with the increased surface area and/or the combination with the increased number of particles, Biological effects of UFP are also determined by their shape and chemical composition, so it is not possible to estimate their toxicity in a general way. General hypothesis suggested that exposure to inhaled particles induces pulmonary alveolar inflammation as a basic pathophysiological event, triggering release of various proinflammatory cytokines. Chronic inflammation is a very important underlying mechan...ism in the genesis of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. UFP can freely move through the circulation, but their effects on the secondary organs are not known yet, so more studies on recognizing toxicological endpoints of UFP are needed Determination of UFP toxicity and the estimation of their internal and biologically active dose are necessary for the evidence based conclusions connecting air pollution by UFP and human diseases.