Extensive health studies had declared that exposure to particulate matter (PM) was closely associated with neurodegenerative diseases, i.e. Parkinson’s disease (PD). Our aim was to clarify the potential molecular mechanism by which PM2.5 aggravated PD symptoms using in vitro and in vivo PD models. In this study, PC12 cells treated with rotenone (1 μM) and/or PM2.5 (50 μg/mL) for 4 days was used as the in vitro model. C57BL/6 J mice expored to PM2.5 (inhalation, 2.5 mg/kg) and rotenone (intraperitoneal injection, 30 mg/kg) for 28 days was used as the in vivo model. Rapamycin was used to promote the level of autophagy. The results showed that after exposure to PM2.5, the apoptosis of rotenone-treated PC12 cells were increased by increasing the ROS levels and decreasing the levels of mitochondrial membrane potential. In rotenone-treated PC12 cells, exposure to PM2.5 could decrease the ratio of LC3II/LC3I and the expression levels of Atg5, and increase the expression level of mTOR, suggesting that PM2.5 exposure inhibited autophagy. Furthermore, the mitophagy related genes, including PINK1 and Parkin, were decreased. At the same time, inhalation of PM2.5 could relieve the behavioral abnormalities of PD mouse induced by rotenone. The levels of inflammatory factors (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6) were significantly increased. Inhalation of PM2.5 could induce the oxidative stress and apoptosis in the substantia nigra of PD mouse, as well as the key markers of autophagy and mitophagy were also changed, which was consistent with the cell model. Besides, rapamycin would relieve the damaging effect of PM2.5 by triggering autophagy and mitophagy in rotenone-induced PD models. These results indicated that exposure to PM2.5 aggravated the behavioral abnormalities of PD symptoms through increasing oxidative stress, decreasing autophagy and mitophagy, and inducing mitochondria-mediated neuronal apoptosis. These findings not only revealed the effects and mechanism of PM2.5 exposure on PD, but also provided fundamental data that can be exploited to develop environmental safety policies.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.