Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution and immune status among women in the Seattle area

Lori Williams, Cornelia M. Ulrich, Timothy Larson, Mark H. Wener, Brent Wood, Zehava Chen-Levy, Peter T. Campbell, John Potter, Anne McTiernan, Anneclaire J. De Roos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Changes in immune status have been suggested as a possible biologic mechanism by which particulate matter (PM) air pollution could lead to adverse health effects. The authors studied associations between ambient PM 2.5 and immune status among 115 postmenopausal, overweight women in the greater Seattle, Washington, area. The authors evaluated 3-day, 30-day, and 60-day average PM2.5 values in relation to inflammation markers (C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, interleukin-6) and functional assays of cellular immunity (natural killer cell cytotoxicity, T-lymphocyte proliferation) at 3 time points for each woman during 1 year. Three-day averaged PM 2.5 was inversely associated with anti-CD3-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation. There were no notable associations between the inflammation markers and PM2.5. If additional studies confirm our findings, then future health effect assessments for PM2.5 should consider changes in cellular immunity as an endpoint that may lead to overt clinical disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-165
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Environmental and Occupational Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • air pollution
  • immune function
  • inflammation
  • particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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