The use of biodiesel (BD) or its blends with petroleum diesel (D) is considered to be a viable approach to reduce occupational and environmental exposures to particulate matter (PM). Due to its lower particulate mass emissions compared to D, use of BD is thought to alleviate adverse health effects. Considering BD fuel is mainly composed of unsaturated fatty acids, we hypothesize that BD exhaust particles could induce pronounced adverse outcomes, due to their ability to readily oxidize. The main objective of this study was to compare the effects of particles generated by engine fueled with neat BD and neat petroleum-based D. Biomarkers of tissue damage and inflammation were significantly elevated in lungs of mice exposed to BD particulates. Additionally, BD particulates caused a significant accumulation of oxidatively modified proteins and an increase in 4-hydroxynonenal. The up-regulation of inflammatory cytokines/chemokines/growth factors was higher in lungs upon BD particulate exposure. Histological evaluation of lung sections indicated presence of lymphocytic infiltrate and impaired clearance with prolonged retention of BD particulate in pigment laden macrophages. Taken together, these results clearly indicate that BD exhaust particles could exert more toxic effects compared to D.
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