Air pollution is associated with brainstem auditory nuclei pathology and delayed brainstem auditory evoked potentials

Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, Amedeo D'Angiulli, Randy J. Kulesza, Ricardo Torres-Jardón, Norma Osnaya, Lina Romero, Sheyla Keefe, Lou Herritt, Diane M. Brooks, Jose Avila-Ramirez, Ricardo Delgado-Chávez, Humberto Medina-Cortina, Luis Oscar González-González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We assessed brainstem inflammation in children exposed to air pollutants by comparing brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs) and blood inflammatory markers in children age 96.3±8.5 months from highly polluted (n=34) versus a low polluted city (n=17). The brainstems of nine children with accidental deaths were also examined. Children from the highly polluted environment had significant delays in wave III (t(50)=17.038; p<0.0001) and wave V (t(50)=19.730; p<0.0001) but no delay in wave I (p=0.548). They also had significantly longer latencies than controls for interwave intervals I-III, III-V, and I-V (all t(50)>7.501; p<0.0001), consisting with delayed central conduction time of brainstem neural transmission. Highly exposed children showed significant evidence of inflammatory markers and their auditory and vestibular nuclei accumulated α synuclein and/or β amyloid1-42. Medial superior olive neurons, critically involved in BAEPs, displayed significant pathology. Children's exposure to urban air pollution increases their risk for auditory and vestibular impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-375
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Alpha synuclein
  • Auditory nuclei
  • Beta amyloid
  • Brainstem evoked auditory potentials
  • Brainstem inflammation
  • Children
  • Neuroinflammation

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