Elevated plasma endothelin-1 and pulmonary arterial pressure in children exposed to air pollution

Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas, Renaud Vincent, Antonieta Mora-Tiscareño, Maricela Franco-Lira, Carlos Henríquez-Roldán, Gerardo Barragán-Mejía, Luis Garrido-García, Laura Camacho-Reyes, Gildardo Valencia-Salazar, Rogelio Paredes, Lina Romero, Hector Osnaya, Rafael Villarreal-Calderón, Ricardo Torres-Jardón, Milan J. Hazucha, William Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Background: Controlled exposures of animals and humans to particulate matter (PM) or ozone air pollution cause an increase in plasma levels of endothelin-1, a potent vasoconstrictor that regulates pulmonary arterial pressure. Objectives: The primary objective of this field study was to determine whether Mexico City children, who are chronically exposed to levels of PM and O3 that exceed the United States air quality standards, have elevated plasma endothelin-1 levels and pulmonary arterial pressures. Methods: We conducted a study of 81 children, 7.9 ± 1.3 years of age, lifelong residents of either northeast (n = 19) or southwest (n = 40) Mexico City or Polotitlán (n = 22), a control city with PM and O3 levels below the U.S. air quality standards. Clinical histories, physical examinations, and complete blood counts were done. Plasma endothelin-1 concentrations were determined by immunoassay, and pulmonary arterial pressures were measured by Doppler echocardiography. Results: Mexico City children had higher plasma endothelin-1 concentrations compared with controls (p < 0.001). Mean pulmonary arterial pressure was elevated in children from both northeast (p < 0.001) and southwest (p < 0.05) Mexico City compared with controls. Endothelin-1 levels in Mexico City children were positively correlated with daily outdoor hours (p = 0.012), and 7-day cumulative levels of PM air pollution < 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) before endothelin-1 measurement (p = 0.03). Conclusions: Chronic exposure of children to PM2.5 is associated with increased levels of circulating endothelin-1 and elevated mean pulmonary arterial pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1248-1253
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Air pollution
  • Children
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Endothelin-1
  • Particulate matter
  • Pulmonary arterial pressure


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