Intra-city differences in cardiac expression of inflammatory genes and inflammasomes in young urbanites: A pilot study

Rodolfo Villarreal-Calderon, Gary Dale, Ricardo Delgado-Chávez, Ricardo Torres-Jardón, Hongtu Zhu, Lou Herritt, Angelica Gónzalez-Maciel, Rafael Reynoso-Robles, Ying Yuan, Jiaping Wang, Edelmira Solorio-López, Humberto Medina-Cortina, Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Southwest Mexico City (SWMC) air pollution is characterized by high concentrations of ozone and particulate matter < 10 μm (PM 10) containing lipopolysaccharides while in the North PM 2.5 is high. These intra-city differences are likely accounting for higher CD14 and IL-1β in SWMC v NMC mice myocardial expression. This pilot study was designed to investigate whether similar intra-city differences exist in the levels of myocardial inflammatory genes in young people. Inflammatory mediator genes and inflammasome arrays were measured in right and left autopsy ventricles of 6 southwest/15 north (18.5 ± 2.6 years) MC residents after fatal sudden accidental deaths. There was a significant S v N right ventricle up-regulation of IL-1β (p=0.008), TNF-α (p=0.001), IL-10 (p=0.001), and CD14 (p=0.002), and a left ventricle difference in TNF-α (p=0.007), and IL-10 (p=0.02). SW right ventricles had significant up-regulation of NLRC1, NLRP3 and of 29/84 inflammasome genes, including NOD factors and caspases. There was significant degranulation of mast cells both in myocardium and epicardial nerve fibers. Differential expression of key inflammatory myocardial genes and inflammasomes are influenced by the location of residence. Myocardial inflammation and inflammasome activation in young hearts is a plausible pathway of heart injury in urbanites and adverse effects on the cardiovascular system are expected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-173
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Toxicologic Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Cardiovascular risk factor
  • Children
  • Inflammasomes
  • Mast cells
  • Myocardial inflammation
  • Particulate matter
  • Urban pollution


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