Ship Emissions affect Lung Macrophages

Source: Universität Rostock

Exhaust emissions from ships affect the health of people living nearby coasts. Scientists from the Helmholtz Virtual Institute HICE have shown the effects on lung macrophages. These are immunocompetent cells and play an important role concerning lung diseases like COPD. The results have been published in the renowned open access journal PLOS ONE.


“The macrophages react more sensitive than lung epithelial cells on inhaled particles”, explains Sean Sapcariu, the first author of the paper and PhD Student at the University of Luxembourg, a cooperation partner in HICE. “They represent the ‘first line of response’ in fighting against foreign objects like germs or aerosol particles that intrude the lung.” In their experiments the scientists exposed the cells to two different types of ship fuel: heavy fuel oil and diesel. “We found different strengths of inflammatory responses and other molecular biological pathways, but similar toxic effects”, Sapcariu adds. With this the previous results of HICE from 2015 concerning the biological reactions of human epithelial lung cells to diesel and heavy fuel oil have been confirmed and further validated.


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