David A. Herman

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

David Herman wanted to do research related to the toxicology of common pollutants, which led him to the Air Pollution and Health Effects Laboratory, co-chaired by Professor Michael Kleinman. This lab primarily performs experiments involving the exposure of concentrated ambient particulate matter to mice to assess physiological responses. David has been accepted into the UC Irvine Center for Occupation and Environmental Health, where he will work toward a Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences.triangle.gif (504 bytes)




Air pollution has been associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular disease. Urban airborne ultrafine particulate matter (PM) contains semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), which may be responsible for some of the observed exacerbation of PM-associated adverse cardiovascular health effects. We hypothesized that removing the SVOCs from an aerosol should decrease the ability of ultrafine PM to cause oxidative damage and consequently lower the degree of cardiac abnormalities measured by changes in electrocardiogram (ECG) waveform morphology and arrhythmias. Genetically modified ApoE -/- mice were exposed to either purified air, quasi-ultrafine concentrated ambient particles (CAPs), or to denuded CAPs (deCAPs). ECGs were analyzed to detect changes from baseline measurements in the S-T segment, T-wave morphology, PR interval, and QT interval. CAPs exposed mice exhibited a lesser degree of progressive chronic S-T depression compared to baseline ECG measurements than both deCAPs and air exposed mice. Also, CAPs exposed mice often had smaller or non-evident T-waves compared to those from deCAPs and air exposed mice. Mice exposed to deCAPs had blunted PR intervals and corrected QT intervals compared to the Air and CAPs groups. Further investigation will explicate the mechanisms of changes resulting from CAPs exposures.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                

Michael T. Kleinman

School of Medicine

This research was conducted at the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory, which currently focuses on the effects of chronic exposures to ambient air pollution on cardiopulmonary function and disease progression in animal models of cardiovascular diseases. These studies have identified, in addition to adverse effects on cardiac physiology, significant evidence of tissue inflammation and oxidative stress including evidence of lipid peroxidation and free radical generation in arteries that correlate with development of atherosclerotic plaques. The significance of this project was that we were able to examine both acute and chronic outcomes that have relevance to changes in heart rhythms and physiology which can greatly affect human health.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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