No adverse lung effects of 7- and 28-day inhalation exposure of rats to emissions from petrodiesel fuel containing 20% rapeseed methyl esters (B20) with and without particulate filter – the FuelHealth project
Increased use of biofuels raises concerns about health effects of new emissions. We analyzed relative lung health effects, on Fisher 344 rats, of diesel engine exhausts emissions (DEE) from a Euro 5-classified diesel engine running on petrodiesel fuel containing 20% rapeseed methyl esters (B20) with and without diesel particulate filter (DPF). One group of animals was exposed to DEE for 7 days (6 h/day), and another group for 28 days (6 h/day, 5 days/week), both with and without DPF. The animals (n = 7/treatment) were exposed in whole body exposure chambers. Animals breathing clean air were used as controls. Genotoxic effects of the lungs by the Comet assay, histological examination of lung tissue, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) markers of pulmonary injury, and mRNA markers of inflammation and oxidative stress were analyzed. Our results showed that a minor number of genes related to inflammation were slightly differently expressed in the exposed animals compared to control. Histological analysis also revealed only minor effects on inflammatory tissue markers in the lungs, and this was supported by flow cytometry and ELISA analysis of cytokines in BALF. No exposure-related indications of genotoxicity were observed. Overall, exposure to DEE with or without DPF technology produced no adverse effects in the endpoints analyzed in the rat lung tissue or the BALF. Overall, exposure to DEE from a modern Euro 5 light vehicle engine run on B20 fuel with or without DPF technology produced no adverse effects in the endpoints analyzed in the rat lung tissue or the BALF.