Particulate matter exposure and allergic rhinitis: The role of plasmatic extracellular vesicles and bacterial nasal microbiome

Jacopo Mariani, Simona Iodice, Laura Cantone, Giulia Solazzo, Paolo Marraccini, Emanuele Conforti, Pallav A. Bulsara, Maria Stella Lombardi, Robert P. Howlin, Valentina Bollati, Luca Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Particulate matter (PM) exposure is linked to the worsening of respiratory conditions, including allergic rhinitis (AR), as it can trigger nasal and systemic inflammation. To unveil the underlying molecular mechanisms, we investigated the effects of PM exposure on the release of plasmatic extracellular vesicles (EV) and on the complex cross-talk between the host and the nasal microbiome. To this aim, we evaluated the effects of PM10 and PM2.5 exposures on both the bacteria-derived-EV portion (bEV) and the host-derived EVs (hEV), as well as on bacterial nasal microbiome (bNM) features in 26 AR patients and 24 matched healthy subjects (HS). In addition, we assessed the role exerted by the bNM as a modifier of PM effects on the complex EV signaling network in the paradigmatic context of AR. We observed that PM exposure differently affected EV release and bNM composition in HS compared to AR, thus potentially contributing to the molecular mechanisms underlying AR. The obtained results represent the first step towards the understanding of the complex signaling network linking external stimuli, bNM composition, and the immune risponse.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10689
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2021


  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Bacterial nasal microbiome
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Particulate matter exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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