Influence of wood species on toxicity of log-wood stove combustion aerosols: A parallel animal and air-liquid interface cell exposure study on spruce and pine smoke

Tuukka Ihantola*, Sebastiano Di Bucchianico, Mikko Happo, Mikko Happo, Mika Ihalainen, Oskari Uski, Stefanie Bauer, Kari Kuuspalo, Kari Kuuspalo, Olli Sippula, Jarkko Tissari, Sebastian Oeder, Anni Hartikainen, Teemu J. Rönkkö, Maria Viola Martikainen, Kati Huttunen, Petra Vartiainen, Heikki Suhonen, Miika Kortelainen, Heikki LambergAri Leskinen, Ari Leskinen, Martin Sklorz, Martin Sklorz, Bernhard Michalke, Marco Dilger, Carsten Weiss, Gunnar Dittmar, Johannes Beckers, Johannes Beckers, Johannes Beckers, Martin Irmler, Jeroen Buters, Joana Candeias, Hendryk Czech, Hendryk Czech, Pasi Yli-Pirilä, Gülcin Abbaszade, Gert Jakobi, Jürgen Orasche, Jürgen Schnelle-Kreis, Tamara Kanashova, Tamara Kanashova, Erwin Karg, Thorsten Streibel, Thorsten Streibel, Johannes Passig, Henri Hakkarainen, Jorma Jokiniemi, Ralf Zimmermann, Ralf Zimmermann, Maija Riitta Hirvonen, Pasi I. Jalava

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Wood combustion emissions have been studied previously either by in vitro or in vivo models using collected particles, yet most studies have neglected gaseous compounds. Furthermore, a more accurate and holistic view of the toxicity of aerosols can be gained with parallel in vitro and in vivo studies using direct exposure methods. Moreover, modern exposure techniques such as air-liquid interface (ALI) exposures enable better assessment of the toxicity of the applied aerosols than, for example, the previous state-of-the-art submerged cell exposure techniques. Methods: We used three different ALI exposure systems in parallel to study the toxicological effects of spruce and pine combustion emissions in human alveolar epithelial (A549) and murine macrophage (RAW264.7) cell lines. A whole-body mouse inhalation system was also used to expose C57BL/6 J mice to aerosol emissions. Moreover, gaseous and particulate fractions were studied separately in one of the cell exposure systems. After exposure, the cells and animals were measured for various parameters of cytotoxicity, inflammation, genotoxicity, transcriptome and proteome. Results: We found that diluted (1:15) exposure pine combustion emissions (PM1 mass 7.7 ± 6.5 mg m- 3, 41 mg MJ- 1) contained, on average, more PM and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) than spruce (PM1 mass 4.3 ± 5.1 mg m- 3, 26 mg MJ- 1) emissions, which instead showed a higher concentration of inorganic metals in the emission aerosol. Both A549 cells and mice exposed to these emissions showed low levels of inflammation but significantly increased genotoxicity. Gaseous emission compounds produced similar genotoxicity and a higher inflammatory response than the corresponding complete combustion emission in A549 cells. Systems biology approaches supported the findings, but we detected differing responses between in vivo and in vitro experiments. Conclusions: Comprehensive in vitro and in vivo exposure studies with emission characterization and systems biology approaches revealed further information on the effects of combustion aerosol toxicity than could be achieved with either method alone. Interestingly, in vitro and in vivo exposures showed the opposite order of the highest DNA damage. In vitro measurements also indicated that the gaseous fraction of emission aerosols may be more important in causing adverse toxicological effects. Combustion aerosols of different wood species result in mild but aerosol specific in vitro and in vivo effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalParticle and Fibre Toxicology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020


  • Air liquid-interface (ALI)
  • Genotoxicity
  • Inhalation toxicology
  • Particulate matter (PM)
  • Transcriptome, proteome
  • Wood combustion


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