Ultrafine particles affect experimental thrombosis in an in vivo hamster model

Abderrahim Nemmar, Marc F. Hoylaerts, Peter H.M. Hoet, David Dinsdale, Tim Smith, Haiyan Xu, Jozef Vermylen, Benoit Nemery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

302 Citations (Scopus)


Particulate air pollution is associated with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. To investigate this association, we studied the effect of ultrafine (60 nm) polystyrene particles on thrombus formation in a hamster model after intravenous and intratracheal administration of unmodified, carboxylate-polystyrene, or amine-polystyrene particles. Unmodified particles had no effect on thrombosis up to 5 mg/kg. Carboxylate-polystyrene particles significantly inhibited thrombus formation at 500 and 100 μg/kg body weight but not at 50 μg/kg body weight. In contrast, amine-polystyrene particles significantly enhanced thrombosis at 500 and 50 μg/kg body weight but not at 5 μg/kg body weight. Similarly, the intratracheal instillation of 5,000 μg of amine-polystyrene particles significantly increased thrombus formation. The unmodified particles and carboxylate-polystyrene particles had no effect. During platelet aggregation in human platelet-rich plasma, induced with 1.25 μM ADP, unmodified particles had no effect up to 100 μg/ml, and carboxylate-polystyrene particles weakly enhanced platelet aggregation at 25 to 100 μg/ml. However, amine-polystyrene particles (50 and 100 μg/ml) induced platelet aggregation themselves and strongly increased the ADP-induced aggregation. We conclude that the presence of (ultrafine) particles in the circulation may affect hemostasis. The observed in vivo prothrombotic tendency results, at least in part, from platelet activation by positively charged amine-polystyrene particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)998-1004
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Air pollution
  • Cardiovascular effects
  • Hemostasis
  • Platelets
  • Ultrafine particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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