Immune Effects of Episodic Ozone and Particulate Matter Exposure During Postnatal Development

Unpublished Report, June 2015

This unpublished report describes a two-year study to evaluate the effect of exposure to particulate matter and ozone on immune function in nonhuman primates (infant rhesus macaques) during early life. The investigators conducted a panel study that took advantage of "natural" exposures in the outdoor nonhuman primate colony maintained at the California National Primate Center, a research unit of the University of California–Davis. A key feature of the study design was the use of two cohorts of young macaques that differed in their exposure to smoke from wildfires: one cohort was born in the spring of 2008, before wildfires occurred in the area (during June and July 2008), and the second cohort was born in the spring of 2009, a year during which there were no major wildfire episodes in the area. PM concentrations during the wildfire period in 2008 were substantially higher than those during the same period in 2009, supporting the notion that the animals born in 2008 were exposed to higher ambient PM concentrations than the animals born in 2009. The investigators analyzed blood samples from monkeys in both cohorts, looking for differences in immune and hemostatic measures that could potentially be attributed to the differences in exposure to ambient air pollution, including smoke from wildfires. Blood samples were collected when the monkeys were approximately three years old (i.e., when they were adolescents).

This report and the accompanying Review Committee Critique of the report are available upon request.