UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Impact of exposure to urban air pollution on grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) lung health

Brekke, Patricia; Torres-Blas, Irene; Horsler, Helen; Paredes, Ursula M; Perkins, Matthew; Priestnall, Simon L; (2023) Impact of exposure to urban air pollution on grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) lung health. Environmental Pollution , 326 , Article 121312. 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121312. Green open access

[thumbnail of Torres lung health in grey squirrels_Repository.pdf]
Preview
Text
Torres lung health in grey squirrels_Repository.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (613kB) | Preview
[thumbnail of Supplementary tables repository.xlsx] Text
Supplementary tables repository.xlsx - Accepted Version

Download (28kB)
[thumbnail of Brekke_Supplementary Figures S1-S3 repository.pdf]
Preview
Text
Brekke_Supplementary Figures S1-S3 repository.pdf

Download (319kB) | Preview

Abstract

The increased rate of global urbanisation has recently exacerbated the significant public health problem of traffic related air pollution. Despite the known significant impact on human health, little is known about the effects of air pollution on wildlife health. The lung is the primary target organ for the effects of exposure to air pollution, leading to lung inflammation, altering the lung epigenome, culminating in respiratory disease. In this study, we aimed to assess lung health and DNA methylation profiles in Eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) populations living across an urban-rural air pollution gradient. Squirrel lung health was assessed in four populations situated across the most polluted inner-city boroughs to the less polluted edges of Greater London. We also assessed lung DNA methylation across three London sites and a further two rural sites in Sussex and North Wales. Lung and tracheal diseases were present in 28% and 13% of the squirrels respectively. Specifically, focal inflammation (13%), focal macrophages with vacuolated cytoplasm (3%) and endogenous lipid pneumonia (3%). There was no significant difference in prevalence of lung, tracheal diseases, anthracosis (carbon presence) or lung DNA methylation levels between urban sites and urban and rural sites respectively or NO2 levels. BALT (Bronchus-Associated Lymphoid Tissue) was significantly smaller in the site with highest NO2 and contained the highest carbon loading compared to sites with lower NO2, however differences in carbon loading in between sites were not significant. High pollution site individuals also had significantly higher numbers of alveolar macrophages which suggests that grey squirrels are exposed to and respond to traffic-related air pollution and further research is needed to understand the impact of traffic-related air pollutants on wildlife health.

Type: Article
Title: Impact of exposure to urban air pollution on grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) lung health
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121312
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121312
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Traffic pollution, Lung disease, Tracheal disease, One health, DNA methylation, Wildlife health
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10167408
Downloads since deposit
9Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item