Linking PAH Exposure to Health Outcomes Using Human Primary In Vitro Models

Project Leaders:  Susan Tilton and Dave Williams


The Tilton team is acquiring critical information about the toxicity of diverse PAHs and mixtures in a human-relevant, metabolically competent in vitro respiratory model.  The research team will quantify the toxicity of PAHs and PAH mixtures in the human bronchial epithelial cell (HBEC) model, assess the role of metabolism on the toxicity of individual PAHs in 3D HBEC, and elucidate the mechanisms of PAH toxicity.

Research Questions: How do individual PAHs contribute to toxicity in mixtures?  What is the link between chemical exposure and toxicity in an in vitro organotypic respiratory model?

Connecting Research across the Center: The Tilton research team collaborates with Dr. Anderson on work at the Portland Harbor Superfund Site (PHSS), McCormick & Baxter, the Port of St. Helens, with regional Tribes, and Oregon DEQ. Anderson measures PAH composition, environmental flow, and the success of remediation; Tanguay assesses the toxicity of individual PAHs and mixtures. Tilton will collaborate with Simonich to provide pre- and post-remediation respiratory toxicology data to Superfund site managers.