Fate of transition metals in PO₄-based in vitro assays: equilibrium modeling and macroscopic studies
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Type of Work34 pages
Citation of Original PublicationReed, Brian E., Jayashree Yalamanchili, Jennie B. Leach, and Christopher J. Hennigan. “Fate of Transition Metals in PO₄-Based in Vitro Assays: Equilibrium Modeling and Macroscopic Studies.” Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 23, no. 1 (February 4, 2021): 160–69. https://doi.org/10.1039/D0EM00405G.
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Transition metals are thought to be among the most toxic components in atmospheric particulate matter (PM) due to their role in catalyzing reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. We show that precipitation of the transition metals Fe(II), Fe(III), and Mn(II) are thermodynamically favored in phosphate-based assays used to measure the oxidative potential (OP) – a surrogate for toxicity – of PM. Fe and Mn precipitation is likely to occur at extremely low metal concentrations (<0.5 μM), levels that are imperceptible to the naked eye. The concentration of each metal (other than Cu) in aqueous PM filter extracts often exceeds the solubility limit in OP assays, indicating favorable thermodynamic conditions for precipitation. Macroscopic experimental results at higher metal concentrations (>100 μM) with visible precipitates provide quasi-validation of the thermodynamic modeling. Oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III) is likely to be rapid in all in vitro OP assays, transforming Fe to a much less soluble form. Fe precipitates are likely to increase the rate of precipitation of other metals and possibly induce co-precipitation. These results have direct relevance for all PO₄-based assays; the implications for studies of PM toxicity are discussed.