Vascular endothelium as a target tissue for short-term exposure to low-frequency noise that increases cutaneous blood flow

Yuqi Deng, Nobutaka Ohgami, Takumi Kagawa, Fitri Kurniasari, Dijie Chen, Masashi Kato, Akira Tazaki, Masayo Aoki, Hiroki Katsuta, Keming Tong, Yishuo Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Harmful health effects of exposure to low-frequency noise (LFN) defined as noise with frequencies at ≤100 Hz on the circulatory system have been a concern. However, there has been no study on the effects of exposure to LFN on the circulatory system with consideration of its frequencies and decibels. In this study, the effects of short-term exposure to broad-band LFNs and their pure-tone components (pure-tone LFNs) on cutaneous blood flow in the extremities including the hands were investigated. In our fieldwork study, we first sampled some kinds of common broad-band LFNs. Our human study then showed that broad-band LFN with a narrower frequency range more strongly increased cutaneous blood flow than did broad-band LFN with a wider frequency range. Pure-tone LFNs of 70–100 Hz at ≤85 dB(Z), but not pure-tone LFNs exceeding 100 Hz, further increased levels of cutaneous blood flow. Our wavelet-transform spectrum analysis of cutaneous blood flow next revealed that the nitric oxide (NO)-dependent and -independent vascular activities of the vascular endothelium were specifically increased by exposure to pure-tone LFN. Our animal study again indicated that exposure to pure-tone LFN increased cutaneous blood flow in mice with impairments of bilateral inner ears as well as cutaneous blood flow in control mice, suggesting a limited effect of inner ear function on the LFN-mediated increase in cutaneous blood flow. The NO-dependent suppressive effect of pure-tone LFN on cutaneous blood flow was confirmed by inhibition of vascular endothelial activity through intravenous injection of an NO inhibitor in wild-type mice. Taken together, the results of this study demonstrated that the vascular endothelium is a target tissue of LFN and that NO is an effector of the LFN-mediated increase in cutaneous blood flow. Since improvement of peripheral circulation could generally promote human health, short-term exposure to LFN may be beneficial for health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number158828
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 10-12-2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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