Disputation: Vegard Sæter Grytting

PhD candidate Vegard Sæter Grytting at the Department of Biosciences will be defending the thesis "The pro-inflammatory effects of mineral  particles in cells of the human airways" for the degree of PhD.

Profile picture of Vegard Sæter Grytting

Vegard Sæter Grytting. Photo: private.

The trial lecture is: "Diseases and underlying mechanisms of general air pollution in other parts of the human body than the lungs".

Time and place: June 30, 2022 10:15 AM, Nucleus, Bikuben, The Kristine Bonnevie building.

Main research findings

Respirable mineral particles represent a potential health hazard in both environmental and occupational settings. While the adverse effects of minerals such as quartz and asbestos are well-characterized, the effects of other minerals have received considerably less attention. Furthermore, exposure to minerals may also occur in combination with other sources of particles, but the effect of combined exposure is not often systematically assessed. The main goal of this thesis was to characterize the pro-inflammatory effects of mineral particles in cell models relevant for airway exposure, as well as the effects of combined exposure to mineral particles and diesel exhaust particles, another important source of respirable particles. The results show that a variety of minerals may contribute to induce pro-inflammatory responses in cells of the human airways. The potency differed between samples of different mineralogical composition, suggesting that minerals represent a variable health hazard. Moreover, mineral particles were shown to enhance the effects of diesel exhaust particles, which may represent a hitherto underappreciated role for minerals in the effects of more complex mixtures of particles. The results of the thesis add to the knowledge regarding the potential toxicity of mineral particles in the human airways and the cellular mechanisms involved.

Adjudication committee

Dr Roel Schins, Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine

Professor Emeritus Asbjørn M Nilsen, NTNU

Professor Katrine Borgå, University of Oslo

Chair of defence

Professor Alexander Eiler, University of Oslo


Marit Låg, Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Magne Refsnes, Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Johan Øvrevik, University of Oslo and Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Published June 16, 2022 9:59 AM - Last modified Sep. 16, 2022 10:57 AM