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Environmental research [journal]
- The extremely low-frequency magnetic field exposure differently affects the AMPAR and NMDAR subunit expressions in the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex and prefrontal cortex without effects on the rat spatial learning and memory. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Jul 18.:74-80.
In the present study, we investigated the effects of chronic exposure (14 and 28 days) to a 50Hz, 0.5mT extremely low-frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF) on the NMDAR and AMPAR subunit expressions and rat spatial learning and memory. Using the Western blotting method, we found ELF-MF exposure specifically decreased the expressions of GluA2 in the EC post 28 day exposure and GluA3 of AMPAR subunits in the PFC after 14 day exposure, while it did not affect the AMPAR subunit expression in the hippocampus at both time points. As for NMDAR subunits, 14 day ELF-MF exposure significantly increased the levels of GluN2A and GluN2B in the hippocampus. Moreover, the levels of GluN1 and GluN2A were enhanced in the EC and PFC after two weeks of ELF-MF exposure. Interestingly, 28 day ELF-MF exposure induced a different expression pattern for NMDAR subunits. The increased GluN2A expression observed at 14 day post ELF-MF exposure was recovered after prolonged exposure in the hippocampus and PFC. In the EC, the increased expression of GluN1 achieved to control level and, specifically, a decrease in GluN2A level was observed. Surprisingly, neither 14 nor 28 day ELF-MF did affect the rat spatial reference memory as assessed by water maze. These results indicate that the dynamic and brain-region specific changes in ionotropic glutamate receptor expression induced by ELF-MF are insufficient to influence the rat spatial learning ability.
- Cadmium exposure and neuropsychological development in school children in southwestern Spain. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Jul 18.:66-73.
This study assessed the association between cadmium exposure and neuropsychological development in children from a region with high industrial and mining activities in southwestern Spain. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 261 children aged 6-9 years between January and March 2012. Cadmium exposure was measured in urine and hair of children, and neuropsychological development was assessed with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition (WISC-IV) and with three computerized tests from the Behavioral Assessment and Research System (BARS): Reaction Time Test (RTT), Continuous Performance Test (CPT) and Selective Attention Test (SAT). Multivariate linear regression models, adjusted for potential confounders, were used to estimate the association between neuropsychological development and cadmium exposure measured in urine and hair samples. Geometric means of urine and hair cadmium levels were 0.75μg/g creatinine and 0.01μg/g, respectively. We observed that doubling of levels of cadmium in urine was associated with a reduction of two points (95% CI: -3.8 to -0.4) in the Full-Scale intelligence quotient (IQ) in boys. By domains, association was statistically significant for Verbal Comprehension (β=-2.0; p=0.04) and close to the significance level for Perceptual Reasoning (β=-1.8; p=0.06). Among girls, only Verbal Comprehension showed suggestive associations with cadmium exposure (β=-1.7; p=0.06). Cadmium exposure is associated with cognitive delays in boys in our region. Our results provide additional evidence of the neurotoxic effect of low-level postnatal cadmium exposure among children, and support the hypothesis of differences between sexes in the neurotoxic effect of metals on children.
- Risk-benefit of consuming Lake Erie fish. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Jul 18.:57-65.
Consumption of fish is promoted as a healthy way to obtain essential fatty acids (EFA) in the diet, yet the risk of ingesting harmful contaminants remains a concern. A recent study concluded that the risk-benefit of consuming fish from the North American Laurentian Great Lakes, which sustain important commercial and recreational fisheries, is currently unclear. We report the fatty acid (FA) content in skin-off fillets of fifteen fish species from Lake Erie and assess whether recommended dietary requirements for two EFA (EPA and DHA) can be met by safely consuming Lake Erie fishes, as an example of a risk-benefit analysis.A total of 146 samples were analyzed for FA and contaminant content. A simulated fish consumption advisory (maximum recommended number of meals per month, up to 32) was calculated for each sample, and used to calculate the maximum amount of EPA+DHA that would be consumed if the consumption advisory was followed.All fifteen species had nutritionally desirable PUFA:SAFA (>0.4) and n-3:n-6 (>1). Large, fatty species had the highest EPA+DHA content, but had the most restrictive consumption advisories due to high PCB concentrations. To minimize contaminant exposure while maximizing EPA+DHA intake, consumers should consider small lake whitefish and lake trout, small panfish species, and/or walleye. However, very few species had an EPA+DHA content sufficient to safely meet the highest dietary guidelines while following advisories.Consumption of certain Lake Erie fish, an important recreational and commercial fishery, within the limits of our simulated fish consumption advisories, can be a good supplemental source of beneficial n-3 long chain PUFA.
- A geographical comparison of chlorinated, brominated and fluorinated compounds in seabirds breeding in the eastern Canadian Arctic. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Jul 17.:46-56.
A suite of chlorinated, brominated and fluorinated organic contaminants were measured in livers of adult thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) and northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) from several locations in the eastern Canadian Arctic during 2007-2008. Thick-billed murres were collected from five colonies (Coats Island, Digges Island, Akpatok Island, Prince Leopold Island, Minarets) and northern fulmars from two colonies (Prince Leopold Island, Minarets). Legacy organochlorines (e.g. PCBs, DDT, chlorobenzenes, chlordanes) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) dominated the compositional profiles of the measured halogenated compounds in the livers of both species at all colonies. Among the murre colonies sampled, Prince Leopold Island birds generally had the highest mean concentrations of organochlorines, whereas the highest mean concentration of sum (Σ) polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) was found at the Minarets and the lowest at Prince Leopold Island. PBDEs were detected in only a few fulmar livers from the Minarets and in none of the fulmar livers from Prince Leopold Island. Mean PFOS concentrations were highest in both murre and fulmar livers at Prince Leopold Island. PFOS was approximately two orders of magnitude higher than the mean sum (Σ) perfluorinated carboxylate (PFCA) concentration in both species and at all colonies. The reasons for inter-colony and inter-species differences in contaminant liver levels are probably variable and complex, and likely reflect differences in contaminant transport and exposure pathways, as well as differences among colonies in their diets and overwintering areas. To our knowledge, this is the first spatial assessment of PBDEs, PFCAs and PFOS in seabirds from the Canadian Arctic.
- Genotoxic and mutagenic potential of nitramines. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Jul 17.:39-45.
Climate change is one of the major challenges in the world today. To reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere, CO2 at major sources, such as power plants, can be captured. Use of aqueous amine solutions is one of the most promising methods for this purpose. However, concerns have been raised regarding its impacts on human health and the environment due to the degradation products, such as nitrosamines and nitramines that may be produced during the CO2 capture process. While several toxicity studies have been performed investigating nitrosamines, little is known about the toxic potential of nitramines. In this study a preliminary screening was performed of the genotoxic and mutagenic potential of nitramines most likely produced during amine based CO2 capture; dimethylnitramine (DMA-NO2), methylnitramine (MA-NO2), ethanolnitramine (MEA-NO2), 2-methyl-2-(nitramino)-1-propanol (AMP-NO2) and piperazine nitramine (PZ-NO2), by the Bacterial Reverse Mutation (Ames) Test, the Cytokinesis Block Micronucleus (CBMN) Assay and the in vitro Single-Cell Gel Electrophoresis (Comet) Assay. MA-NO2 and MEA-NO2 showed mutagenic potential in the Ames test and a weak genotoxic response in the CBMN Assay. AMP-NO2 and PZ-NO2 significantly increased the amount of DNA strand breaks; however, the level of breaks was below background. Most previous studies on nitramines have been performed on DMA-NO2, which in this study appeared to be the least potent nitramine. Our results indicate that it is important to investigate other nitramines that are more likely to be produced during CO2 capture, to ensure that the risk is realistically evaluated.
- Low serum zinc is associated with elevated risk of cadmium nephrotoxicity. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Jul 17.:33-38.
Despite animal evidence suggests that zinc modulates cadmium nephrotoxicity, limited human data are available.To test the hypothesis that low serum zinc concentrations may increase the risk of cadmium-mediated renal dysfunction in humans.Data from 1545 subjects aged 20 or older in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2011-2012 were analyzed. Renal function was defined as impaired when estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) fell below 60ml/min/1.73m(2) and/or the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio surpassed 2.5 in men and 3.5mg/mmol in women.Within the study cohort, 117 subjects had reduced eGFR and 214 had elevated urinary albumin. After adjusting for potential confounders, subjects with elevated blood cadmium (>0.53μg/L) were more likely to have a reduced eGFR (odds ratio [OR]=2.21, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09-4.50) and a higher urinary albumin (OR=2.04, 95% CI: 1.13-3.69) than their low cadmium (<0.18μg/L) peers. In addition, for any given cadmium exposure, low serum zinc is associated with elevated risk of reduced eGFR (OR=3.38, 95% CI: 1.39-8.28). A similar increase in the odds ratio was observed between declining serum zinc and albuminuria but failed to reach statistical significance. Those with lower serum zinc/blood cadmium ratios were likewise at a greater risk of renal dysfunction (p<0.01).This study results suggest that low serum zinc concentrations are associated with an increased risk of cadmium nephrotoxicity. Elevated cadmium exposure is global public health issue and the assessment of zinc nutritional status may be an important covariate in determining its effective renal toxicity.
- Investigating the spill-over hypothesis: Analysis of the association between local inflammatory markers in sputum and systemic inflammatory mediators in plasma. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Jul 17.:24-32.
Exposure to air pollutants represents a risk factor not only for respiratory diseases and lung cancer, but also for cardiometabolic diseases. It has been hypothesised that local inflammation in the lung and systemic subclinical inflammation are linked by impaired lung function and the spill-over of proinflammatory factors from the lung into the circulation which could act as intermediaries between environmental exposures and disease risk. We wanted to investigate whether local and systemic inflammatory markers are associated, which would support the spill-over hypothesis. Sputum and plasma samples were obtained from 257 women of the German SALIA cohort. We performed immunoassays to measure multiple biomarkers of airway inflammation in sputum as well as cytokines, chemokines and soluble adhesion molecules in plasma. Correlations were calculated and adjusted for potentially confounding variables. Even though several significant associations were detected between inflammatory mediators in sputum and plasma, correlation coefficients were rather low ranging from r≥-0.20 to r≤0.20. Comparatively stronger associations were observed between nitrite, eosinophil cationic protein, leukotrienes C/D/E4 and interleukin-8 in sputum. Notably, correlations were positive with all proinflammatory biomarkers and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist in plasma, whereas negative correlations were observed with the anti-inflammatory adipokine adiponectin. In conclusion, local inflammation in the lung and systemic subclinical inflammation appear mainly independently regulated in elderly women from the general population. Although we found multiple significant correlations between inflammatory biomarkers in sputum and plasma, our results do not provide clear support for the spill-over hypothesis.
- Growth in Inuit children exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls and lead during fetal development and childhood. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Jul 17.:17-23.
Because of their geographical location and traditional lifestyle, Canadian Inuit children are highly exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead (Pb), environmental contaminants that are thought to affect fetal and child growth. We examined the associations of these exposures with the fetal and postnatal growth of Inuit children.We conducted a prospective cohort study among Inuit from Nunavik (Arctic Québec). Mothers were recruited at their first prenatal visit; children (n=290) were evaluated at birth and at 8-14 years of age. Concentrations of PCB 153 and Pb were determined in umbilical cord and child blood. Weight, height and head circumference were measured at birth and during childhood.Cord blood PCB 153 concentrations were not associated with anthropometric measurements at birth or school age, but child blood PCB 153 concentrations were associated with reduced weight, height and head circumference during childhood. There was no association between cord Pb levels and anthropometric outcomes at birth, but cord blood Pb was related to smaller height and shows a tendency of a smaller head circumference during childhood.Our results suggest that chronic exposure to PCBs during childhood is negatively associated with skeletal growth and weight, while prenatal Pb exposure is related to reduced growth during childhood. This study is the first to link prenatal Pb exposure to poorer growth in school-age children.
- Evaluation of carbon nanotubes network toxicity in zebrafish (danio rerio) model. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Environ Res 2014 Jul 17.:9-16.
This is a detailed in vivo study of the biological response to carbon nanotubes network as probed by the zebrafish model. First, we prepared pristine carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by methanol chemical vapor deposition in the presence of Mn and Co as catalysts, followed by purification in acid, which furnished curved tubes with diameters lying between 10 and 130nm. The CNT network consisted of pristine CNTs dispersed in water in the presence of a surfactant. The CNT network pellets corresponded to agglomerated multi-walled CNTs with an average diameter of about 500nm. Although the same pristine CNTs had been previously found to exert genotoxic effects in vitro, here we verified that the CNT network was not genotoxic in vivo. Indeed, Raman spectroscopy and microscopy conducted in the intestine of the zebrafish revealed complete clearance of the CNT network as well as minimal disturbances, such as aneurysms, hyperemia, and reversible inflammatory focus in the zebrafish gills.