Publications by authors named "Lailai Yan"

46 Publications

The Correlation Between Potential "Anti- Cancer" Trace Elements and the Risk of Breast Cancer: A Case-Control Study in a Chinese Population.

Front Oncol 2021 10;11:646534. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (SWU), Faculty of Psychology, Ministry of Education, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.

Backgrounds: Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease without clear pathogenesis and effective primary prevention. The "anti-cancer" effects of several trace elements have received increasing attention in recent years. The main purpose of current study is to explore the differences of three potential "anti-cancer" trace elements selenium (Se), molybdenum (Mo), and strontium (Sr) between patients with malignant breast tumors and healthy controls.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study in 45 patients with malignant breast tumors as cases and 95 healthy volunteers as controls from Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, China. The serum concentrations of trace elements were evaluated by using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).

Results: The cases may have a lower Se levels when compared with controls (cases: 106.22 ng/ml, SD: 20.95 ng/ml; controls: 117.02 ng/ml, IQR: 22.79 ng/ml, p = 0.014). High levels of Se were a protective factor from breast cancer after adjusting the potential confounders of age, BMI, smoking, drinking, and menopause status (OR = 0.395, 95% CI, 0.178, 0.877, = 0.023). The levels of Sr were lower in cases with high histologic grade when compared to low histologic grade (low histologic grade: 49.83 ng/ml, IQR: 41.35-62.60 ng/ml; high histologic grade: 40.19 ng/ml, IQR: 39.24-47.16 ng/ml, < 0.05).

Conclusions: Our findings herein supported that Se has protective effects to avoid malignant breast tumors and Sr has protective effects to avoid poorly differentiated malignant breast tumors. Exploring "anti-cancer" related trace elements and their associations with breast cancer will assist for the early prevention and intervention for the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.646534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8383177PMC
August 2021

Associations between endocrine-disrupting heavy metals in maternal hair and gestational diabetes mellitus: A nested case-control study in China.

Environ Int 2021 Jul 24;157:106770. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health, Peking University/ Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, Beijing 100191, PR China; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China.

Background: Exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors (EDCs) may lead to abnormal glucose metabolism and, potentially, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Objective: We investigated the association between five endocrine-disrupting heavy metals (EDHMs), i.e., arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and tin (Sn), in maternal hair and the risk of GDM.

Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study including 335 GDM cases and 343 controls without GDM based on a prospective birth cohort established in Beijing, China. Concentrations of EDHMs were analyzed in maternal hair. Log-binomial regression and multiple linear regression were used to estimate the associations between the hair concentrations of single metals and the risk of GDM, while weighted quantile sum (WQS) regression for their mixed effects.

Results: The median concentrations of Hg (0.442 vs. 0.403 μg/g) and Sn (0.171 vs. 0.140 μg/g) in the case group were significantly higher than those in the control group. No differences were found between the two groups for the other three metals. After adjusting for confounders, the prevalence ratio (PR; highest vs. lowest tertile) of GDM risk for Hg was 1.27 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.05-1.54), while that for Sn was 1.26 (95% CI: 1.04-1.53). Among women with a body mass index < 24 kg/m, the PR (highest vs. lowest tertile) of GDM for Sn was 1.38 (95% CI: 1.09-1.75). The effect of exposure to the five EDHMs on the risk of GDM was estimated by WQS regression: Sn and Hg made the largest contributions to the WQS index (40.9% and 40.3%, respectively).

Conclusion: High maternal levels of EDHMs, particularly Sn and Hg, may promote the development of GDM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106770DOI Listing
July 2021

The changes of essential trace elements in residents from an e-waste site and the relationships between elements and hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Oct 15;222:112513. Epub 2021 Jul 15.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Criteria and Risk Assessment, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China. Electronic address:

The heavy metals pollution and related health issues were widely reported in e-waste sites, while the impacts of e-waste exposure on the essential trace elements have been neglected. The aim of this study was focused on the internal Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn levels in the residents from an e-waste site and the potential endocrine disrupting effects of these essential trace elements on the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. This was a cross-sectional study that 87 subjects were recruited from the e-waste site and 81 from the reference site. The results indicated that the e-waste exposed group had significantly lower Fe, Mn level when compared with the reference group (p < 0.05). Cu and Zn were also lower in the exposed group but the differences were not statistically significant. The exposed group had significantly higher TSH level and Fe was significantly associated with TSH in the females (β (95% CI): - 1.892 (-3.309, -0.475), p = 0.009), rather than in males or all subjects. The exposed group also showed oxidative stress which was indicated by the increased concentrations of MDA and 8-iso-PG. It was further indicated the elevated MDA was mediated by the increase of TSH in the females but not directly related to Fe. In conclusion, the e-waste exposed group showed a decrease of essential trace elements, an increase of TSH and oxidative stress. The decreased Fe was related to the elevated TSH in the females, which further indirectly mediated the increase of oxidative stress. The results suggested that the internal exposure levels and the potential health effects of the essential trace elements in populations from e-waste sites should be of more concern. And the women might be more vulnerable and they need more protection to against the adverse health effects from e-waste.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112513DOI Listing
October 2021

Associations between blood heavy metal(loid)s and serum heme oxygenase-1 in pregnant women: Do their distribution patterns matter?

Environ Pollut 2021 Oct 29;286:117249. Epub 2021 Apr 29.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health, Peking University/ Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, Beijing, 100191, PR China; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100191, PR China.

The relationship between heavy metal(loid)s exposure and oxidative stress damage is a matter of research interest. Our study aimed to investigate the distribution patterns of the nine heavy metal(loid)s in blood of pregnant women, including four toxic heavy metal(loid)s [arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg)] and five typical heavy metal(loid)s [manganese (Mn), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and selenium (Se)] in blood. Blood samples of 348 women were collected and their concentrations in the serum (sr) and blood cells (bc) were measured, as well as serum heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) (an oxidative stress marker). Total blood (tb) concentrations of these metal(loid)s and serum-to-blood cell concentration ratios (sr/bc) were further calculated. We found Cu mainly accumulated in the serum compared to the blood cells with Cu = 2.30, whereas Co, Se, and As evenly distributed between these two fractions. Other metal(loid)s mainly concentrated in the blood cells. Co, Cu, Cu, Mn, Zn, Cd, Co, Cu, Mn, Zn, Cd, and Cu were negatively associated with serum HO-1, whereas As, As, As, Zn, Cd, and Hg were positively, indicating of their potential toxicity. We concluded that the distribution patterns of blood heavy metal(loid)s, in particular for Cd, Hg and Zn, which either increased in serum or decreased in blood cells, might be associated with elevated serum oxidative stress, should be considered in environmental health assessments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117249DOI Listing
October 2021

Distribution of mercury in serum and blood cells and risk of spontaneous preterm birth: A nested case-control study in China.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jul 20;217:112228. Epub 2021 Apr 20.

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, PR China. Electronic address:

The relationship between maternal mercury (Hg) intake and the risk of spontaneous preterm birth (SPB) remains unclear. We conducted a nested case-control study from a prospective cohort in Shanxi Province, China, to explore their associations. In total, 126 pregnant women with SPB (cases) and 348 controls with term delivery were included. We measured the Hg concentrations in their serum (Hg) and blood cell (Hg) fractions and calculated the concentration ratio of Hg in serum to Hg in blood cells (Hg). We found that only the Hg in the case group was slightly higher than that in control group. The OR of Hg associated with SPB risk was 1.57 [95%CI: 0.99-2.46] with adjusting confounders. After stratification by sampling time, the association above was only statistically significant in the first trimester. High Hg may increase the risk of SPB in the first trimester among women with relatively low Hg exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112228DOI Listing
July 2021

Patterns and Determinants of Essential and Toxic Elements in Chinese Women at Mid-Pregnancy, Late Pregnancy, and Lactation.

Nutrients 2021 Feb 19;13(2). Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health/Ministry of Health Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China.

Maternal status of essential and toxic elements affects the health of the mother, developing fetus, or breastfeeding infant. However, few studies have examined the patterns of these elements and their determinants in pregnant or lactating women. Plasma samples of 1211 healthy mid-pregnant, late pregnant, and lactating women enrolled in coastland, lakeland, and inland areas of China from May-July 2014, were analyzed for concentrations of 15 elements, using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The adjusted median concentrations of elements varied by physiologic stage and region. Lactating versus pregnant women showed higher concentrations of Zn, Cr, Mo, Ni, Sb, Cd and Pb, but lower concentrations of Cu, I, Al and Hg. In pregnant women, the concentrations of Fe, Zn, I, Mo, Ni, Al, Hg and Cd were higher in mid- versus late-pregnancy. Overall, the highest concentrations were observed in Zn, I, Mn, Al, and Pb in coastland, in Hg in lakeland, and in Fe in inland area. Element concentrations varied by maternal age, pre-pregnancy BMI, education, parity, delivery mode, feeding practice, and intakes of aquatic products and mutton. In conclusion, essential and toxic elements coexisted in pregnant and lactating women, and their concentrations varied by physiologic stages, regions, maternal socio-demographic characteristics and dietary factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13020668DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922563PMC
February 2021

Environmental titanium exposure and reproductive health: Risk of low birth weight associated with maternal titanium exposure from a nested case-control study in northern China.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jan 18;208:111632. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health, Peking University/Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, Beijing 100191, PR China; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China.

Titanium (Ti) is commonly used in additives in the form of titanium dioxide (TiO). However, our understanding of the effect of Ti on reproductive health remains limited. This nested case-control study, performed in a Ti mining exposure field, investigated the association between maternal blood Ti concentration and the risk of low birth weight (LBW), as well as the potential biological mechanism. A total of 45 women who delivered LBW infants (cases) and 352 women with normal birth weight infants (controls) were included. We collected maternal peripheral blood samples in the first or early second trimester to measure Ti concentration in serum (Ti) and blood cells (Ti), as well as inflammatory, lipid, and oxidative stress biomarkers thereof. The demographic characteristics of the women included in the study were also obtained. The results showed that the median total blood Ti concentration (Ti) in the case group was significantly higher than that in the control group (134 vs. 129 ng/mL, P = 0.039). A higher Ti level was associated with a greater risk of LBW [odds ratio = 2.62; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.16-5.90], but no such association was observed for Ti or Ti after adjusting for potential confounders. The serum lipid biomarkers TC, TG, and total lipids (TL) were all negatively associated with Ti and Ti. Serum 8-OHdG was positively associated with Ti. We concluded that a high Ti during early pregnancy may increase the risk of LBW. Lipid metabolism and oxidative stress may play an important role in the adverse health effects associated with Ti exposure. Thus, our results merit more attention to the probable adverse effects of titanium exposure during pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111632DOI Listing
January 2021

Association between exposure of light rare earth elements and outcomes of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer in North China.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 20;762:143106. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China; Institute of Reproductive and Child Health, School of Public Health Peking University Beijing 100191, PR China; Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China, Beijing 100191, PR China. Electronic address:

The adverse health effects of rare earth elements (REEs) on reproductive health remain a subject of debate, and few clinical observations are available. This study investigated the association between light REEs (LREEs) exposure and the outcome of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET). We recruited a total of 305 women undergoing IVF-ET in Beijing City and Shandong Province of northern China. Their demographic information and lifestyle characteristics were collected using questionnaires at enrollment. Fasting blood samples were collected on the day before the IVF-ET treatment cycle began. Serum concentrations of the LREEs of concern were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, and four LREEs were measured with a high detection rate, including lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), praseodymium (Pr), and neodymium (Nd). We found that a higher serum La concentration was associated with a 30% increased likelihood of clinical pregnancy failure [relative risk (RR) = 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00-1.67] and a 230% increased likelihood of preclinical spontaneous abortion (RR = 3.30, 95% CI: 1.57-6.94). There was a negative correlation between serum La concentration and the number of good-quality oocytes. For the other LREEs, no statistically significant associations were observed. We concluded that a high serum La concentration may have an adverse effect on IVF-ET outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143106DOI Listing
March 2021

Acyl-Carnitine plasma levels and their association with metabolic syndrome in individuals with schizophrenia.

Psychiatry Res 2020 11 17;293:113458. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Department of Laboratorial Science and Technology, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, P. R. China; Medical and Health Analysis Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, P. R. China; Vaccine Research Center, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, P. R. China. Electronic address:

The metabolic syndrome (MetS) affects individuals with schizophrenia at a higher rate when compared to individuals in the general population. Accumulating evidence indicated that subjects with MetS generally manifest elevated levels of acyl-carnitines, which are important carriers for transporting fatty acyl group. Abnormalities of acyl-carnitines in individuals with schizophrenia with or without MetS had not been sufficiently characterized. We conducted this post-hoc analysis with our published data to further evaluate the differences of 29 acyl-carnitines in 46 individuals with schizophrenia with MetS and 123 without MetS. The rate of MetS was 27.2% (46/169) in the individuals with schizophrenia. After FDR correction, the individuals with schizophrenia and MetS showed significantly higher levels of 17 plasma acyl-carnitines, compared to individuals without MetS. Eight acyl-carnitines (i.e., C3, C4, C5, C6: 1, C10: 1, C10: 2, C14: 2-OH, C16: 2-OH) were significantly different between two groups after adjusting for age and sex. The correlation analysis reported that acyl-carnitine concentrations have potential correlations with certain metabolic parameters. Our findings provide valuable new clues for exploring the roles of acyl-carnitines in the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia. More data and molecular biology evidences are needed to replicate our findings and elucidate relevant mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113458DOI Listing
November 2020

Effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on nutrient absorption and metabolism in rats: distinguishing the susceptibility of amino acids, metal elements, and glucose.

Nanotoxicology 2020 12 15;14(10):1301-1323. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, PR China.

Food grade titanium dioxide (TiO) containing nanofractions, is commonly applied to whiten and brighten food products, which put consumers under health risks of ingesting TiO nanoparticles (NPs). Although the oral toxicity of TiO-NPs has been evaluated in several studies, gaps in knowledge exist regarding interactions between NPs and food components. Therefore, this study aimed to estimate the influence of TiO-NPs on nutrient absorption and metabolism through an intestinal loop experiment which conducted on adult (SD) rats after 30-d gastrointestinal exposure to TiO-NPs of two different sizes (N-TiO and M-TiO). Results showed that exposure to TiO-NPs caused flat apical membranes with sparse and short microvilli and inflammatory infiltration in small intestine. Both particles were absorbed into small intestinal cells, but N-TiO with smaller size could more easily be transported through gut and raise the blood titanium (Ti) levels. Changes in serum levels of amino acid were also different after exposure to these two particles. After injecting mixed solution of nutrients into intestinal loop, the N-TiO exposure groups displayed significant absorption inhibition of the added histidine (His) and metabolism disorder of some non-added amino acid. However, no influence was observed on metal elements or glucose levels. This study identified TiO-NPs with small sizes could affect nutrient absorption and metabolism by inducing intestinal epithelium injury, and amino acids were more susceptible than metal elements and glucose. These findings suggested that foods supplemented with TiO-NPs should be carefully consumed by people with high protein requirements, such as children, the elderly, and patients with high metabolic disease or intestinal inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17435390.2020.1817597DOI Listing
December 2020

Circulating lead modifies hexavalent chromium-induced genetic damage in a chromate-exposed population: An epidemiological study.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jan 21;752:141824. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Department of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China. Electronic address:

Chromium (Cr) can coexist with other heavy metals in the blood of chronically chromate-exposed individuals. However, few studies have explored the health impacts of other hazardous metals after exposure to hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)]. This study aimed to assess the modification effects of blood lead (Pb) on the genetic damage induced by Cr(VI). During 2010-2019, 1000 blood samples were collected from 455 workers exposed to chromate and 545 workers not exposed to chromate from the same factory with similar labor intensity. The levels of Cr and Pb were measured in whole blood samples. Micronucleus frequency (MNF) and urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) were measured to reflect different types of genetic damage. Multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the associations between hazardous metals and the modification effects of Pb on genetic damage. The geometric mean levels of Cr and Pb in the exposure group were significantly higher than those in the control group [Cr: 6.42 (6.08- 6.79) vs. 1.29 (1.22- 1.36) μg/L; Pb: 38.82 (37.22- 40.50) vs. 34.47 (33.15- 35.85) μg/L]. The geometric means of urinary 8-OHdG and MNF in exposure group were 4.00 (3.64- 4.40) μg/g and 5.40 (4.89- 5.97) ‰, respectively, significantly higher than the 3.20 (2.94- 3.48) μg/g and 4.57 (4.15- 5.03) ‰, respectively, in control group. logCr was independently and positively associated with urinary 8-OHdG (β = 0.143, 95% CI: 0.082- 0.204) and MNF (β = 0.303, 95%CI: 0.020- 0.587). With the change in circulating Pb levels, the types of genetic damage induced by Cr(VI) were different. At low levels of circulating Pb (<30.80 μg/L), chromate mainly caused changes in 8-OHdG, while at high circulating Pb levels (≥44.88 μg/L), chromate induced alterations in MNF. The findings suggested that chromate exposure could cause multiple types of genetic damage, and circulating Pb might modify the association between circulating Cr and the form of genetic damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141824DOI Listing
January 2021

Trace elements differences in the depression sensitive and resilient rat models.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2020 08 22;529(2):204-209. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality, Faculty of Psychology, Ministry of Education, Southwest University, Chongqing, 400715, PR China. Electronic address:

The etiology and pathophysiology of depressive disorders remain unclear. Increasing evidences have demonstrated that trace elements such as zinc, magnesium, iron, calcium, selenium, manganese and chromium play vital roles in depressive symptoms. We used a Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress (CUMS) model to simulate social pressure in rat model and compared the levels of trace elements in the plasma and brain. The concentrations trace elements were evaluated using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry or inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry. In the CUMS model, 57% (12/21) of rats showed no significant decrease in sucrose preference and were grouped as CUMS-resilient; otherwise, CUMS-sensitive. The resilient group had higher levels of iron, sodium, sulfur, manganese and cobalt than the sensitive group in the brain samples (P < 0.05). The sensitive group had lower levels of calcium, potassium, sulfur, selenium and cobalt than the resilient groups, in the plasma samples. The higher levels of iron, calcium, selenium, manganese and cobalt in the resilient group indicated these trace elements might be protective against the development of depressive symptoms in response to stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2020.05.228DOI Listing
August 2020

Association between Serum Essential Metal Elements and the Risk of Schizophrenia in China.

Sci Rep 2020 07 3;10(1):10875. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Central Laboratory of School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100191, China.

Numerous essential metal elements (EMEs) are necessary to maintain the proper function of human body. In this case-control study, we investigated the associations of 11 EMEs [Calcium (Ca), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), manganese (Mn), selenium (Se), cobalt (Co), Molybdenum (Mo), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and iron (Fe)] in serum with the risk of schizophrenia. We recruited first-episode and drug-naïve schizophrenic patients (cases = 99) and age-sex-matched normal subjects (controls = 99) from Tangshan, Hebei Province, China. The 11 EMEs in serum from cases and controls were quantified by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We observed that a higher level of Mn (OR = 2.390; 95%CI: 1.504-3.796) and lower levels of Ca (OR = 0.939; 95%CI: 0.890-0.990), Mg (OR = 0.806; 95%CI: 0.669-0.972), Na (OR = 0.995; 95%CI: 0.993-0.998), and Se (OR = 0.954; 95%CI: 0.937-0.972) were associated with an elevated risk of schizophrenia. Dose-response relationships between serum EME concentrations and the risk of schizophrenia were observed in most of the schizophrenia-associated EMEs. Moreover, the serum concentrations of these schizophrenia-associated EMEs in patients were correlated with the severity of their clinical symptoms. Significant correlations were found between EMEs and biomarkers associated with schizophrenia related to metabolic and oxidative stress. This study suggested that the concentration and profile of EMEs were different between schizophrenic patients and normal controls and revealed potential metabolisms associated with EMEs and schizophrenia, suggesting EMEs might act as biomarkers of schizophrenia to improve the current situation of diagnosis and treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-66496-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7335092PMC
July 2020

. Extracts Protect H9c2 Cardiomyocytes against HO-Induced Apoptosis and Oxidative Stress.

Biomed Res Int 2020 2;2020:8379358. Epub 2020 May 2.

School of Public Health, Baotou Medical College, Baotou 014060, China.

Materials And Methods: The petroleum ether (petrol), dichloromethane (CHCl), ethyl acetate (EtOAc), and n-butyl alcohol (n-BuOH) fractions were isolated from alcohol extracts of . . Total phenolic and flavonoid contents and antioxidant activities of different fractions were evaluated. H9c2 cells were then treated with . . extracts before challenging with HO. Cell viability was determined by colorimetric assay, and ELISA was used to measure the levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), malondialdehyde (MDA), and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Apoptosis levels and mitochondrial membrane potential were measured by flow cytometry. The expressions of cell apoptosis regulatory proteins caspase-3, Bax, and Bcl-2 were determined by western blotting.

Results: Our results demonstrated that the EtOAc fraction from . ethanol extract, which is rich in phenolic and flavonoid active constituents, had the strongest free radical scavenging activity. Additionally, this fraction increased HO-induced reduction in cell viability, SOD activity, and mitochondrial membrane potential. It also reduced HO-induced elevation in ROS production, contents of LDH and MDA, and H9c2 apoptosis. We further found that the EtOAc fraction increased Bcl-2 expression, while it decreased caspase-3 and Bax expressions induced by HO in H9c2 cells.

Conclusions: Our data revealed that the EtOAc fraction from . ethanol extract ameliorates HO-induced cardiotoxicity via antiapoptotic and antioxidant mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2020/8379358DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7222556PMC
February 2021

Maternal serum level of manganese, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and risk of spontaneous preterm birth: A nested case-control study in China.

Environ Pollut 2020 Jul 19;262:114187. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health, Peking University/ Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, Beijing, 100191, PR China; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100191, PR China.

Manganese (Mn) is an essential trace element, but an excess or accumulation can be toxic. Until now, few studies have examined the effects of maternal Mn level on the risk of spontaneous preterm birth (SPB). The aims of this study were to examine the association between maternal Mn level and the risk of SPB at the early stage of pregnancy, and investigate whether this association was modified by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). We conducted a nested case-control study in three maternal and child health care hospitals in Shanxi province, China, from December 2009 to December 2013. From an overall cohort of 4229 women, 528 were included in our study, including 147 cases of SPB and 381 controls. Maternal blood samples were collected during 4-22 gestational weeks. The maternal serum concentrations of Mn was measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. We found the maternal Mn concentration in the case group (median: 1.55 ng/mL) was significantly higher than that in the control group (median: 1.27 ng/mL). Compared to the lowest level, the SPB risk was significantly increased to 1.44 (95%CI: 0.60-3.43), 2.42 (95%CI: 1.06-5.55) and 2.46 (95%CI: 1.08-5.62) respectively for the second, third and fourth quartiles in first trimester, but not significant in second trimester or overall. When exposure to a high Mn level, women who with AA (6.36, 95%CI: 1.57-25.71) and AG (3.04, 95%CI: 1.59-5.80) of rs2758352, with CC (2.34, 95%CI: 1.31-4.18) of rs699473, and with GG (2.26, 95%CI: 1.22-4.16) of rs769214 were more likely to develop a SPB, but not among women with other genotypes. In conclusion, high maternal serum Mn level is associated with the increased SPB risk in first trimester, and the association is modified by maternal SNPs of SOD2, SOD3 and CAT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114187DOI Listing
July 2020

Rare earth elements exposure and the alteration of the hormones in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis of the residents in an e-waste site: A cross-sectional study.

Chemosphere 2020 Aug 13;252:126488. Epub 2020 Mar 13.

Department of Laboratorial Science and Technology, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100191, PR China. Electronic address:

Rare earth elements (REEs) are widely used in electronic products. But the contaminations of REEs in the e-waste sites and the related health effects were barely investigated. In the present study, we analyzed the concentrations of REEs and the hormones of the HPT axis in plasma of subjects recruited from an e-waste area and a reference area in Taizhou, China. The results showed that the concentrations of several REEs like La, Ce were much higher in the exposed group than in the control group (all p < 0.001). The thyroid hormones, FT3 and FT4, and TRH showed no significant difference between the two groups, while the concentration of TSH was significantly higher in the exposed group when compared to the control group (p = 0.002). Separate regression analysis indicated that elevated La and Ce levels were associated with higher TSH concentrations. MDA and 8-iso, the biomarkers of oxidative stress, were also significantly higher in the exposed group than that of the control group (p = 0.002 and p = 0.003, respectively). The increased oxidative stress might be the mechanism underlying the disruptive effects of REEs on TSH. Our results indicated that the quantities of internal exposure of REEs in the subjects in the e-waste area were considerable and the compositional profile of the REEs in the exposed group was different from the control group due to the e-waste dismantling. The expression of TSH were also affected by high La and Ce exposure which showed an endocrine disruption effects of REEs on HPT axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.126488DOI Listing
August 2020

Environmental complex exposure and the risk of influenza-like illness among housewives: A case study in Shanxi Province, China.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2020 May 9;194:110405. Epub 2020 Mar 9.

Reproductive Medical Center, Peking University People's Hospital, Beijing, 100044, PR China. Electronic address:

The association between environmental pollution and risk of influenza-like illness (ILI) among general population has been reported. However, the relationships between the individual pollutants and ILI risk are still under discussion. Our study aimed to explore the associations of the typical environmental polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metal(loid)s with ILI risk among women population. We carried out a cross-sectional study and included a total of 396 housewives in Shanxi Province, China. The information on their general characteristics and ILI frequency was collected by questionnaire. We collected their hair samples and analyzed the concentrations of PAHs and various metal(loid)s. The results indicated that only acenaphthylene concentration of the nine detected PAH congeners in the hair was significantly associated with ILI risk with adjusted odds ratio (AOR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) of 0.58 (0.38 - 0.91). Among the concerned 4 toxic metal(loid)s and 15 rare earth elements, only the hair concentration of arsenic had a positive dose-response relationship with ILI risk. In addition, we found that there were negative dose-response associations of the three essential trace elements (i.e. chromium, cobalt, and nickel), and four essential alkaline earth elements (i.e. magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium) with ILI risk. It was concluded that the environmental exposure to certain compounds of housewives may contribute to their ILI development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.110405DOI Listing
May 2020

Association of alkali metals and Alkaline-earth metals with the risk of schizophrenia in a Chinese population: A Case-Control study.

J Trace Elem Med Biol 2020 Jul 27;60:126478. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Department of Laboratorial Science and Technology, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China; Medical and Health Analysis Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China; Vaccine Research Center, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China. Electronic address:

Alkali metals (AMs) and alkali earth metals (AEMs) affect levels and signaling of neurotransmitters, which potentially play a role in the etiology of schizophrenia (SCZ). The current case-control study aims to explore how AMs [i.e. Potassium (K), sodium (Na), rubidium (Rb), cesium (Cs)] and AEMs [i.e. magnesium (Mg), calcium (Ca), strontium (Sr), barium (Ba)] in serum could associate with SCZ. One hundred and five inpatients with SCZ and 106 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HCs) were recruited from Weifang, China. Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES) was used to evaluate serum concentrations of Na, K, Ca, Mg and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) was for Rb, Cs, Sr, Ba. Subjects with SCZ had significantly higher Mg and Sr serum concentrations than HCs (20.86 vs. 19.73 μg/mL of Mg, p < 0.001; 53.14 vs. 42.26 ng/mL of Sr, p < 0.001). After adjusting for confounders, the odds ratio of Mg and Sr remain significantly higher in the SCZ group (Mg: OR = 2.538, 95 % CI: 1.254-5.136, p=0.010; Sr: OR = 3.798, 95 % CI: 1.769-8.153, p = 0.001). No significant differences between SCZ subjects and HCs were observed for other AMs and AEMs. Higher serum concentrations of Mg and Sr were associated with SCZ. Studies are suggested to find the related mechanisms and provide clues for pathogenesis of SCZ, which would impact prevention and treatments of SCZ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtemb.2020.126478DOI Listing
July 2020

External interference from ambient air pollution on using hair metal(loid)s for biomarker-based exposure assessment.

Environ Int 2020 04 24;137:105584. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health, Peking University/Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, Beijing 100191, PR China; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China. Electronic address:

Hair metal(loid)s are often measured as biomarkers to evaluate population internal exposure, however, hair samples could be easily contaminated by ambient particulate matter (PM) pollution. Here, we evaluated the potential external interference from ambient PM pollution on using hair metal(loid)s for population biomarker-based exposure assessment. The raw hair samples were strictly washed and placed under various indoor and outdoor scenarios for ~6 months at sites with high PM pollution. The contaminated hair was then washed using the same method. A total of 33 hair elements were quantified by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The surface residual PM on hair after washing was observed by scanning electron microscopy. In addition, we chose a practical exposure scenario including 77 housewives in Shanxi Province, China for validation. The results for the hair exposure experiment revealed that external contamination of some elements that had relatively high concentrations in hair was generally mild in both indoor and outdoor exposure scenarios (i.e., Zn, Mg, Se, Fe, Sr, Ti, Mn, Sn, Ge, U, Co, Mo, and As). A relatively higher external contamination of other elements (e.g., Al, Cr, Pb, Cd, Li, and most rare earth elements (REEs)) was observed, especially for those elements with relatively low hair concentrations (e.g., Cd, and REEs) in the outdoor environment. This finding was due mainly to some small ambient PM not being fully removed by the current washing strategy when the hair sample was heavily contaminated. However, results from practical exposure scenario of the housewives showed that there were overall no significant differences of hair metal(loid)s between the housewives using coal and clean energy for cooking. We concluded that the external interference on hair internal metal(loid) analysis could be negligible when hair was efficiently washed, especially for population with relatively longer indoor activities. It is therefore promising to use hair analysis for their population exposure assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.105584DOI Listing
April 2020

Simultaneous analysis of typical halogenated endocrine disrupting chemicals and metal(loid)s in human hair.

Sci Total Environ 2020 May 13;718:137300. Epub 2020 Feb 13.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China.

Hair analysis has been an important approach in evaluating population exposure to various environmental factors. To meet the requirements of human environmental epidemiology studies, we aimed to develop an efficient method for simultaneous analysis of various metal(loid)s and some typical environmental halogenated endocrine disrupting chemicals (hEDCs) (i.e., polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and organochlorine pesticides, as well as some of their hydroxyl substituted metabolites) in a single hair sample. The hair was washed successively with surfactant solutions, methanol solvent, and deionized water to remove impurities attached to the hair surface. Efficiency was comprehensively compared among various washing strategies. The hair sample was further pulverized into fine powder with a median diameter (25th-75th percentile) of 8.6 (5.9-13.5) μm. The hair organic components were extracted by acetonitrile solvent and compared with the microwave-assisted extraction method. The hEDCs in the supernatant acetonitrile phase were quantified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and the metal(loid)s in the precipitate hair were further analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Our developed method was further applied to analyze the hair samples of 165 pregnant women. The results showed that particles attached to the surface of the hair could not be washed off completely. However, we proposed a protocol framework to wash hair with relatively high efficience, which includes warm water incubation, and use of surfactant and organic solvent. The recoveries of the concerned hEDCs and metal(loid)s were overall in the range of 80% to 120%. For the women population, the method can efficiently recognize the typical exposure characteristics of the concerned hEDCs and metal(loid)s. Our study significantly ameliorated the deficiencies of the traditional hair washing strategy and developed an efficient method for simultaneous analysis of various metal(loid)s and hEDCs in a single hair sample. This method will provide important support for population complex exposure analysis and facilitate environmental exposome studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137300DOI Listing
May 2020

Oxidative stress caused by lead (Pb) induces iron deficiency in Drosophila melanogaster.

Chemosphere 2020 Mar 20;243:125428. Epub 2019 Nov 20.

School of Food and Biological Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, Anhui, 230009, China. Electronic address:

Toxic elements exposure disturbs the homeostasis of essential elements in organisms, but the mechanism remains elusive. In this study, we demonstrated that Drosophila melanogaster exposed to Lead (Pb, a pervasive environmental threat to human health) exhibited various health defects, including retarded development, decreased survival rate, impaired mobility and reduced egg production. These phenotypes could be significantly modulated by either intervention of dietary iron levels or altering expression of genes involved in iron metabolism. Further study revealed that Pb exposure leads to systemic iron deficiency. Strikingly, reactive oxygen species (ROS) clearance significantly increased iron uptake by restoring the expression of iron metabolism genes in the midgut and subsequently attenuated Pb toxicity. This study highlights the role of ROS in Pb induced iron dyshomeostasis and provides unique insights into understanding the mechanism of Pb toxicity and suggests ideal ways to attenuate Pb toxicity by iron supplementation therapy or ROS clearance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.125428DOI Listing
March 2020

A pilot study of biomarkers of oxidative stress in serum and schizophrenia.

Psychiatry Res 2020 02 11;284:112757. Epub 2020 Jan 11.

Department of Laboratorial Science and Technology, School of Public Health, Peking University, No. 38 Xue-Yuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, PR China. Electronic address:

Increasing evidence indicates that oxidative damage and inflammation is present in patients with schizophrenia. In this study, we investigated the association between the serum concentrations of four typical oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers (monocyte chemotactic protein-1, heme oxygenase-1, interleukin-8, and 8-Hydroxydeoxyguanine) and schizophrenia using a case-control study design. In total, 44 patients with schizophrenia and 45 normal controls from Shandong Province, China were recruited. Fasting blood samples were collected from all participants and the serum concentration of the four biomarkers were analyzed by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The concentrations of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and interleukin-8 were significantly higher in the patients than in the controls, while there was no significant difference in the serum concentrations of heme oxygenase-1 and 8-Hydroxydeoxyguanine. Moreover, the serum concentrations of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and interleukin-8 in patients were positively correlated with severity of clinical symptoms. Dose-response relationships between serum biomarker concentrations and schizophrenia were observed. This study suggests that levels of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and interleukin-8 are increased in patients with schizophrenia and correlated with positive symptom severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.112757DOI Listing
February 2020

Association of Typical Toxic Heavy Metals with Schizophrenia.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 10 30;16(21). Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Department of Laboratorial Science and Technology, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China.

Toxic heavy metals (THMs) are contaminants commonly found in the environment. Although a large number of studies have demonstrated their damage to the biological functions of the human being, their potential associations with the risk of developing schizophrenia remain controversial. In this study, we investigated the associations between four THMs (chromium (Cr), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and arsenic (As)) in serum and the risk of schizophrenia. In total, 95 patients with schizophrenia (cases) and 95 normal subjects (controls) were recruited from Hebei Province, China. The serum concentrations of the 4 THMs were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). A higher concentration of Pb was found significantly associated with an elevated risk of schizophrenia (OR = 3.146; 95%CI: 1.238-7.994, = 0.016), while significant association for the other three THMs were not observed. Besides, significant correlations were found between the metabolic biomarkers and the concentrations of Pb and As, respectively. In order to further characterize the association between these THMs and schizophrenia with greater statistical power, we conducted meta-analysis by including 538 cases and 1040 controls from the current study and 5 available datasets published from 2002 to 2018. Using a random-effect model, Cr was significantly associated with schizophrenia (SMD = 0.3246; 95%CI: 0.0166-0.6326, < 0.01). Overall, this study suggested that higher levels of Pb and Cr may be one of the factors associated with an elevated risk of schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6862006PMC
October 2019

Associations of AHR, CYP1A1, EPHX1, and GSTP1 genetic polymorphisms with small-for-gestational-age infants.

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2021 Sep 1;34(17):2807-2815. Epub 2019 Oct 1.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health, Peking University/Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, Beijing, China.

Objective: To investigate the influences of aryl hydrocarbon (AHR), cytochrome P450 (CYP1A1), epoxide hydrolase 1 (EPHX1), and glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) genetic polymorphisms on small-for-gestational-age (SGA) infants.

Methods: This nested case-control study (126 cases and 381 controls) was based on a prospective cohort study in Shanxi Province, China. We collected the general information of subjects using questionnaire and identified their single nucleotide polymorphisms by the MassARRAY genotyping platform.

Results: The polymorphisms of CYP1A1 (rs4646421 and rs4646903) and EPHX1 (rs1051740) were significantly associated with SGA. Neonates of women with EPHX1 (rs1051740) and GSTP1 (rs1695) variant alleles were at a significantly increased risk of SGA compared with the reference group (OR  =  5.26; 95% CI, 1.08-25.66), as were neonates of women with CYP1A1 (rs4646903) and EPHX1 (rs1051740) variant alleles (OR  =  7.11; 95% CI, 1.55-32.62). The results of strata analysis by AHR (rs2282883 and rs17137566) showed that the associations between the polymorphisms of CYP1A1 (rs4646421 and rs4646903) EPHX1 (rs1051740), GSTP1 (rs1695) and SGA were of significance in women with variant heterozygous or homozygous genotype.

Conclusions: CYP1A1 (rs4646421 and rs4646903), EPHX1 (rs1051740), and GSTP1 (rs1695) genetic variances might increase the risk of SGA. AHR (rs2282883 and rs17137566) resulted in estimated effects varying across strata on CYP1A1 (rs4646421 and rs4646903), EPHX1 (rs1051740), and GSTP1 (rs1695).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14767058.2019.1671336DOI Listing
September 2021

Association of blood chromium and rare earth elements with the risk of DNA damage in chromate exposed population.

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2019 Nov 1;72:103237. Epub 2019 Aug 1.

Department of Laboratorial Science and Technology, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100191, PR China; Peking University Medical and Health Analysis Center, Peking University, Beijing, 100191, PR China. Electronic address:

Pollution of heavy metals often occurs in combination with multiple metal ions. Whether the genetic damage among chromate exposed population correlated with rare earth elements (REEs) was still not well elucidated. A total of 291 participants from a chromate production plant were recruited in the present study. The DNA oxidative damage was evaluated by urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and the concentrations of chromium (Cr) and 15 REEs accumulated in the peripheral blood of participants were determined. The results showed that significant DNA oxidative damage was observed in chromate exposed workers. Blood REEs levels in the exposed group were significantly higher than the control group and blood REEs increased in a concentration dependent manner with Cr. Additionally, significant correlations were observed between blood Cr and 10 REEs concentrations. Blood Cr had a significant positive correlation with urinary 8-OHdG. Blood Cr and Yttrium had a positive interactive effect on urinary 8-OHdG. Collectively, the results suggested workers who had been working in the chromate plant were simultaneously exposed to chromate and a variety of REEs, which could have interactive effects on the DNA damage of workers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.etap.2019.103237DOI Listing
November 2019

Potential effect of germanium exposure on the risk of influenza-like illness in housewives in Shanxi Province, China.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Sep 9;682:208-212. Epub 2019 May 9.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health, Peking University/Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, Beijing 100191, PR China; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China.

Few studies have examined the relationship between exposure to germanium (Ge) and the risk of influenza-like illness (ILI). Therefore, we investigated the association of Ge exposure and its interaction with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) related to Phase II metabolism on ILI risk among housewives in Shanxi Province, northern China. This cross-sectional study enrolled 373 housewives. Information on the housewives' characteristics and the frequency of ILI was collected by questionnaire. We analyzed the Ge concentrations in hair samples taken from near the scalp at the back of the head. Blood samples were used to identify SNPs related to Phase II metabolism. The results suggested that the hair Ge concentration was associated with ILI risk with an adjusted odds ratio and 95% confidence interval of 2.59 (1.61-4.19). A significant dose-response relationship was observed without or with adjusting for confounders. We did not observe any interaction effect between the hair Ge concentration and the SNPs on ILI risk. We found that high dietary consumption of meat and fried foods was positively correlated with the hair Ge concentration. Therefore, chronic Ge exposure may be a risk factor for an increased frequency of ILI in housewives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.103DOI Listing
September 2019

Unbiased lipidomic profiling reveals metabolomic changes during the onset and antipsychotics treatment of schizophrenia disease.

Metabolomics 2018 06 1;14(6):80. Epub 2018 Jun 1.

Department of Pathology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, 100191, China.

Introduction: Schizophrenia (SCH) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, which involves impairments in motivation and cognition. The pathological mechanisms underlying SCH are still unknown, and no effective therapies can prevent or treat perfectly the cognitive impairments and deficit symptoms caused by SCH.

Objectives: We aimed to find the lipid expression change in plasma that underlie SCH onset and antipsychotics treatment.

Methods: We performed a data independent acquisition-based untargeted lipidomic approach on a quadrupole-time of flight liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry platform. The plasma lipidomic profiles of SCH patients (n = 20) pre- and post-antipsychotics treatment were acquired as well as healthy controls (n = 29). Grouped or paired t-test were used to analyze the data.

Results: Over 1000 features were detected by our lipidomic analysis, of which 445 lipids belonging to 17 lipid species were reliably identified by tandem mass spectrometry. After statistical analysis, 47 lipids belonging to 9 lipid species were found to be dysregulated between naive SCH patients and healthy controls, and 50 lipids belonging to 9 lipid species were found to be dysregulated after antipsychotics treatment. These findings include several new SCH-relevant lipid species such as sphingomyelin, acylcarnitine and ceramide. Four types of lipid expression regulative patterns can be concluded from the above mentioned findings, revealing information about mechanism, side-effect and potential target of antipsychotics.

Conclusions: The work presented here have revealed several new lipid species which are significantly dysregulated in SCH disease development or antipsychotics treatment. These lipids provide new evidence for the pathological studies of SCH and new antipsychotics development, or can be considered as potentially candidate biomarkers for further validation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11306-018-1375-3DOI Listing
June 2018

Association of maternal chronic arsenic exposure with the risk of neural tube defects in Northern China.

Environ Int 2019 05 23;126:222-227. Epub 2019 Feb 23.

Institute of Reproductive and Child Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University/Key Laboratory of Reproductive Health, National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, Beijing 100191, PR China.

Numerous animal studies have shown that high arsenic exposure can induce neural tube defect (NTD) formation. However, epidemiological evidence related to this finding is scarce. The key objective of our study is to evaluate whether maternal arsenic exposure is associated with NTD risk in Northern China. Our case-control study was conducted in 11 countries or cities in Shanxi and Hebei provinces during 2003-2007. A total of 774 mothers were included as participants: 511 controls and 263 cases (including 123 with anencephaly, 115 with spina bifida, 18 with encephalocele, and 7 with other NTD subtypes). The arsenic concentration was measured in a specific section of hair that grew from 3 months before to 3 months after conception. We found a higher hair arsenic concentration in the NTD cases with median (inter-quartile range) of 0.093 (0.025-0.387) μg/g hair than that in the controls with a value of 0.082 (0.030-0.414) μg/g hair. Maternal hair arsenic concentration above its median of the controls was associated with an increased risk of the total NTDs with an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.32 [95% confidence interval (CI): (0.91-1.92)], which was not statistically significant (p = 0.14), although the crude OR without adjusting for the confounders of 1.68 (95% CI: 1.24-2.27; p < 0.001) suggested that hair arsenic is a risk factor of NTDs. There was no dose-response relationship between maternal hair arsenic concentration and the risk of total NTDs. Similar phenomena were found for anencephaly and spina bifida, respectively. Overall, our findings showed that maternal periconceptional arsenic exposure may not significantly contribute to the risk of NTD development in Northern China; other risk factors need to be further examined in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.02.016DOI Listing
May 2019

A pilot case-control study on the association between N-acetyl derivatives in serum and first-episode schizophrenia.

Psychiatry Res 2019 02 6;272:36-41. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Department of Laboratorial Science and Technology, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China; Beijing Key Laboratory of Toxicological Research and Risk Assessment for Food Safety, Beijing 100191, PR China; Peking University Medical and Health Analysis Center, Peking University, Beijing 100191, PR China. Electronic address:

N-acetyl group metabolites are a general class of endogenous compounds characterized by a conjugated system consisting of an acetyl group and nitrogen moiety. The aim of our exploratory pilot case-control study is to compare the levels of five N-acetyl derivatives (i.e., N-acetyl-glutamine, N-acetyl-ornithine, N-acetyl-L-lysine, N-acetyl-putrescine, and N-acetyl-galactosamine) in serum samples between individuals with first-episode schizophrenia and healthy controls (HC). A 1:2 age- and sex- matched pilot case-control study was performed, involving 30 cases of first-episode schizophrenia and 60 HC aged between 18 and 40 years old. The serum samples containing these N-acetyl derivatives from (first-episode patients with schizophrenia and HC were measured using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Results indicated that higher levels of N-acetyl-glutamine and lower levels of N-acetyl-L-lysine may have a significant association with schizophrenia after adjusting for age, sex and BMI. N-acetyl-putrescine was elevated among subjects with first-episode schizophrenia when compared to HC, suggesting it as a predictor for schizophrenia onset. Further exploration of the mechanisms of N-acetyl group metabolites with respect to schizophrenia is warranted and may be useful for identifying novel disease markers and/or drug target molecules in schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2018.11.064DOI Listing
February 2019

Potential effect of inflammation on the failure risk of fertilization and embryo transfer among infertile women.

Hum Fertil (Camb) 2020 Sep 27;23(3):214-222. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

Reproductive Medical Center, Peking University People's Hospital, Beijing, People's Republic of China.

This study investigated the association between inflammation in infertile women and the risk of IVF-ET failure, as well as the potential effects of various lifestyles on this association. A total of 84 women undergoing IVF-ET in Beijing China were recruited, including 38 women who did not achieve pregnancy after undergoing IVF-ET and 46 women who conceived. Serum samples were collected on the second day of menstruation before the treatment cycle and the inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, interleukin-8 (IL-8) and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1)) were measured. Information about their lifestyle was collected by questionnaire. It was found that the serum IL-8 concentration in the women who did not become pregnant (cases) was significantly higher than in the women who did achieve a pregnancy (controls). A dose-response relationship between the serum IL-8 concentration and the risk of IVF-ET failure was observed, especially when the IL-8 concentration was >11.2 pg/mL. The same relationship was not found for MCP-1. Among the environmental factors investigated, only the frequency of staying up late was positively correlated with the serum IL-8 concentration, as well as positively associated with the risk of IVF-ET failure. It was concluded that excessive inflammation may have an adverse effect on the IVF-ET success rate in infertile women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14647273.2018.1543898DOI Listing
September 2020
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