Publications by authors named "Letian Du"

3 Publications

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Exposure to legacy and novel perfluoroalkyl substance disturbs the metabolic homeostasis in pregnant women and fetuses: A metabolome-wide association study.

Environ Int 2021 May 13;156:106627. Epub 2021 May 13.

State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing, People's Republic of China.

Background: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) exist extensively and several of these have been verified to be toxic. Prenatal exposure to PFASs has attracted much attention. Metabolome-wide association analyses can be used to explore the toxicity mechanisms of PFASs by identifying associated biomarkers.

Objectives: To evaluate associations between the metabolites in maternal and cord serum and internal exposure to several common PFASs.

Methods: Paired maternal and cord serum samples were collected from 84 pregnant women who gave birth between 2015 and 2016. Seven legacy and two novel PFASs were measured. A nontarget metabolomic method and an iterative metabolite annotation based on metabolic pathways were applied to characterize the metabolic profiles. Linear regression adjusted with the false discovery rate and covariates was used to indicate the associations.

Results: A total of 279 features in maternal serum and 338 features in cord serum were identified as metabolites associated with PFAS exposure. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) were two PFASs associated with more metabolites, while the two novel chlorinated polyfluorinated ether sulfonic acids (Cl-PFESAs) showed less relevance to the metabolome. With pathway enrichment analysis, we found that three fatty acid metabolisms and retinol metabolism were correlated with PFAS exposure in maternal blood, and that sterol metabolism showed the correlation in both maternal serum and cord serum.

Conclusions: We identified metabolites and pathways in pregnant women and fetuses associated with the exposure to several PFAS, indicating a promising application for metabolome-wide association studies. Additional research is needed to confirm causation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106627DOI Listing
May 2021

Identification of LC-HRMS nontarget signals in groundwater after source related prioritization.

Water Res 2021 May 2;196:116994. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland; Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Groundwater is a major drinking water resource but its quality with regard to organic micropollutants (MPs) is insufficiently assessed. Therefore, we aimed to investigate Swiss groundwater more comprehensively using liquid chromatography high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS/MS). First, samples from 60 sites were classified as having high or low urban or agricultural influence based on 498 target compounds associated with either urban or agricultural sources. Second, all LC-HRMS signals were related to their potential origin (urban, urban and agricultural, agricultural, or not classifiable) based on their occurrence and intensity in the classified samples. A considerable fraction of estimated concentrations associated with urban and/or agricultural sources could not be explained by the 139 detected targets. The most intense nontarget signals were automatically annotated with structure proposals using MetFrag and SIRIUS4/CSI:FingerID with a list of >988,000 compounds. Additionally, suspect screening was performed for 1162 compounds with predicted high groundwater mobility from primarily urban sources. Finally, 12 nontargets and 11 suspects were identified unequivocally (Level 1), while 17 further compounds were tentatively identified (Level 2a/3). amongst these were 13 pollutants thus far not reported in groundwater, such as: the industrial chemicals 2,5-dichlorobenzenesulfonic acid (19 detections, up to 100 ng L), phenylphosponic acid (10 detections, up to 50 ng L), triisopropanolamine borate (2 detections, up to 40 ng L), O-des[2-aminoethyl]-O-carboxymethyl dehydroamlodipine, a transformation product (TP) of the blood pressure regulator amlodipine (17 detections), and the TP SYN542490 of the herbicide metolachlor (Level 3, 33 detections, estimated concentrations up to 100-500 ng L). One monitoring site was far more contaminated than other sites based on estimated total concentrations of potential MPs, which was supported by the elucidation of site-specific nontarget signals such as the carcinogen chlorendic acid, and various naphthalenedisulfonic acids. Many compounds remained unknown, but overall, source related prioritisation proved an effective approach to support identification of compounds in groundwater.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2021.116994DOI Listing
May 2021

Transplacental Transfer of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Identified in Paired Maternal and Cord Sera Using Suspect and Nontarget Screening.

Environ Sci Technol 2020 03 25;54(6):3407-3416. Epub 2020 Feb 25.

State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing, People's Republic of China.

Novel per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in various environmental media have attracted increasing attention; however, the information regarding PFASs exposure in pregnant women and fetuses is insufficient. In this study, we built and applied suspect and nontarget screening strategies based on the mass difference of the CF, CFO, and CHCF units to select potential novel PFASs from 117 paired maternal and cord sera. In total, 10 legacy PFASs and 19 novel PFASs from 10 classes were identified to be above confidence levels 3, among which 14 were not previously reported in human serum. Novel PFASs accounted for a considerable percentage of total PFASs in pregnant women and can be transferred to fetuses at non-negligible concentrations (i.e., 27.9% and 30.3% of total PFAS intensities in maternal and cord sera, respectively). The transplacental transfer efficiency (TTE) of PFASs showed a U-shape trend in the series of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids, perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids, and unsaturated perfluorinated alcohols. The TTE of novel PFASs is suggested to be structure-dependent, based on a flexible docking experiment. This study provides comprehensive TTE information on legacy and novel PFASs for the first time, and additional toxicity studies are needed to evaluate the risk of novel PFASs further.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b06505DOI Listing
March 2020