Publications by authors named "Maoyong Song"

72 Publications

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

High-Throughput Single-Cell Analysis Reveals the Crosstalk between Nanoparticle-Induced Cell Responses.

Environ Sci Technol 2021 04 24;55(8):5136-5142. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China.

Nanomaterials are widely used in a variety of industrial, biological, and medical applications. Therefore, high concerns about their possible impact on human and environmental health have been raised. Here, we describe a high-throughput single-cell imaging method to reveal the crosstalk among quantum dot (QDot)-induced ROS generation, apoptosis, and changes in nucleus size in macrophages. In triple marker combinations, we assessed the correlations of three QDot-induced cellular responses via divided subsets based on single-cell analysis. In contrast to the results obtained from the cell population, we demonstrated that the change in nucleus size was positively correlated with ROS generation. We found that QDot exposure induced ROS generation, which led to cell apoptosis, followed by a change in nucleus size. In general, these observations on crosstalk of cellular responses provide detailed insights into the heterogeneity of nanoparticle exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c08424DOI Listing
April 2021

Remarkable MnO structure-dependent HO promoting effect in HCHO oxidation at room temperature.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Jul 26;414:125542. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Key Laboratory of Environmental Nanotechnology and Health Effects, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. Electronic address:

HO is often critical in determining the activity and stability of metal oxide catalysts for HCHO oxidation; however, synthesis of metal oxide catalysts with super resistance to HO remains a challenging. Herein, we synthesized Akhtenskite-type MnO catalyst with Mn-O-Mn stretching along MnO octahedra layers, which promotes the utilization of the associatively adsorbed HO. The activity and stability of formaldehyde oxidation at room temperature enhanced in humid air. Diffuse-reflectance infrared Fourier transform (DRIRFT) spectroscopy was used to characterize the HO adsorption and intermediate species. The associatively adsorbed HO promotes the oxidation of formaldehyde to CO via the formic acid intermediate. The service life of MnO is prolonged due to formic acid generation. MnO gradually deactivates when formic acid accumulates and forms formate and hydrogen carbonate species. This study provides significant insights into the development of a high-efficiency MnO catalyst for formaldehyde oxidation in humid air, and the developed MnO catalyst is a promising candidate for application in practical formaldehyde elimination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125542DOI Listing
July 2021

Unified Probability Distribution and Dynamics of Lead Contents in Human Erythrocytes Revealed by Single-Cell Analysis.

Environ Sci Technol 2021 03 4;55(6):3819-3826. Epub 2021 Mar 4.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China.

Understanding the presence and dynamics of chemical pollutants in individual cells is fundamentally important for their trafficking, fate, and toxicity in humans. The presence of molecular components (i.e., proteins and mRNA) in individual cells of higher organisms is considered a stochastic event. The characteristics of chemical pollutants, as extrinsic compounds, in subpopulation of human cells on single-cell basis have not been explored yet. Here, we demonstrated the lead (Pb) content in individual mature erythrocytes (m-erythrocytes) of Pb-intoxicated patients, and healthy subjects exhibited a unified pattern in probability distribution (gamma distribution) and dynamics, despite being highly heterogeneous. The Pb content in individual m-erythrocytes decreased with the lifetime of m-erythrocytes. Meanwhile, the distribution and dynamics were found to be highly related to the Pb content in m-erythrocytes and was independent of patients and their status. This is the first study to analyze the distribution pattern of chemical pollutants at a single-cell level in higher organisms. This study sheds light on the molecular mechanism of Pb trafficking and fate in humans and the search for an efficient strategy to improve Pb excretion during Pb treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c05989DOI Listing
March 2021

The health impact of environmental pollution.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 01 19;208:111667. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, 300350 Tianjin, China.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111667DOI Listing
January 2021

Tetrabromobisphenol A induces THR β-mediated inflammation and uterine injury in mice at environmentally relevant exposure concentrations.

J Hazard Mater 2021 04 15;407:124859. Epub 2020 Dec 15.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, PR China.

Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) is a widely used flame retardant, but the adverse outcomes induced by TBBPA has not been fully elucidated. In this study, TBBPA was detected in 54.9% of 102 female Chinese volunteers with an average serum concentration of 0.34 ng/mL. To investigate whether TBBPA induces adverse outcomes at environmentally relevant exposure doses, the mice were exposed to TBBPA for 14 and 28 days. The internal doses of TBBPA in mice serum were nearly the internal doses in volunteers. TBBPA significantly increased the secretion of some pro-inflammatory cytokines and suppressed immune responses in mice under such serum concentrations after 14- and 28-days exposure. Interestingly, uterine edema was observed in TBBPA-treated mice. In primary uterine cells model, the results showed TBBPA exposure suppressed THRβ expression, leading to the activation of the inflammatory PI3K/NF-κB signaling pathway. Our findings indicated that the uterus is the susceptible target organ of TBBPA and TBBPA exposure might increase risk of uterine cancer through deregulating inflammation pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124859DOI Listing
April 2021

Preparation of blue- and green-emissive nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots from graphite and their application in bioimaging.

Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 2021 Feb 17;119:111642. Epub 2020 Oct 17.

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Center of Excellence for Nanoscience, CAS Key Laboratory for Nanosystem & Hierarchical Fabrication, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, 11 Beiyitiao Zhongguancun, Beijing 100190, China; University of CAS, Beijing 100049, China. Electronic address:

Owing to the superior photoluminescence property, low toxicity and good biocompatibility, nitrogen-doped graphene quantum dots (NGQDs) have been regarded as promising nanomaterials for biological applications such as bioimaging. However, many of the preparation methods are complicated, high cost, eco-unfriendly, and with a low product yield. Here, we demonstrate a novel top-down approach for NGQDs preparation, in which the low cost graphite was used as a precursor, ammonium persulfate as an oxidative molecule and nitrogen source, and HO as an oxidative agent, N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone as a solvent and potential functionalizer. Meanwhile, the solvent extraction was applied for the first time to purify NGQDs. The separated NGQDs display green and blue fluorescence, deriving from the difference sizes and nitrogen doped types. The total product yield of NGQDs is calculated to be about 52%, containing 88% of green-emissive NGQDs and 12% of blue-emissive NGQDs. Meanwhile, our NGQDs own low cytotoxicity, and display a good bioimaging performance in the in vitro and in vivo investigation. The synthesis idea in our work might be also applicable to obtain other kinds of quantum dots from the readily obtainable bulk materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msec.2020.111642DOI Listing
February 2021

Tetrachlorobisphenol A induced immunosuppression and uterine injury in mice.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jan 3;207:111527. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100085, PR China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, PR China. Electronic address:

Tetrachlorobisphenol A (TCBPA) is used as flame retardant, and it has been widely detected in the environmental and human samples. TCBPA is an endocrine disrupting chemical, but its effects on the immune system remains poorly understood. Here the effects of TCBPA on immune system were studied using combined in vivo and in vitro assays. Results showed that TCBPA could suppress the immune response in BALB/c mice via reducing the ratio of CD3 T lymphocytes to regulatory T cells. Moreover, TCBPA exposure significantly induced the increasing secretion of four pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-12, IFN-γ, and TNF-α) and four anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, GM-CSF) in mice serum. Interestingly, uterine edema was observed in over 80% TCBPA-treated mice after 14- day exposure. TCBPA was detected in 18.6% serum samples of 150 female volunteers in this study. Therefore, our findings provided evidence that TCBPA exposure may cause adverse outcomes on immune system and uterus, suggesting that environmental exposure of TCBPA, as well as its adverse effects on human health should be of concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111527DOI Listing
January 2021

Oxidative damage mechanism in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells exposed to tetrachlorobisphenol A.

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 2020 Nov 29;80:103507. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Bioprocess, College of Life Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, PR China. Electronic address:

Tetrachlorobisphenol A (TCBPA) can promote intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. However, limited attention has been given to mechanisms underlying TCBPA exposure-associated ROS accumulation. Here, such mechanisms were explored in the simple eukaryotic model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae exposed to multiple concentrations of TCBPA. Addition of diphenyleneiodonium, a specific inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, blocked TCBPA treatment-associated intracellular ROS accumulation. NADPH oxidase can be activated by calcineurin, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and tyrosine kinase. Therefore, corresponding specific inhibition respectively on these three kinases was performed and results suggested that the Ca signaling pathway, MAPK pathway, and tyrosine kinase pathway all contributed to the TCBPA exposure-associated intracellular ROS accumulation. In addition, TCBPA exposure-associated up-regulation of genes involved in ROS production and down-regulation of catalase promoted ROS accumulation in S. cerevisiae. To sum up, our current results provide insights into the understanding of TCBPA exposure-associated ROS accumulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.etap.2020.103507DOI Listing
November 2020

Monitoring AuNP Dynamics in the Blood of a Single Mouse Using Single Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry with an Ultralow-Volume High-Efficiency Introduction System.

Anal Chem 2020 11 6;92(22):14872-14877. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, P. R. China.

Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are increasingly being used as diagnostic and therapeutic agents owing to their excellent properties; however, there is not much data available on their dynamics in vivo on a single particle basis in a single mouse. Here, we developed a method for the direct analysis of nanoparticles in trace blood samples based on single particle inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (spICP-MS). A flexible, highly configurable, and precisely controlled sample introduction system was designed by assembling an ultralow-volume autosampler (flow rate in the range of 5-5000 μL/min) and a customized cyclonic spray chamber (transfer efficiency up to 99%). Upon systematic optimization, the detection limit of the nanoparticle size (LOD) of AuNPs in ultrapure water was 19 nm, and the detection limit of the nanoparticle number concentration (LOD) was 8 × 10 particle/L. Using a retro-orbital blood sampling method and subsequent dilution, the system was successfully applied to track the dynamic changes in size and concentration for AuNPs in the blood of a single mouse, and the recovery for the blood sample was 111.74%. Furthermore, the concentration of AuNPs in mouse blood reached a peak in a short period of time and, then, gradually decreased. This study provides a promising technique for analyzing and monitoring the size and concentration of nanoparticles in ultralow-volume blood samples with low concentrations, making it a powerful tool for analyzing and understanding the fate of nanoparticles in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.0c02285DOI Listing
November 2020

Effects of graphene oxide on PCR amplification for microbial community survey.

BMC Microbiol 2020 09 11;20(1):278. Epub 2020 Sep 11.

CAS Key Laboratory of Environmental Biotechnology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China.

Background: Graphene oxide (GO) has been suggested as an efficient assistant additive to eliminate non-specific amplification of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Although many studies have focused on exploring its molecular mechanism, the practice of GO on the quantitation of microbial community has not been implemented yet. In this study, GO was added in PCR system to explore the changes on removing typical amplification errors, such as chimera and mismatches on two kinds of mock communities (an evenly mixed and a staggered mock communities) and environmental samples.

Results: High-throughput sequencing of bacterial and fungal communities, based on 16S rRNA genes and internal transcribed spacers (ITS) respectively, showed that GO could significantly increase large segmental error (chimeric sequence) in PCR procedure while had no specific effect on point error (mismatched sequence). Besides, GO reduced the α-diversity of community, and changed the composition of fungal community more obviously than bacterial community.

Conclusions: Our study provides the first quantitative data on microbial community level to prove the negative effect of GO, and also indicates that there may be a more complex interaction between GO and comprehensive DNA fragments in PCR process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12866-020-01965-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7488489PMC
September 2020

Tetrabromobisphenol A Perturbs Erythropoiesis and Impairs Blood Circulation in Zebrafish Embryos.

Environ Sci Technol 2020 10 8;54(20):12998-13007. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China.

Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), a ubiquitous environmental pollutant, has been implicated in developmental toxicity of aquatic animals. However, the impact of TBBPA on development and the related mechanism have not been fully elucidated. In this study, using a live imaging technique and transgenic labeling of zebrafish embryos, we described the toxic effects of TBBPA on hematopoietic development in zebrafish. We demonstrated that TBBPA induced erythroid precursor expansion in the intermediate cell mass (ICM), which perturbed the onset of blood circulation at 24-26 hours postfertilization (hpf). Consequently, excessive blood cells accumulated in the posterior blood island (PBI) and vascular cells formed defective caudal veins (CVs), preventing blood cell flow to the heart at 32-34 hpf. We found that the one-cell to 50% epiboly stage was the most sensitive period to TBBPA exposure during hematopoietic development. Furthermore, our results demonstrated that PBI malformation induced by TBBPA resulted from effects on erythroid precursor cells, which might involve THR signaling in complex ways. These findings will improve the understanding of TBBPA-induced developmental toxicity in teleost.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c02934DOI Listing
October 2020

Mechanistic in silico modeling of bisphenols to predict estrogen and glucocorticoid disrupting potentials.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Aug 23;728:138854. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, School of the Environment, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023, People's Republic of China; Jiangsu Environmental Monitoring Center, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023, People's Republic of China; Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Chemical Pollution Control and Resources Reuse, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023, People's Republic of China.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can act as agonists, antagonists or mixed agonists/antagonists toward estrogen receptor α (ERα) and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in a tissue- and cell-specific manner. However, the activation/inhibition mechanism by which structurally different chemicals induce various types of disruption remain ambiguous. This unrevealed theory limited the in silico modeling of EDCs and the prioritization of potential EDCs for experimental testing. As a kind of chemical widely used in manufacture, bisphenols (BPs) have attracted great attentions on their potential endocrine disrupting effects. BPs used in this study exhibited pure agonistic, pure antagonistic or mixed agonistic/antagonistic activities toward ERα and/or GR. According to the mechanistic modeling, the pure agonistic and pure antagonistic activities were attributed to a single type of protein conformation induced by BPs-ERα and/or BPs-GR interactions, whereas the mixed agonistic/antagonistic activities were attributed to multiple conformations that concomitantly exist. After interacting with BPs, the active conformation recruits coactivator to induce agonistic activity and the blocked conformation inhibits coactivator to induce antagonistic activity, whereas the concomitantly-existing multiple conformations (active, blocked and competing conformations) recruit coactivator, recruit corepressor and/or inhibit coactivator to dually induce the agonistic and antagonistic activities. Therefore, the in silico modeling in this study can not only predict ERα and GR disrupting activities but also, especially, identify the potential mechanisms. This mechanistic study breaks the current bottleneck of computational toxicology and can be widely used to prioritize potential estrogen/glucocorticoid disruptor for experimental testing in both pre-clinic and clinic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138854DOI Listing
August 2020

Toxicity of silver nanoparticles on wound healing: A case study of zebrafish fin regeneration model.

Sci Total Environ 2020 May 7;717:137178. Epub 2020 Feb 7.

Hubei Key Laboratory of Environmental and Health Effects of Persistent Toxic Substances, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056, China; Institute of Environment and Health, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.

Dressings coated with silver nanoparticle (AgNP) are widely used in the management of acute and chronic wounds. However, whether AgNP exerts toxicity on wound healing remains ambiguous. To demonstrate the effects of AgNP on wound healing, we precisely quantified the recovery speed of wound by taking advantage of the fin regeneration of zebrafish. This method also enabled assessment of the adverse effect of AgNP on various steps of wound healing in vivo. We revealed that AgNP treatment at the concentration of 2 μg/ml impaired fin regeneration when exposure was performed at the phases of epithelialization and the beginning of blastema formation. Cell proliferation of regenerative blastema was significantly decreased after AgNP exposure. But the canonical signals including Wingless/Integrated (Wnt), Notch and Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) which play important roles in cell proliferation during fin regeneration were not modulated at 36 hours post amputation (hpa). Further study showed that AgNP impaired fin regeneration through declining amputation-induced ROS as early as epithelialized phase at 18 hpa, rather than inducing ROS generation. AgNP exposure also promoted recruitment of neutrophils in the early phase of wound healing, which suggests that this event dampened amputation-induced ROS. Overall, this study suggested that application of AgNP-coated dressings should be carefully considered at the beginning stage of wound healing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137178DOI Listing
May 2020

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

Concentration and distribution of parabens, triclosan, and triclocarban in pregnant woman serum in China.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Mar 28;710:136390. Epub 2019 Dec 28.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.

Despite mass production and widespread use of parabens, triclosan (TCS), and triclocarban (TCC) in a range of personal care products, little is known about their concentrations and distribution in pregnant woman serum in China. In this study, 5 parabens (methyl- (MeP), ethyl- (EtP), butyl- (BuP), heptyl- (HeP) and benzyl-parabens (BzP)) and 4 their metabolites (methyl protocatechuate (OH-MeP), ethyl protocatechuate (OH-EtP), 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (3,4-DHB) and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid (4-HB)), TCS, and TCC were measured, by using solid-phase extraction (SPE) and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) techniques, in pregnant woman serum samples collected from 13 provinces in China. Total concentrations of parabens (∑PBs), their metabolites (∑MBs), and TCC and TCS (∑AAs) in serum ranged from 0.221-18.6 (geometric mean (GM): 2.47), 47.4-598 (212), and 0.101-5.84 (1.01) ng/mL, respectively. MeP, EtP, 4-HB and TCS were the dominant compounds, and their GM concentrations were 1.86, 0.239, 211 and 1.00 ng/mL, respectively. Geographical distribution of target chemicals in serum was determined. Concentrations of MeP (5.49 ng/mL) and EtP (0.895 ng/mL) in sera from the Northeast China were higher than those from other regions (MeP: 0.987-3.54, EtP: 0.07-0.254 ng/mL; p < 0.05). The highest 4-HB concentrations were found in sera from the Southwest China (GM: 286 ng/mL), whereas the TCS concentrations in sera from the North China (1.18 ng/mL) were higher than those found for other regions (p < 0.05). The estimated daily intakes (EDIs; range: 49.5-126 μg/kg body weight (bw)/day) showed that the Chinese women were in a low health risk from exposure to such chemicals. This is the first study to report concentration profiles of parabens, TCS and TCC in pregnant woman serum in China.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136390DOI Listing
March 2020

Serum concentration of bisphenol analogues in pregnant women in China.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Mar 12;707:136100. Epub 2019 Dec 12.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100085, PR China.

There is increasing concern regarding human exposure to bisphenol analogues (BPs) due to their widespread use and potentially adverse effects. Nevertheless, information on the occurrence of BPs in pregnant women is limited. In this study, BPs were detected in 181 serum samples from pregnant Chinese women. Ten BPs, including bisphenol S (BPS), bisphenol F (BPF), bisphenol AF (BPAF), bisphenol B (BPB), bisphenol P (BPP), bisphenol Z (BPZ), bisphenol AP (BPAP), tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), tetrabromobisphenol S (TBBPS), and tetrachlorobisphenol A (TCBPA), were positively identified and quantified in serum samples with total BP concentrations (sum of bisphenols: ∑BPs) of 0-144 ng/mL. Concentrations of the two frequently detected compounds, TBBPS and BPS, were 0.593 and 0.113 ng/mL, respectively. The results were also compared with the geographic distributions of the BPs. To our knowledge, this is the first time that TBBPS and TCBPA have been detected in serum samples of pregnant women. These findings suggest that additional studies are urgently needed to identify the risk of maternal and fetal exposure to these compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136100DOI Listing
March 2020

Occurrence and leaching of silver in municipal sewage sludge in China.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2020 Feb 10;189:109929. Epub 2019 Nov 10.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China; Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Florida International University, Miami, FL, 33199, United States.

Sewage treatment plants effectively remove silver (Ag) from sewage. Sewage sludge can therefore be important Ag sinks, polluting the environment with this element. In this work, we report a nation-wide survey on the Ag content of sewage sludge in China (0.23-19.02 mg kg, average 2.72 mg kg). Furthermore, we identify that sludge disposal represents an important Ag pollution source (84.48 tons in 2016) for the environment by estimating the national and provincial inventories of sludge-borne Ag in China. Also the positive correlations between the per capita gross domestic product (GDP)/provincial GDP and the content/mass loadings of Ag highlighted the impact of human activities on Ag pollution. In different samples, strong complexation of thiosulfate contributed to the highest leaching concentration (95.00-438.15 μg kg) and ratio (1.9-8.8%) of Ag, emphasizing the necessity of a long-term risk assessment for landfill and land application of sludge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.109929DOI Listing
February 2020

A pilot study of mothers and infants reveals fetal sex differences in the placental transfer efficiency of heavy metals.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2019 Dec 9;186:109755. Epub 2019 Oct 9.

Key Laboratory of Environmental Nanotechnology and Health Effects, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, PR China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, PR China.

It has been demonstrated that heavy metals cross the placental barrier and exert potentially harmful fetal effects. Although previous studies showed sex differences in response to similar intrauterine environments, little is known about fetal sex-related differences in placental transfer and accumulation of heavy metals. This study aimed to reveal the sex-specific risk of fetal exposure to heavy metals in pregnant women. We detected the exposure levels of eight heavy metals in 64 paired mother-infant maternal blood, cord blood and placental tissue samples. We found that the placental transfer efficiency (PTE) of titanium (Ti) and silver (Ag) was significantly higher in the group with male fetuses than that with female fetuses. The group with male fetuses had a larger placental:maternal blood ratio of Ag levels than the group with female fetuses, indicating fetal sex-related differences in placental transfer and accumulation of Ag. Prospective research should focus on the sex differences of adverse health effects induced by heavy metals and other pollutants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.109755DOI Listing
December 2019

Ultralong AgNWs-induced toxicity in A549 cells and the important roles of ROS and autophagy.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2019 Dec 5;186:109742. Epub 2019 Oct 5.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China.

Safety concerns have been raised with regard to silver nanowires (AgNWs) because of their extensive applications. Recently, ultralong AgNWs have shown physical properties superior to those of short AgNWs. However, little is known about their toxicity and potential risks. In this study, we demonstrated a series of ultralong AgNWs-induced biological effects in human lung cancer epithelial cells (A549). Ultralong AgNWs treatments induced ROS generation, mitochondria-mediated apoptosis, and self-protective autophagy at nonlethal concentrations. In contrast to some previous reports, apoptosis was found not to correlate with the reduction of intracellular ROS. Measuring the processing of ROS generation, apoptosis and autophagy, we demonstrated that ROS not only enhance mitochondrial damage, but also raise protective autophagic flux in ultralong AgNW-treated cells. Moreover, ultralong AgNWs were found to be internalized into the cytoplasm of the epithelial cells. This study not only investigates ultralong AgNWs-induced cytotoxicity but also pinpoints ROS as a key signal in mechanisms of their toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.109742DOI Listing
December 2019

Length and diameter-dependent phagocytosis and cytotoxicity of long silver nanowires in macrophages.

Chemosphere 2019 Dec 10;237:124565. Epub 2019 Aug 10.

Key Laboratory of Environmental Nanotechnology and Health Effects, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China. Electronic address:

Long silver nanowires (AgNWs, >5 μm) have shown promising applications in next generation biomaterials. However, the toxicity of long AgNWs is not well characterized in terms of their size. In this study, five AgNWs types, including SAgNW30 (length: 5-10 μm; diameter: 30 nm), MAgNW30 (length: 20-30 μm; diameter: 30 nm), LAgNW30 (length: ∼100 μm; diameter: 30 nm), LAgNW50 (length: ∼100 μm; diameter: 50 nm), and LAgNW100 (length: ∼100 μm; diameter: 100 nm), were used to investigate the size-dependent phagocytosis and cytotoxicity in macrophage. It showed that SAgNW30, MAgNW30, LAgNW30 can be fully phagocytosed by macrophages, but LAgNW50 and LAgNW100 frustrated the phagocytosis. It demonstrated that LAgNW30 can be internalized into macrophage in a curly manner. The size-dependent cytotoxicity was observed in cell viability, apoptosis, mitochondrial damage, phenotypic transition, and inflammatory response in AgNWs-treated macrophage. The AgNWs-induced cytotoxicity was depended on their length and diameter, increased gradually in the order of SAgNW30 > MAgNW30 > LAgNW30 > LAgNW50 > LAgNW100. The findings presented here will assist in the evaluation of the size-dependent cytotoxicity mediated by long AgNWs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124565DOI Listing
December 2019

Scattered Light Imaging Enables Real-Time Monitoring of Label-Free Nanoparticles and Fluorescent Biomolecules in Live Cells.

J Am Chem Soc 2019 09 9;141(36):14043-14047. Epub 2019 Aug 9.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100085 , People's Republic of China.

Simultaneously monitoring label-free nanoparticles (NPs) and fluorescent biomolecules inside the live cell in real time is challenging because both imaging methods require different instrumentation and measuring principles. Here we report a novel scattered light imaging (SLi) technique that allows label-free NPs to be monitored using a conventional confocal microscope. The method shows a high spatial resolution and can distinguish label-free silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) with a 10 nm size difference in live cells. We performed SLi to observe the uptake, movement, distribution, and transformation of AgNPs in live cells at a single-particle level. The method is applicable to accurately track the localization of a variety of nanomaterials inside the cell. With this approach, label-free NP and fluorescent-labeled biomolecules are imaged simultaneously making it possible to real-time monitor nanobio interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.9b05894DOI Listing
September 2019

Prenatal Exposure to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) and Association between the Placental Transfer Efficiencies and Dissociation Constant of Serum Proteins-PFAS Complexes.

Environ Sci Technol 2019 06 23;53(11):6529-6538. Epub 2019 May 23.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing , China.

Information on placental transfer and adverse outcomes of short-chain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFASs) is limited, and factors responsible for PFAS placental transfer are still unclear. In the present study, concentrations of 21 PFASs were analyzed in 132 paired maternal and cord serum samples collected from residents in Beijing, China, and the placental transfer efficiency (PTE) of each PFAS was calculated. PTEs of short-chain perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), including PFBA (146%), PFBS (97%), PFPeA (118%), and PFHxA (110%), were first reported, and a complete U-shaped trend of PTEs from C4 to C13 of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) was obtained. Positive association between maternal weight and PTE of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) ( p < 0.05) and negative association between maternal PFBA concentration and birth length ( p < 0.01) were observed. Using in vitro experiments, we further determined equilibrium dissociation constants ( Ks) of human serum albumin (HSA)-PFAS complexes ( K), serum proteins-PFAS complexes ( K), and liver-fatty acid binding protein (L-FABP)-PFAS complexes ( K) and found that they were all significantly correlated with PTEs of PFASs. The correlation coefficient was 0.92, 0.89, and 0.86, respectively ( p < 0.01 in all three tests), suggesting that Ks of protein (serum)-PFAS complexes can play an important role in trans-placental transfer of PFASs in human and K plays a pivotal role.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b00715DOI Listing
June 2019

Heavy metals in maternal and cord blood in Beijing and their efficiency of placental transfer.

J Environ Sci (China) 2019 Jun 14;80:99-106. Epub 2018 Nov 14.

Institute of Environment and Health, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056, China; Key Laboratory of Environmental Nanotechnology and Health Effects, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. Electronic address:

This study aimed to determine the effect of exposure to heavy metals in pregnant women in Beijing, China. We also evaluated the association of these heavy metals with birth weight and length of newborns. We measured the levels of 10 heavy metals, including lead (Pb), titanium (Ti), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), antimony (Sb), stannum (Sn), vanadium (V), and arsenic (As), in 156 maternal and cord blood pairs. An inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry method was used for measurement. Pb, As, Ti, Mn, and Sb showed high detection rates (>50%) in both maternal and cord blood. Fourteen (9%) mothers had blood Pb levels greater than the United States Center for Disease Control allowable threshold limit for children (50 μg/L). In prenatal exposure to these heavy metals, there was no significant association between any heavy metal and birth weight/length. Moreover, we estimated the placental transfer efficiency of each heavy metal, and the median placental transfer efficiency ranged from 49.6% (Ni) to 194% (Mn) (except for Cd and Sn). The level and detection rate of Cd in maternal blood were much higher than that in cord blood, which suggested that Cd had difficulty in passing the placental barrier. Prospective research should focus on the source and risk of heavy metals in non-occupationally exposed pregnant women in Beijing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2018.11.004DOI Listing
June 2019

Ultra-long silver nanowires induced mitotic abnormalities and cytokinetic failure in A549 cells.

Nanotoxicology 2019 05 19;13(4):543-557. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

c State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing , China.

Asbestos fiber has been associated with mesothelioma and lung cancer. However, the carcinogenic risks of other fiber nanomaterials with morphological similarities to asbestos have not been fully studied. Ultra-long silver nanowires (AgNWs) are increasingly used fiber-shaped nanomaterials with a high aspect ratio, but very few studies have investigated their health risks. Here, proliferation abnormalities of lung epithelial cells induced by ultra-long AgNWs were investigated. Ultra-long AgNW treatment induced dose- and diameter-dependent increase in the ratio of multinucleated cells. Further, proteins involved in mitosis and cytokinesis, including Aurora A, p-Histone 3 (ser10), RhoA, p-MLC, and myosin IIb, were significantly upregulated after an ultra-long AgNW treatment, leading to mitotic abnormalities and cytokinetic failure. Meanwhile, exposure to ultra-long AgNWs induced cell cycle arrest. Interestingly, a series of experiments demonstrated that ROS generation and Ag release were not responsible for the multinucleation induced by ultra-long AgNWs, but ultra-long AgNWs in the intercellular bridge might obstruct the contractile ring and inhibit abscission of the cytokinetic furrow by direct physical contact. Altogether, our findings indicate that ultra-long AgNWs can induce chromosomal instability, which has important consequences for the safety of ultra-long AgNWs to human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17435390.2019.1571645DOI Listing
May 2019

Effects of environmental contaminants on fertility and reproductive health.

J Environ Sci (China) 2019 Mar 22;77:210-217. Epub 2018 Aug 22.

Key Laboratory of Environmental Nanotechnology and Health Effects, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China. Electronic address:

Recent research indicates that the human infertility rate is increasing. Although various reasons have been hypothesized for the growing infertility rate, environmental contaminants are potentially important causal agents associated with this change. Chemical contaminants are widespread throughout our environment and human exposure is virtually unavoidable. The overall contribution of environmental exposure to infertility is unknown, but studies involving occupational exposure, together with results from animal experiments, suggest that environmental contaminants may adversely affect fertility. We reviewed the adverse effects of environmental exposure on fertility and related reproductive outcomes. Environmental contaminants covered in this review include heavy metals, organic solvents, pesticides and endocrine disrupting chemicals. It is hoped that this review will highlight the need for further research in this area.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jes.2018.07.015DOI Listing
March 2019

Tetrabromobisphenol A alters soil microbial community via selective antibacterial activity.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2018 Nov 25;164:597-603. Epub 2018 Aug 25.

Shandong Key Laboratory of Water Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, School of Environmental Science & Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan 250100, China.

Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) is the most widely used brominated flame retardant. Most studies regarding TBBPA have concentrated on its occurrence, distribution, toxicity and degradation in the environment. However, little is known about its ecological effects on soil microbial communities. In this study, we investigated the effect of TBBPA on soil microbial community. Overall, the data suggested that the growth and composition of soil microorganisms were correlated to the TBBPA concentration and exposure time. Phospholipid-derived fatty acid analysis (PLFAs) showed that significant microbial growth inhibitions were 46.1% and 46.9% in 40 mg/kg TBBPA-treated soils after 45-day incubation under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, respectively. Results of PLFAs and llumina sequencing indicated that TBBPA mainly inhibited Gram-positive bacteria, but not Gram-negative bacteria. The selective antibacterial activity of TBBPA toward Gram-positive bacteria was further confirmed in pure bacteria cultures. These data suggested that, in addition to their effect on microbial growth and composition, TBBPA may affect the microbial ecology. Additional research should be carried out to identify the ecological risk of TBBPA in soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2018.08.053DOI Listing
November 2018

Oxidative stress and cytotoxicity induced by tetrachlorobisphenol A in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2018 10 29;161:1-7. Epub 2018 May 29.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Bioprocess, College of Life Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China. Electronic address:

Tetrachlorobisphenol A (TCBPA), which is widely used as flame retardant, can be released into various environments, thereby being absorbed by wildlife or human beings through food chain's bio-magnification and causing some adverse influences on wildlife or human beings. However, limited data are currently available on TCBPA-associated cytotoxicity and related mechanisms. Here, the cytotoxicity induced by different concentrations of TCBPA (i.e., 5, 10 and 20 μM) was studied using Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a simple eukaryotic model organism. TCBPA treatment inhibited the growth and survival rate of yeast cell in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, TCBPA promoted the increasing of intracellular oxidative stress by enhancing accumulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Meanwhile, lipid peroxidation degree (represented by malondialdehyde (MDA) content) and DNA damage degree (represented by 8-hydroxy deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) content) in yeast cell also increased after TCBPA treatment. However, yeast cell mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) decreased after TCBPA treatment. It was noteworthy that there was no significant inhibitory effect on yeast cell growth or survival rate in 5 μM TCBPA-treated cells, but the intracellular MDA content and Δψm level changed significantly, suggesting the potential cell damage secondary to the relative low dose of TCBPA exposure. Results presented here would highlight our knowledge about TCBPA-associated cytotoxicity in organisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2018.05.070DOI Listing
October 2018

Anti-estrogenic activity of tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) isocyanurate through disruption of co-activator recruitment: experimental and computational studies.

Arch Toxicol 2018 Apr 22;92(4):1471-1482. Epub 2018 Jan 22.

State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2871, Beijing, 100085, People's Republic of China.

As a potential endocrine disruptor, tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) isocyanurate (TBC) has previously been demonstrated to reduce expression of estrogen-dependent vitellogenin (vtg) mRNA in adult zebrafish. However, the underlying toxicity pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in TBC-induced endocrine disruption remain elusive. In the current study, E-Screen and MVLN assays were employed to explore the potential anti-estrogenic effects of TBC via the estrogen receptor α (ERα)-mediated signaling pathway. Within a dose range between 1 × 10 and 1 × 10 M, TBC significantly inhibited 17β-estradiol (E)-induced cell proliferation in a breast cancer cell line. The luciferase activity induced by E was also significantly inhibited by TBC in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, neither TBC nor E affected proliferation of the ERα-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. These experimental results confirmed that TBC has anti-estrogenic effects by affecting the ERα-mediated signaling pathway. By comparing TBC with known antagonists of ERα, we found that TBC has similar molecular structure as certain co-activator binding inhibitors. Therefore, using molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations, TBC was further predicted to competitively occupy the surface site of ERα rather than the canonical E-binding pocket of ERα, thus disrupt subsequent co-activator recruitment and transcription activation. Our findings elucidate the anti-estrogenic mechanism of TBC at the atomic level and highlight the biological importance of surface sites of nuclear receptors for a risk assessment of potential environmental pollutants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00204-018-2159-2DOI Listing
April 2018

Evaluating estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effect of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) by zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo-based vitellogenin 1 (vtg1) mRNA expression.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol 2018 Jan 1;204:45-50. Epub 2017 Dec 1.

School of Medicine, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056, PR China; Institute of Environmental Health, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056,PR China. Electronic address:

By measuring the vitellogenin 1 (vtg1) expression through quantitative PCR and in situ hybridization, we used the zebrafish embryo as an in vivo model to access the estrogenic or anti-estrogenic effects of several endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as natural estrogen 17β-estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), synthetic hormones including diethylstilbestrol (DES), 4-octyl phenol (OP), bisphenol A (BPA), tamoxifen (TMX) and 3-(2,3-dibromopropyl) isocyanurate (TBC). According to our data, the estrogenic effect of the tested chemicals was ranked as: DES>E>E>OP>BPA, which is consistent with various in vivo and in vitro models. Therefore, the measurement of vtg1 gene expression in zebrafish embryos would be a valuable method for screening EDCs including both environmental estrogens and anti-estrogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpc.2017.11.010DOI Listing
January 2018