Publications by authors named "Morgan Robinson"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Chronic early-life social isolation affects NMDA and TrkB receptor expression in a sex-specific manner.

Neurosci Lett 2021 Jun 8:136016. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

School of Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada. Electronic address:

Exposing mammals to adverse social environments early in life can affect brain development in ways that alter adult behaviour. For example, chronic, early-life social isolation (CELSI) has been found to cause novelty-induced hyperactivity, impaired pre-pulse inhibition, and enhanced anxiety-related behaviour. Although the molecular mechanism(s) underlying the embedding of CELSI have not been fully elucidated, evidence suggests changes in the level of excitatory neurotransmission and neurotrophic factor signalling may be quite important. Since much of the work in this area has focused upon mRNA-level analyses, and has shown variable responses across both brain region and animal sex, our study aimed to explore the impact of CELSI on the expression of two important plasticity-related proteins (Tropomyosin receptor kinase B and the GluN2B subunit of the NMDA receptor) in the pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus of both male and female rats. We observed that the expression of both proteins was clearly changed by CELSI, but that the effect occurred in a sex (but not region) specific manner. Our results support the growing view that early-life adversity can cause structural changes reasonably associated with adult behaviour, and emphasise that the study of such changes benefits from a sex-based analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2021.136016DOI Listing
June 2021

Prenatal environmental tobacco smoke exposure alters children's cognitive control circuitry: A preliminary study.

Environ Int 2021 May 6;155:106516. Epub 2021 May 6.

The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA.

Background And Objectives: Prenatal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with increased attention problems in children, however, the effects of such exposure on children's brain structure and function have not been studied. Herein, we probed effects of prenatal ETS on children's cognitive control circuitry and behavior.

Methods: Forty-one children (7-9 years) recruited from a prospective longitudinal birth cohort of non-smoking mothers completed structural and task-functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate effects of maternal ETS exposure, measured by maternal prenatal urinary cotinine. Attention problems and externalizing behaviors were measured by parent report on the Child Behavior Checklist.

Results: Compared to non-exposed children, exposed children had smaller left and right thalamic and inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) volumes, with large effect sizes (p-FDR < .05, Cohen's D range from 0.79 to 1.07), and increased activation in IFG during the resolution of cognitive conflict measured with the Simon Spatial Incompatibility Task (38 voxels; peak t(25) = 5.25, p-FWE = .005). Reduced thalamic volume was associated with increased IFG activation and attention problems, reflecting poor cognitive control. Mediation analyses showed a trend toward left thalamic volume mediating the association between exposure and attention problems (p = .05).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that maternal ETS exposure during pregnancy has deleterious effects on the structure and function of cognitive control circuitry which in turn affects attentional capacity in school-age children. These findings are consistent with prior findings documenting the effects of active maternal smoking on chidlren's neurodevleoment, pointing to the neurotixicity of nicotine regardless of exposure pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106516DOI Listing
May 2021

Organophosphate pesticides and progression of chronic kidney disease among children: A prospective cohort study.

Environ Int 2021 May 2;155:106597. Epub 2021 May 2.

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Environmental Pediatrics, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA; Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, USA; Department of Environmental Medicine, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY; NYU Wagner School of Public Service, New York, NY, USA; NYU College of Global Public Health, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Growing evidence suggests that exposure to environmental chemicals, such as pesticides, impacts renal function and chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, it is not clear if pesticides may affect CKD progression and no studies exist in children.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to examine associations between serially measured urinary OP pesticide metabolites and clinical and laboratory measures of kidney function over time among children with CKD.

Methods: This study used data on 618 participants enrolled in the CKD in Children study (CKiD), a cohort study of pediatric CKD patients from the US and Canada. Children were followed over an average of 3.0 years (standard deviation (SD) = 1.6) between 2005 and 2015. In serially collected urine samples over time, six nonspecific dialkyl phosphate (DAP) metabolites of OP pesticides were measured. Biomarkers of tubular injury (kidney injury molecule-1 (KIM-1) and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL)) and oxidant stress (8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and F-isoprostane) were determined in the same specimens. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), proteinuria, and blood pressure were assessed annually.

Results: DAPs were associated with increased KIM-1 and 8-OHdG throughout follow-up. A standard deviation increase in ∑diethyl metabolites was associated with increases of 11.9% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 4.8%, 19.4%) and 13.2% (95% CI: 9.3%, 17.2%) in KIM-1 and 8-OHdG over time, respectively. DAPs were associated with lower eGFR at baseline and higher eGFR over subsequent years.

Conclusions: These findings provide preliminary evidence suggesting that urinary DAP metabolites are associated with subclinical kidney injury among children with CKD, which may signal the potential for clinical events to manifest in the future. The results from this study are significant from both a clinical and public health perspective, given that OP pesticide exposure is a modifiable risk factor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106597DOI Listing
May 2021

Association Between Maternal Caffeine Consumption and Metabolism and Neonatal Anthropometry: A Secondary Analysis of the NICHD Fetal Growth Studies-Singletons.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 03 1;4(3):e213238. Epub 2021 Mar 1.

Epidemiology Branch, Division of Intramural Population Health Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Importance: Higher caffeine consumption during pregnancy has been associated with lower birth weight. However, associations of caffeine consumption, based on both plasma concentrations of caffeine and its metabolites, and self-reported caffeinated beverage intake, with multiple measures of neonatal anthropometry, have yet to be examined.

Objective: To evaluate the association between maternal caffeine intake and neonatal anthropometry, testing effect modification by fast or slow caffeine metabolism genotype.

Design, Setting, And Participants: A longitudinal cohort study, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Fetal Growth Studies-Singletons, enrolled 2055 nonsmoking women at low risk for fetal growth abnormalities with complete information on caffeine consumption from 12 US clinical sites between 2009 and 2013. Secondary analysis was completed in 2020.

Exposures: Caffeine was evaluated by both plasma concentrations of caffeine and paraxanthine and self-reported caffeinated beverage consumption measured/reported at 10-13 weeks gestation. Caffeine metabolism defined as fast or slow using genotype information from the single nucleotide variant rs762551 (CYP1A2*1F).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Neonatal anthropometric measures, including birth weight, length, and head, abdominal, arm, and thigh circumferences, skin fold and fat mass measures. The β coefficients represent the change in neonatal anthropometric measure per SD change in exposure.

Results: A total of 2055 participants had a mean (SD) age of 28.3 (5.5) years, mean (SD) body mass index of 23.6 (3.0), and 580 (28.2%) were Hispanic, 562 (27.4%) were White, 518 (25.2%) were Black, and 395 (19.2%) were Asian/Pacific Islander. Delivery occurred at a mean (SD) of 39.2 (1.7) gestational weeks. Compared with the first quartile of plasma caffeine level (≤28 ng/mL), neonates of women in the fourth quartile (>659 ng/mL) had lower birth weight (β = -84.3 g; 95% CI, -145.9 to -22.6 g; P = .04 for trend), length (β = -0.44 cm; 95% CI, -0.78 to -0.12 cm; P = .04 for trend), and head (β = -0.28 cm; 95% CI, -0.47 to -0.09 cm; P < .001 for trend), arm (β = -0.25 cm; 95% CI, -0.41 to -0.09 cm: P = .02 for trend), and thigh (β = -0.29 cm; 95% CI, -0.58 to -0.04 cm; P = .07 for trend) circumference. Similar reductions were observed for paraxanthine quartiles, and for continuous measures of caffeine and paraxanthine concentrations. Compared with women who reported drinking no caffeinated beverages, women who consumed approximately 50 mg per day (~ 1/2 cup of coffee) had neonates with lower birth weight (β = -66 g; 95% CI, -121 to -10 g), smaller arm (β = -0.17 cm; 95% CI, -0.31 to -0.02 cm) and thigh (β = -0.32 cm; 95% CI, -0.55 to -0.09 cm) circumference, and smaller anterior flank skin fold (β = -0.24 mm; 95% CI, -0.47 to -0.01 mm). Results did not differ by fast or slow caffeine metabolism genotype.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this cohort study, small reductions in neonatal anthropometric measurements with increasing caffeine consumption were observed. Findings suggest that caffeine consumption during pregnancy, even at levels much lower than the recommended 200 mg per day of caffeine, are associated with decreased fetal growth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.3238DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7994948PMC
March 2021

Pseudopeptide Amyloid Aggregation Inhibitors: In Silico, Single Molecule and Cell Viability Studies.

Int J Mol Sci 2021 Jan 21;22(3). Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada.

Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is defined by pathology featuring amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition in the brain. Aβ monomers themselves are generally considered to be nontoxic, but misfold into β-sheets and aggregate to form neurotoxic oligomers. One suggested strategy to treat AD is to prevent the formation of toxic oligomers. The SG inhibitors are a class of pseudopeptides designed and optimized using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for affinity to Aβ and experimentally validated for their ability to inhibit amyloid-amyloid binding using single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS). In this work, we provide a review of our previous MD and SMFS studies of these inhibitors and present new cell viability studies that demonstrate their neuroprotective effects against Aβ(1-42) oligomers using mouse hippocampal-derived HT22 cells. Two of the tested SG inhibitors, predicted to bind Aβ in anti-parallel orientation, demonstrated neuroprotection against Aβ(1-42). A third inhibitor, predicted to bind parallel to Aβ, was not neuroprotective. Myristoylation of SG inhibitors, intended to enhance delivery across the blood-brain barrier (BBB), resulted in cytotoxicity. This is the first use of HT22 cells for the study of peptide aggregation inhibitors. Overall, this work will inform the future development of peptide aggregation inhibitors against Aβ toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms22031051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7865305PMC
January 2021

Melatonin Alters Fluid Phase Coexistence in POPC/DPPC/Cholesterol Membranes.

Biophys J 2020 12 4;119(12):2391-2402. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

The structure and biophysical properties of lipid membranes are important for cellular functions in health and disease. In Alzheimer's disease, the neuronal membrane is a target for toxic amyloid-β (Aβ). Melatonin is an important pineal gland hormone that has been shown to protect against Aβ toxicity in cellular and animal studies, but the molecular mechanism of this protection is not fully understood. Melatonin is a small membrane-active molecule that has been shown to interact with model lipid membranes and alter the membrane biophysical properties, such as membrane molecular order and dynamics. This effect of melatonin has been previously studied in simple model bilayers with one or two lipid components. To make it more relevant to neuronal membranes, we used a more complex ternary lipid mixture as our membrane model. In this study, we used H-NMR to investigate the effect of melatonin on the phase behavior of 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC), 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), and cholesterol lipid membranes. We used deuterium-labeled POPC-d and DPPC-d,separately to probe the changes in hydrocarbon chain order as a function of temperature and melatonin concentration. We find that POPC/DPPC/cholesterol at molar proportions of 3:3:2 is close to liquid-disordered/liquid-ordered phase separation and that melatonin can induce phase separation in these ternary mixtures by preferentially incorporating into the disordered phase and increasing its level of disorder. At 5 mol% melatonin, we observed phase separation in samples with POPC-d, but not with DPPC-d, whereas at 10 mol% melatonin, phase separation was observed in both samples with either POPC-d or DPPC-d. These results indicate that melatonin can have a strong effect on membrane structure and physical properties, which may provide some clues to understanding how melatonin protects against Aβ, and that choice of chain perdeuteration is an important consideration from a technical point of view.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2020.10.030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7822731PMC
December 2020

The effects of melatonin, serotonin, tryptophan and NAS on the biophysical properties of DPPC monolayers.

Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr 2020 09 22;1862(9):183363. Epub 2020 May 22.

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada; Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada. Electronic address:

Melatonin is a neurohormone that has been shown to be protective in Alzheimer's diseases against amyloid-β (Aβ) toxicity, which involves interaction of Aβ with neuronal membrane. Non-specific interactions of melatonin with cell membrane may play a physiological role in this process by preserving membrane fluidity. In the brain, melatonin is derived from the amino acid tryptophan through a pathway that includes serotonin and N-acetylserotonin (NAS). How these molecules affect the membrane properties is not understood. In this work, we studied interactions of melatonin and its metabolic precursors tryptophan, serotonin and NAS with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) monolayers at the air-water interface using Langmuir monolayer technique. Analysis of compression isotherms, phase transitions and compressibility moduli indicate that all four molecules alter the DPPC monolayer properties in a structure and concentration dependent manner. This effect was most pronounced for melatonin followed by NAS. Melatonin and NAS both decreased the compressibility modulus and shifted the LE/LC phase transition suggesting an increase in the membrane fluidity. Tryptophan and serotonin caused less pronounced effects on the DPPC isotherm. These differences suggest different interaction mechanisms and may be attributed to the interplay between electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions of these molecules with the zwitterionic DPPC headgroups which correlate with water solubility and oil partition coefficients (LogS and LogP) of each the four molecules. The results here demonstrate how the physiochemical properties of indoles can affect lipid membranes which may shed light on the functional significance of these important neurochemicals and the neuroprotective mechanisms of melatonin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamem.2020.183363DOI Listing
September 2020

The association between prenatal exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances and childhood neurodevelopment.

Environ Pollut 2020 Aug 26;263(Pt B):114444. Epub 2020 Mar 26.

Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA.

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were among various persistent organic pollutants suspected to have been released during the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11. Evidence on the association between prenatal PFAS exposure and child neurodevelopment is limited and inconsistent. This study evaluated the association between prenatal PFAS exposure and child cognitive outcomes measured at 5 different time points in a population prenatally exposed to the WTC disaster. The study population included 302 pregnant women in the Columbia University WTC birth cohort enrolled between December 13, 2001 and June 26, 2002 at three hospitals located near the WTC site: Beth Israel, St. Vincent's, and New York University Downtown. We evaluated the association between prenatal exposure to four PFAS (perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)) and child neurodevelopment measured using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID-II) at approximately 1, 2 and 3 years of age and using The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) at approximately 4 and 6 years of age. Geometric mean (range) concentrations of PFAS were 6.03 (1.05, 33.7), 2.31 (0.18, 8.14), 0.43 (
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114444DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7362877PMC
August 2020

The Idea of the Upelekwa: Constructing a Transcontinental Community in Eastern Africa, 1888-96.

Authors:
Morgan Robinson

J Hist Ideas 2020 ;81(1):85-106

By the 1880s, the Universities' Mission to Central Africa had stations scattered all over East Africa. African adherents came to the mission's Zanzibar headquarters for school and returned to the mainland as clergy and teachers. Despite their wide dispersal, the members of the mission maintained strong connections; in this piece, I trace these connections through the idea of the Upelekwa, a Swahili term meaning 'mission field' and connoting a community both defined and inclusive. Using the concept, mission adherents knit together the scattered stations, all the while looking ahead to the future expansion of the community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/jhi.2020.0004DOI Listing
February 2020

The Association Between Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Lipids in Cord Blood.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 01;105(1)

Department of Pediatrics, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York.

Introduction: Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were among various persistent organic pollutants suspected to have been released during the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11/2001. Evidence suggests that PFAS may have cardiometabolic effects, including alterations in lipid profiles. This study evaluated the association between cord blood PFAS and lipids in a population prenatally exposed to the WTC disaster.

Study Population: 222 pregnant women in the Columbia University WTC birth cohort enrolled between December 13, 2001 and June 26, 2002 at hospitals located near the WTC site: Beth Israel, St. Vincent's, and New York University Downtown.

Methods: We evaluated the association between 5 cord blood PFAS-perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecane sulfonate (PFDS)-and cord blood lipids (total lipids, total cholesterol, triglycerides).

Results: Median (interquartile range [IQR]) concentrations of PFAS were 6.32 (4.58-8.57), 2.46 (1.77-3.24), 0.38 (0.25-0.74), 0.66 (0.48-0.95) and 0.11 (0.09-0.16) ng/mL for PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, PFHxS, and PFDS, respectively. Median (IQR) for lipids were 59.0 (51.5-68.5) mg/dL for total cholesterol, 196.5 (170.5-221.2) mg/dL for total lipids and 33.1 (24.2-43.9) mg/dL for triglycerides. In fully adjusted models, several PFAS were associated with higher lipid levels, including evidence of a strong linear trend between triglycerides and both PFOA and PFHxS.

Conclusions: Findings support previous evidence of an association between PFAS exposure and altered lipid profiles and add novel information on this relationship in cord blood, as well as for an understudied PFAS, PFDS (J Clin Endocrinol Metab XX: 0-0, 2019).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgz024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6936966PMC
January 2020

Assessing thermal adaptation using family-based association and F outlier tests in a threatened trout species.

Mol Ecol 2019 05 11;28(10):2573-2593. Epub 2019 May 11.

Science Program, Trout Unlimited, Boise, Idaho.

Discovering genetic markers associated with phenotypic or ecological characteristics can improve our understanding of adaptation and guide conservation of key evolutionary traits. The Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii henshawi) of the northern Great Basin Desert, USA, demonstrated exceptional tolerance to high temperatures in the desert lakes where it resided historically. This trait is central to a conservation hatchery effort to protect the genetic legacy of the nearly extinct lake ecotype. We genotyped full-sibling families from this conservation broodstock and samples from the only two remaining, thermally distinct, native lake populations at 4,644 new single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Family-based genome-wide association testing of the broodstock identified nine and 26 SNPs associated with thermal tolerance (p < 0.05 and p < 0.1), measured in a previous thermal challenge experiment. Genes near the associated SNPs had complex functions related to immunity, growth, metabolism and ion homeostasis. Principal component analysis using the thermotolerance-related SNPs showed unexpected divergence between the conservation broodstock and the native lake populations at these loci. F outlier tests on the native lake populations identified 18 loci shared between two or more of the tests, with two SNPs identified by all three tests (p < 0.01); none overlapped with loci identified by association testing in the broodstock. A recent history of isolation and the complex genetic and demographic backgrounds of Lahontan cutthroat trout probably limited our ability to find shared thermal tolerance loci. Our study extends the still relatively rare application of genomic tools testing for markers associated with important phenotypic or environmental characteristics in species of conservation concern.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mec.15100DOI Listing
May 2019

Cord blood perfluoroalkyl substances in mothers exposed to the World Trade Center disaster during pregnancy.

Environ Pollut 2019 Mar 11;246:482-490. Epub 2018 Dec 11.

Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, USA.

Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) may have been released during the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11. Evidence suggests PFAS can cross the placental barrier in humans and cause harm to the developing fetus; however, no studies have measured PFAS in mothers exposed to the WTC disaster during pregnancy. We measured PFAS in maternal plasma (n = 48) or cord blood (n = 231) from pregnant women in the Columbia University WTC birth cohort, enrolled between December 13, 2001 and June 26, 2002 at one of three hospitals located near the WTC site. In order to maximize sample size, we used a linear regression to transform the 48 maternal plasma samples to cord blood equivalents in our study; cord blood and transformed maternal plasma-to-cord blood samples were then analyzed together. We evaluated the association between WTC exposure and PFAS concentrations using three exposure variables: 1) living/working within two miles of WTC; 2) living within two miles of WTC regardless of work location; and 3) working but not living within two miles of WTC. Exposure was compared with those not living/working within two miles of WTC (reference group). Living/working within two miles of WTC was associated with 13% higher perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) concentrations compared with the reference group [GMR (95% CI): 1.13 (1.01, 1.27)]. The association was stronger when comparing only those who lived within two miles of WTC to the reference group [GMR (95% CI): 1.17 (1.03, 1.33)], regardless of work location. Our results provide evidence that exposure to the WTC disaster during pregnancy resulted in increases in PFAS concentrations, specifically PFOA. This work identifies a potentially vulnerable and overlooked population, children exposed to the WTC disaster in utero, and highlights the importance of future longitudinal studies in this cohort to investigate later life effects resulting from these early life exposures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.12.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6402332PMC
March 2019

Application of dispersive solid phase extraction for trace analysis of toxic chemicals in foods.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2018 Aug 29;1092:65-71. Epub 2018 May 29.

Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY 12201-0509, USA. Electronic address:

The objectives of this study were to develop and validate a method for the identification of toxic organic chemicals, including groups of controlled substances, alkaloids and pesticides that are highly toxic and considered threats to public health. This project aims to ensure our laboratory's readiness to respond to emergencies involving our food supply in cooperation with the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) program. The food matrices were homogenized in a blender or food processor prior to extraction with an acetonitrile-water mixture using a QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe) procedure. The extracts were then analyzed by either gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) or liquid chromatography-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI/MS/MS). Method validation was performed on a variety of food matrices including lettuce, grapes, milk, chicken, pork and beef. MDLs for the toxic compounds ranged from 0.01 to 0.66 mg/kg (ppm). The findings in this study will provide a valuable resource for the determination of toxic chemicals in food matrices for emergency response situations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2018.05.043DOI Listing
August 2018

Parabens in human urine from several Asian countries, Greece, and the United States.

Chemosphere 2018 Jun 1;201:13-19. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12201-0509, United States; Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany, NY 12201-0509, United States; Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science and Experimental Biochemistry Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address:

Parabens, esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid, are commonly used as antimicrobial preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products. Although several studies report exposure of humans to parabens in Western countries, little is known about exposure of humans to parabens in Asian countries. In this study, we determined concentrations of six parabens in spot urine samples collected from nine countries and estimated daily intakes (DI) and potential health risks of parabens. Ethyl-paraben, methyl-paraben, and propyl-paraben were detected frequently at 100, 98.0, and 80.3%, respectively, with representative median concentrations of 0.68, 7.02, and 1.21 ng/mL, respectively, for all nine countries. Urine samples from females (total median concentration: 32.3 ng/mL) contained significantly higher concentrations of parabens than did those from males (5.46 ng/mL). Urine samples from Korea (total median paraben concentration: 227 ng/mL) had the highest concentrations, which were one to two orders of magnitude higher than those found in other countries (3.67-29.1 ng/mL). The estimated DI of parabens (on the basis of concentrations measured in urine) varied widely, and several samples had propyl-paraben exposures above the acceptable DI. Our results suggest that paraben exposure is ubiquitous in Asian countries, and further assessment of potential health risk of these chemicals is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.02.165DOI Listing
June 2018

Urinary levels of triclosan and triclocarban in several Asian countries, Greece and the USA: Association with oxidative stress.

Environ Res 2018 01 30;160:91-96. Epub 2017 Sep 30.

Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Experimental Biochemistry Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, and Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, State University of New York at Albany, Empire State Plaza, P.O. Box 509, Albany, NY 12201-0509, United States. Electronic address:

Triclosan (TCS) and Triclocarban (TCC) are widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in personal care products (PCPs). Because of their potential for endocrine disrupting effects, human exposure to these chemicals is a concern. Biomonitoring studies of human exposure to TCS and TCC have shown widespread exposure of populations in western European countries and the USA. However, exposure to TCC and TCS by populations in Asian countries is less well known. In this study, concentrations of TCS and TCC were determined in human urine collected from seven Asian countries (China, India, Korea, Kuwait, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam), and Greece and the USA. A total of 430 urine samples were analyzed for TCS and TCC, of which 355 (83%) and 82 (19%), respectively, contained measurable levels of these chemicals. The overall geometric mean [GM] concentrations of TCS and TCC, were 1.36 and 0.03ng/mL, respectively. The highest mean concentration of TCS was found in urine from China (100ng/mL) and the lowest concentration was found in urine from Vietnam (2.34ng/mL). We also analyzed urinary 8-OHdG, a marker of oxidative stress, to elucidate the association with TCS and TCC levels for samples from Saudi Arabia (n=130) and a positive correlation between Ln-transformed TCC levels and 8-OHdG was found, although this was not statistically significant. This is the first study to report urinary levels of TCS and TCC in several Asian countries, especially for Vietnam, Kuwait, and Japan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2017.09.021DOI Listing
January 2018

Recent Progress in Alzheimer's Disease Research, Part 3: Diagnosis and Treatment.

J Alzheimers Dis 2017 ;57(3):645-665

Department of Chemistry, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada.

The field of Alzheimer's disease (AD) research has grown exponentially over the past few decades, especially since the isolation and identification of amyloid-β from postmortem examination of the brains of AD patients. Recently, the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (JAD) put forth approximately 300 research reports which were deemed to be the most influential research reports in the field of AD since 2010. JAD readers were asked to vote on these most influential reports. In this 3-part review, we review the results of the 300 most influential AD research reports to provide JAD readers with a readily accessible, yet comprehensive review of the state of contemporary research. Notably, this multi-part review identifies the "hottest" fields of AD research providing guidance for both senior investigators as well as investigators new to the field on what is the most pressing fields within AD research. Part 1 of this review covers pathogenesis, both on a molecular and macro scale. Part 2 review genetics and epidemiology, and part 3 covers diagnosis and treatment. This part of the review, diagnosis and treatment, reviews the latest diagnostic criteria, biomarkers, imaging, and treatments in AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-160907DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5389048PMC
August 2017

Recent Progress in Alzheimer's Disease Research, Part 2: Genetics and Epidemiology.

J Alzheimers Dis 2017 ;57(2):317-330

Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.

This is the second part of a three-part review series reviewing the most important advances in Alzheimer's disease (AD) research since 2010. This review covers the latest research on genetics and epidemiology. Epidemiological and genetic studies are revealing important insights into the etiology of, and factors that contribute to AD, as well as areas of priority for research into mechanisms and interventions. The widespread adoption of genome wide association studies has provided compelling evidence of the genetic complexity of AD with genes associated with such diverse physiological function as immunity and lipid metabolism being implicated in AD pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-161149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5366246PMC
February 2018

Native fishes in the Truckee River: Are in-stream structures and patterns of population genetic structure related?

Sci Total Environ 2016 Sep 30;563-564:221-36. Epub 2016 Apr 30.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Lahontan National Fish Hatchery Complex, 710 Highway 395, Gardnerville, NV 89410, USA.

In-stream structures are recognized as significant impediments to movement for freshwater fishes. Apex predators such as salmonids have been the focus of much research on the impacts of such barriers to population dynamics and population viability however much less research has focused on native fishes, where in-stream structures may have a greater impact on long term population viability of these smaller, less mobile species. Patterns of genetic structure on a riverscape can provide information on which structures represent real barriers to movement for fish species and under what specific flow conditions. Here we characterize the impact of 41 dam and diversion structures on movement dynamics under varying flow conditions for a suite of six native fishes found in the Truckee River of California and Nevada. Microsatellite loci were used to estimate total allelic diversity, effective population size and assess genetic population structure. Although there is spatial overlap among species within the river there are clear differences in species distributions within the watershed. Observed population genetic structure was associated with in-stream structures, but only under low flow conditions. High total discharge in 2006 allowed fish to move over potential barriers resulting in no observed population genetic structure for any species in 2007. The efficacy of in-stream structures to impede movement and isolate fish emerged only after multiple years of low flow conditions. Our results suggest that restricted movement of fish species, as a result of in-stream barriers, can be mitigated by flow management. However, as flow dynamics are likely to be altered under global climate change, fragmentation due to barriers could isolate stream fishes into small subpopulations susceptible to both demographic losses and losses of genetic variation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.04.056DOI Listing
September 2016