Publications by authors named "Taifeng Zhuang"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

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

Elevated non-essential metals and the disordered metabolism of essential metals are associated to abnormal pregnancy with spontaneous abortion.

Environ Int 2020 11 2;144:106061. Epub 2020 Sep 2.

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

Spontaneous abortion is a considerable threat to the physiology and mental health of the mother. The etiology of spontaneous abortion is multifactorial with complicated mechanisms, of which overexposure to non-essential metals (especially heavy metals) has been proposed to be associated with adverse birth outcomes. However, significant knowledge gaps remain to be filled in, such as the deleterious profile of non-essential metals and their interplay with essential metals in abnormal pregnancy. Under this setting, we aimed to address these challenges by conducting a cross-sectional study on 56 patients with spontaneous abortion in the 1 trimester, by comparing to 55 healthy pregnant women in 1 the trimester and 41 non-pregnant healthy women. Overexposure to a few non-essential metals, such as arsenic (As), antimony (Sb) and bismuth (Bi), was found in patients with spontaneous abortion, and likewise, some essential elements, such as magnesium (Mg), copper (Cu), vanadium (V), strontium (Sr) and tin (Sn), were also found to be elevated under spontaneous abortion. Further evidence of abnormal pregnancy was induced by a reduced level of internal hormones necessary for normal gestation, such as estradiol (E2) and progesterone (PRGE) in women with spontaneous abortion. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were slightly increased in patients with spontaneous abortion. Comprehensive correlation analyses were carried out to identify the crucial factors that result in abortion. Our data stratified the important variables in decreasing order: PRGE, As, Mg, Sb, Sr, Sn, Bi and pregnant times in the progress of spontaneous abortion. Moreover, labyrinthine associations were uncovered between PRGE, non-essential metals and essential elements in causing spontaneous abortion. Therefore, our combined data unveiled the likely synergistic implications of elevated non-essential metals and the disordered metabolism of essential metals in abnormal pregnancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106061DOI Listing
November 2020

Disordered serum erythroferrone and hepcidin levels as indicators of the spontaneous abortion occurrence during early pregnancy in humans.

Br J Haematol 2021 02 31;192(3):643-651. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

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

Spontaneous abortion is a common, detrimental outcome of pregnancy, and can be induced by a variety of factors, including pathophysiological conditions and socioeconomic circumstances. Despite numerous studies examining the aetiology of spontaneous abortion, there is limited understanding of the disordered iron transportation between mother and fetus through the placenta. Recently, erythroferrone (ERFE) was recognized as a novel negative regulator of hepcidin that can elevate nutritional iron absorption and macrophagic iron egress for enhanced erythropoiesis. However, its diagnostic significance in different disease conditions associated with iron remains poorly understood. In the current study, we discovered disordered maternal iron homeostasis in women who had spontaneous abortions during early pregnancy, as characterized by increased serum iron and hepcidin levels, and conversely, reduced serum ERFE levels, compared to healthy control individuals and women with normal pregnancy. Comprehensive statistical analyses revealed the correlation between different variables and pregnancy status, signifying the pronounced diagnostic value of an increased ratio of serum hepcidin and ERFE (HE ratio) in recognizing adverse pregnancy status. In contrast to previous non-selective discrete surrogates, such as iron, hepcidin and ferritin, the HE ratio may otherwise stand for a novel and more representative hallmark for early spontaneous abortion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.17049DOI Listing
February 2021

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

Fluorene-9-bisphenol inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition of human endometrial cancer Ishikawa cells by repressing TGF-β signaling pathway.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2019 Sep 20;26(26):27407-27413. Epub 2019 Jul 20.

Department of Gynecology, Beijing Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, 100050, China.

Fluorene-9-bisphenol (BHPF), a new derivative of bisphenol A (BPA), has been introduced for treatment with estrogen-related tumors, such as endometrial cancer. This study investigated the potential mechanism underlying the action of BHPF against endometrial cancer in vitro. We used the cell counting kit-8 (CCK8) method on Ishikawa cells to screen sub-lethal doses of BHPF and established the optimal concentration at which BHPF influenced the proliferation of Ishikawa cells. Effect of BHPF on cell migration and invasion was investigated by cell scratch assay and transwell assay, respectively. Expression levels of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related proteins were detected by Western blot analysis. BHPF was found to inhibit the proliferation of Ishikawa cells, whose migration and invasion abilities were also reduced. Western blot indicated that BHPF can significantly inhibit the EMT process of Ishikawa cells by blocking transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling pathway. This is the first report of the effect of BHPF on the biological behavior of endometrial cancer cells and its inhibition of endometrial cancer progression by repressing both endometrial cell proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition, hence suggesting it as a novel anti-cancer drug. Graphical abstract Schematic representation of the molecular basis underlying BHPF treatment. BHPF repressed the EMT process by regulating EMT-related genes, such as E-cadherin, N-cadherin, and vimentin as well as the TGF-β signaling pathway-related genes, including p-Smad2/3 and slug, in a BHPF-dependent manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-05184-0DOI 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

Stability, Pharmacokinetics, Biodistribution and Safety Assessment of Folate-Conjugated Pullulan Acetate Nanoparticles as Cervical Cancer Targeted Drug Carriers.

J Nanosci Nanotechnol 2015 Sep;15(9):6405-12

It is recognized that the stability and journey in the body of nanoparticles are important issues for drug formulations. In this study, we prepared folate-conjugated pullulan acetate nanoparticles (FPANs) and epirubicin loaded FPANs (FPA/EPI) using dialysis method. The storage stability of FPANs and FPA/EPI at 4 degrees C could be up to 3 months. Using folate receptor overexpressed Hela cells, dose dependent cellular uptake and receptor-mediated endocytosis of FPA/EPI were confirmed. From the in vivo pharmacokinetics test, compared to free EPI, half-life time (t½) of FPA/EPI was extended 1.57 times and the area under-the-curve (AUC) increased 3.95 times as well. In addition, biodistribution data showed that, EPI concentration in tumor in FPA/EPI group was 2.01 times higher than that in free EPI group after 96 h; The concentration of drug in liver treated by FPA/EPI was 5.7-11.6 times, while in heart, kidney, especially in stomach and intestine were much lower than those in free EPI group from 24 to 96 h. Furthermore, blank FPANs showed no apparent acute toxicity at dose up to 125 mg/kg. All results suggested that FPA/EPI showed a promising potential on treating cervical carcinoma and its metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma in future because of the high stability, less toxicity and tumor targeting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2015.10752DOI Listing
September 2015

Iron, oxidative stress and gestational diabetes.

Nutrients 2014 Sep 25;6(9):3968-80. Epub 2014 Sep 25.

Key Laboratory of Trace Element Nutrition of the Ministry of Health, National Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, No. 27 Nanwei Road, Xicheng District, Beijing 100050, China.

Both iron deficiency and hyperglycemia are highly prevalent globally for pregnant women. Iron supplementation is recommended during pregnancy to control iron deficiency. The purposes of the review are to assess the oxidative effects of iron supplementation and the potential relationship between iron nutrition and gestational diabetes. High doses of iron (~relative to 60 mg or more daily for adult humans) can induce lipid peroxidation in vitro and in animal studies. Pharmaceutical doses of iron supplements (e.g., 10× RDA or more for oral supplements or direct iron supplementation via injection or addition to the cell culture medium) for a short or long duration will induce DNA damage. Higher heme-iron intake or iron status measured by various biomarkers, especially serum ferritin, might contribute to greater risk of gestational diabetes, which may be mediated by iron oxidative stress though lipid oxidation and/or DNA damage. However, information is lacking about the effect of low dose iron supplementation (≤ 60 mg daily) on lipid peroxidation, DNA damage and gestational diabetes. Randomized trials of low-dose iron supplementation (≤ 60 mg daily) for pregnant women are warranted to test the relationship between iron oxidative stress and insulin resistance/gestational diabetes, especially for iron-replete women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu6093968DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4179198PMC
September 2014

Risk factors affecting nasal colonization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus when admitted in intensive care unit.

Chin Med J (Engl) 2014 ;127(10):1804-7

Intensive Care Unit, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, China. Email:

Background: Colonization with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a risk factor for subsequent invasive MRSA infection, particularly in patients admitted for critical care. The purpose of this study was to investigate the risk factors affecting nasal colonization of MRSA in patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU).

Methods: Between August 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, we screened for MRSA nasal colonization in 350 patients by Real-time PCR within 24 hours of admission by means of swab samples taken from the anterior nares. According to the results of PCR, the patients were divided into 2 groups: the positive group with nasal MRSA colonization and the negative group without nasal MRSA colonization. The 31 (8.86%) patients were MRSA positive. The risk factors evaluated included thirteen variables, which were analyzed by t test for continuous variables and χ(2) test for discrete variables. The variables with significance (P < 0.05) were analyzed with stepwise Logistic regression.

Results: There were differences (P < 0.05) in four variables between two groups. The duration of stay in hospital prior to ICU admission in the positive group was (35.7 ± 16.1) days, vs. (4.5 ± 3.1) days in the negative group. The average blood albumin level was (28.4 ± 2.9) g/L in the positive group, vs. (30.5 ± 4.3) g/L in the negative group. Of 31 patients in the positive group, seven had been treated with antibiotics longer than seven days vs. 34 of 319 patients in the negative group. In the positive group, four of 31 patients received treatment with more than two classes of antibiotics prior to admission in ICU, contrasted to 13 of 319 patients in the negative group. Furthermore, stepwise Logistic regression analysis for these four variables indicates that the duration of stay in hospital prior to ICU admission may be an independent risk factor.

Conclusions: MRSA colonization in ICU admission may be related to many factors. The duration of stay in hospital prior to ICU admission is an independent risk factor.
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April 2015