Publications by authors named "Vlasta Svecova"

23 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The effects of age on DNA fragmentation, the condensation of chromatin and conventional semen parameters in healthy nonsmoking men exposed to traffic air pollution.

Health Sci Rep 2021 Jun 9;4(2):e260. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Department of Genetic Toxicology and Epigenetics Institute of Experimental Medicine, Czech Academy of Science Prague Czech Republic.

Background: Numerous studies have investigated age-based declines in semen traits, but the impact of paternal age on semen parameter values remains inconclusive.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to detect an impact of age on semen quality was studied in healthy nonsmoking men exposed to traffic air pollution.

Methods: Semen samples from 150 Prague City policemen aged 23 to 63 years were examined for standard semen parameters, sperm DNA fragmentation and high DNA stainability.

Results: A significant positive correlation was found between age and %DFI ( = .359,  < .001), and negative correlations were found between age and sperm vitality ( = -.247,  < .001), the % acrosome-intact sperm ( = -.202, = .013) and the % normal sperm heads ( = -.204, = .012). A weak but significant negative correlation was found for high DNA stainability (% HDS) vs age ( = -.161, = .050). No significant correlation was detected between male age and the other investigated semen quality parameters. At ages of 23 to 30, 31 to 40, 41 to 50, and 51 to 63 years, the mean %DFI values were 12.7 ± 7.18, 14.7 ± 7.42, 19.6 ± 11.25, and 34.2 ± 15.08, respectively.

Conclusion: Our study shows a strong relationship ( < .001) between the age of men and sperm DNA fragmentation in an occupational cohort at risk of exposure to heavy traffic-related air pollution in a large city center.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hsr2.260DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7942397PMC
June 2021

Relation between personal exposure and outdoor concentrations of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during smog episode.

Cent Eur J Public Health 2019 12;27(4):305-311

Institute of Experimental Medicine, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objectives: To our knowledge this is the first study measuring personal exposure to carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs) bound to airborne particulate matter ≤ 2.5 µm (PM) in periods of high air pollution (smog episode) in which citizen were tracked.

Methods: Measurements were performed in industrial regions of the Czech Republic: Ostrava, Karviná, Havířov. The city of Prague served as a control. Personal monitoring was conducted by active personal monitors for 48 hours. Non-smoking city policemen from Prague, Karviná and Havířov, office workers from Ostrava city and volunteers from Ostrava-Radvanice and Bartovice participated in the study (N = 214).

Results: The average personal exposure to benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) was highest in Ostrava (17.2 ng/m), followed by Karviná, Havířov, Radvanice and Bartovice, and Prague (14.2, 12.0, 9.3, and 2.8 ng/m, respectively). We tested for association between the personal exposure to cPAHs and various health-related factors extracted from the questionnaires, including lifestyle factors and day-to-day activities.

Conclusions: Exposure to outdoor cPAHs, environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), commuting, and time spent indoors (in restaurants, workplace or home) were found to be the main determinants of the personal exposure. Daily cPAHs measurements in highly polluted areas are needed for evaluating the personal exposure and to avoid its underestimation resulting from stationary monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21101/cejph.a5475DOI Listing
December 2019

Gene expression profiling in healthy newborns from diverse localities of the Czech Republic.

Environ Mol Mutagen 2018 06 30;59(5):401-415. Epub 2018 Mar 30.

Institute of Experimental Medicine of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.

Prenatal exposure to air pollution is associated with intrauterine growth restriction and low birth weight. Gene expression changes in newborns in relation to air pollution have not been sufficiently studied. We analyzed whole genome expression in cord blood leukocytes of 202 newborns from diverse localities of the Czech Republic, differing among other factors in levels of air pollution: the district of Karvina (characterized by higher concentration of air pollutants) and Ceske Budejovice (lower air pollution levels). We aimed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and pathways in relation to locality and concentration of air pollutants. We applied the linear model to identify the specific DEGs and the correlation analysis, to investigate the relationship between the concentrations of air pollutants and gene expression data. An analysis of biochemical pathways and gene set enrichment was also performed. In general, we observed modest changes of gene expression, mostly attributed to the effect of the locality. The highest number of DEGs was found in samples from the district of Karvina. A pathway analysis revealed a deregulation of processes associated with cell growth, apoptosis or cellular homeostasis, immune response-related processes or oxidative stress response. The association between concentrations of air pollutants and gene expression changes was weak, particularly for samples collected in Karvina. In summary, as we did not find a direct effect of exposure to air pollutants, we assume that the general differences in the environment, rather than actual concentrations of individual pollutants, represent a key factor affecting gene expression changes at delivery. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 59:401-415, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/em.22184DOI Listing
June 2018

Adaptation of the human population to the environment: Current knowledge, clues from Czech cytogenetic and "omics" biomonitoring studies and possible mechanisms.

Mutat Res 2017 07 12;773:188-203. Epub 2017 Jul 12.

Department of Genetic Toxicology and Nanotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Czech Academy of Sciences, 14220 Prague 4, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

The human population is continually exposed to numerous harmful environmental stressors, causing negative health effects and/or deregulation of biomarker levels. However, studies reporting no or even positive impacts of some stressors on humans are also sometimes published. The main aim of this review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the last decade of Czech biomonitoring research, concerning the effect of various levels of air pollution (benzo[a]pyrene) and radiation (uranium, X-ray examination and natural radon background), on the differently exposed population groups. Because some results obtained from cytogenetic studies were opposite than hypothesized, we have searched for a meaningful interpretation in genomic/epigenetic studies. A detailed analysis of our data supported by the studies of others and current epigenetic knowledge, leads to a hypothesis of the versatile mechanism of adaptation to environmental stressors via DNA methylation settings which may even originate in prenatal development, and help to reduce the resulting DNA damage levels. This hypothesis is fully in agreement with unexpected data from our studies (e.g. lower levels of DNA damage in subjects from highly polluted regions than in controls or in subjects exposed repeatedly to a pollutant than in those without previous exposure), and is also supported by differences in DNA methylation patterns in groups from regions with various levels of pollution. In light of the adaptation hypothesis, the following points may be suggested for future research: (i) the chronic and acute exposure of study subjects should be distinguished; (ii) the exposure history should be mapped including place of residence during the life and prenatal development; (iii) changes of epigenetic markers should be monitored over time. In summary, investigation of human adaptation to the environment, one of the most important processes of survival, is a new challenge for future research in the field of human biomonitoring that may change our view on the results of biomarker analyses and potential negative health impacts of the environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrrev.2017.07.002DOI Listing
July 2017

Oxidative stress in newborns by different modes of delivery.

Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2016 Nov;37(6):445-451

Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic.

Objectives: The aim of our study is to investigate the impact of the type of delivery - vaginal vs. cesarean section on oxidative damage determined as the lipid peroxidation (15-F2t-isoprostane (15-F2t-IsoP) in the cord blood of newborns and venous blood from mothers in two localities with different levels of air pollution: Ceske Budejovice (CB), a locality with a clean air, and Karvina, a locality with high air pollution.

Resutls: In Karvina, the concentration of PM2.5 was higher than in CB in the summer 2013 (mean±SD: 20.41±6.28 vs. 9.45±3.62 µg/m3, p<0.001) and in the winter 2014 (mean±SD: 53.67±19.76 vs. 27.96±12.34 µg/m3, p<0.001). Similarly, the concentration of B[a]P was higher in Karvina than in CB in the summer 2013 (mean±SD: 1.16±0.91 vs. 0.16±0.26 ng/m3, p<0.001) and in the winter 2014 (5.36±3.64 vs. 1.45±1.19 ng/m3, p<0.001). Delivery procedures differed by the type of anesthesia; at the Cesarean section in CB was used general anesthesia in 73.8% vs. 20.8% in Karvina (p<0.001), epidural anesthesia in CB in 26.2% vs. 77.1% in Karvina (p<0.001), at vaginal delivery was local anesthesia used in CB in 58.9% vs. 14.1% in Karvina (p<0.001). In CB was oxidative stress higher after vaginal delivery (101.7±31.0 pg 15-F2t-isoP/ml plasma) vs. Cesarean section (83.9±26.9 pg 15-F2t-isoP/ml plasma, p<0.001), no difference between the type of delivery was observed in Karvina.

Conclusion: No difference between the types of delivery was observed in mothers in CB as well as in Karvina. Oxidative stress in newborns in Karvina was significantly affected by the concentrations of PM2.5 and B[a]P in the polluted air.
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November 2016

Impact of Air Pollution to Genome of Newborns.

Cent Eur J Public Health 2016 Dec;24 Suppl:S40-S44

University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

The Northern Moravia Region is the most polluted region in the Czech Republic by particulate matter (PM) and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (c-PAHs) as benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) by heavy industry and local heating. This specific situation was used to study the impact of air pollution on newborns in the exposed Karviná district and control district of České Budějovice. Biological material from newborns and mothers was collected in summer and winter seasons. This project is highly detailed, analyzing the concentrations of PAHs in ambient air and diet, in human breast milk, in the urine of mothers and newborns, using biomarkers of genetic damage as DNA adducts and gene expression analysis, biomarkers of oxidative stress as 8-oxodG adducts and lipid peroxidation (15-F2t-isoprostane immunoassay). All 400 children, for whom the biomarker data at delivery were obtained, will be followed for morbidity up to 2 years of age. The Northern Moravia Region seems to be to be a model area for studying the long-term impact of human health exposure to c-PAHs. Our observations will indicate possible genetic and oxidative damage in newborns, which may significantly affect their morbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21101/cejph.a4536DOI Listing
December 2016

Evaluation of 11 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites in urine of Czech mothers and newborns.

Sci Total Environ 2016 Oct 29. Epub 2016 Oct 29.

University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology, Department of Food Analysis and Nutrition, Technicka 3, 166 28 Prague, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) represent a large group of ubiquitous contaminants of the environment, including food chain where they are released as by-products of incomplete combustion of an organic matter. Epidemiological studies have shown that exposure to PAHs correlated with increased incidence of cancer. Carcinogenicity is associated mainly with metabolites that are formed during metabolic degradation of these substances in exposed organism. In this study monohydroxylated PAHs (OH-PAHs), the major metabolites excreted into urine, were determined in 531 urine samples collected from mothers and their newborns from two localities of the Czech Republic - heavily air polluted Karvina and control locality of Ceske Budejovice and in two sampling rounds - August-October 2013 (summer, less air polluted season) and January-April 2014 (winter, more air polluted season). From all targeted analytes, naphthalene-2-ol was the most abundant compound present in 100% of the samples and it represented also the analyte with the highest concentration. Median concentration of ΣOH-PAHs in the urine of children was on average 1.6 times lower compared to the respective mother which correlates with higher intake of PAHs by mothers. ΣOH-PAHs concentrations determined in mothers' urine collected in the summer were comparable in both localities. No significant increase occurred in Ceske Budejovice in winter, while in samples from the Karvina region a statistically significant difference (α=0.05) in the amount of ΣOH-PAHs was observed. The median concentrations of ΣOH-PAHs in mothers' urine samples in the winter were 1.5 times higher than in the summer in the same locality. The amounts of ΣOH-PAHs in newborns' urine from Karvina in the winter season were 1.5 times higher than in the summer collected in the same locality and 3.3 times higher when compared with the less polluted locality of Ceske Budejovice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.10.165DOI Listing
October 2016

Systematic review of the use of the lymphocyte cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay to measure DNA damage induced by exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Mutat Res 2016 Oct - Dec;770(Pt A):162-169. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic.

The effect of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to induce micronuclei (MN) measured using the lymphocytes cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay were evaluated in 34 studies according to the exposure: 20 studies in coke oven workers, 7 studies in different occupational exposures as alluminium industry workers, rubber factory workers, road construction workers, airport workers and diesel exposed workers, 6 studies on environmentaly exposed groups as police, volunteers and children. Reviewed papers indicate that the CBMN assay is a sensitive biomarker of PAHs exposure in polluted air. Reviewed studies confirmed previous conclusions, that the frequency of MN measured using the lymphocyte CBMN is not significantly affected by smoking, females are more sensitive to PAHs than males, the frequency of MN is increased with age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrrev.2016.07.009DOI Listing
May 2017

An evaluation tool kit of air quality micro-sensing units.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Jan 24;575:639-648. Epub 2016 Sep 24.

Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Kjeller, Norway.

Recent developments in sensory and communication technologies have made the development of portable air-quality (AQ) micro-sensing units (MSUs) feasible. These MSUs allow AQ measurements in many new applications, such as ambulatory exposure analyses and citizen science. Typically, the performance of these devices is assessed using the mean error or correlation coefficients with respect to a laboratory equipment. However, these criteria do not represent how such sensors perform outside of laboratory conditions in large-scale field applications, and do not cover all aspects of possible differences in performance between the sensor-based and standardized equipment, or changes in performance over time. This paper presents a comprehensive Sensor Evaluation Toolbox (SET) for evaluating AQ MSUs by a range of criteria, to better assess their performance in varied applications and environments. Within the SET are included four new schemes for evaluating sensors' capability to: locate pollution sources; represent the pollution level on a coarse scale; capture the high temporal variability of the observed pollutant and their reliability. Each of the evaluation criteria allows for assessing sensors' performance in a different way, together constituting a holistic evaluation of the suitability and usability of the sensors in a wide range of applications. Application of the SET on measurements acquired by 25 MSUs deployed in eight cities across Europe showed that the suggested schemes facilitates a comprehensive cross platform analysis that can be used to determine and compare the sensors' performance. The SET was implemented in R and the code is available on the first author's website.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.09.061DOI Listing
January 2017

Impact of air pollution on oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation in mothers and their newborns.

Int J Hyg Environ Health 2016 08 31;219(6):545-56. Epub 2016 May 31.

Department of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Ambient air particulate matter (PM) represents a class of heterogeneous substances that form one component of air pollution. Oxidative stress has been implicated as an important action mechanism for PM on the human organism. Oxidative damage induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) may affect any cellular macromolecule. The aim of our study was to investigate the impact of air pollution on oxidative DNA damage [8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG)] and lipid peroxidation [15-F2t-isoprostane (15-F2t-IsoP)] in the urine and blood from mothers and newborns from two localities with different levels of air pollution: Ceske Budejovice (CB), a locality with a clean air, and Karvina, a locality with high air pollution. The samples from normal deliveries (38-41 week+) of nonsmoking mothers and their newborns were collected in the summer and winter seasons. Higher PM2.5 concentrations were found in Karvina than in CB in the summer 2013 (mean±SD: 20.41±6.28 vs. 9.45±3.62μg/m(3), P<0.001), and in the winter 2014 (mean±SD: 53.67±19.76 vs. 27.96±12.34μg/m(3), P<0.001). We observed significant differences in 15-F2t-IsoP levels between the summer and winter seasons in Karvina for newborns (mean±SD: 64.24±26.75 vs. 104.26±38.18pg/ml plasma, respectively) (P<0.001). Levels of 8-oxodG differed only in the winter season between localities, they were significantly higher (P<0.001) in newborns from Karvina in comparison with CB (mean±SD: 5.70±2.94 vs. 4.23±1.51 nmol/mmol creatinine, respectively). The results of multivariate regression analysis in newborns from Karvina showed PM2.5 concentrations to be a significant predictor for 8-oxodG excretion, PM2.5 and B[a]P (benzo[a]pyrene) concentrations to be a significant predictor for 15-F2t-IsoP levels. The results of multivariate regression analysis in mothers showed PM2.5 concentrations to be a significant predictor of 8-oxodG levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2016.05.010DOI Listing
August 2016

Reduced gene expression levels after chronic exposure to high concentrations of air pollutants.

Mutat Res 2015 Oct 11;780:60-70. Epub 2015 Aug 11.

Department of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic.

We analyzed the ability of particulate matter (PM) and chemicals adsorbed onto it to induce diverse gene expression profiles in subjects living in two regions of the Czech Republic differing in levels and sources of the air pollution. A total of 312 samples from polluted Ostrava region and 154 control samples from Prague were collected in winter 2009, summer 2009 and winter 2010. The highest concentrations of air pollutants were detected in winter 2010 when the subjects were exposed to: PM of aerodynamic diameter <2.5μm (PM2.5) (70 vs. 44.9μg/m(3)); benzo[a]pyrene (9.02 vs. 2.56ng/m(3)) and benzene (10.2 vs. 5.5μg/m(3)) in Ostrava and Prague, respectively. Global gene expression analysis of total RNA extracted from leukocytes was performed using Illumina Expression BeadChips microarrays. The expression of selected genes was verified by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Gene expression profiles differed by locations and seasons. Despite lower concentrations of air pollutants a higher number of differentially expressed genes and affected KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathways was found in subjects from Prague. In both locations immune response pathways were affected, in Prague also neurodegenerative diseases-related pathways. Over-representation of the latter pathways was associated with the exposure to PM2.5. The qRT-PCR analysis showed a significant decrease in expression of APEX, ATM, FAS, GSTM1, IL1B and RAD21 in subjects from Ostrava, in a comparison of winter 2010 and summer 2009. In Prague, an increase in gene expression was observed for GADD45A and PTGS2. In conclusion, high concentrations of pollutants in Ostrava were not associated with higher number of differentially expressed genes, affected KEGG pathways and expression levels of selected genes. This observation suggests that chronic exposure to air pollution may result in reduced gene expression response with possible negative health consequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2015.08.001DOI Listing
October 2015

Comparison of child morbidity in regions of Ostrava, Czech Republic, with different degrees of pollution: a retrospective cohort study.

Environ Health 2013 Sep 3;12(1):74. Epub 2013 Sep 3.

Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic.

Background: To confirm or refute the hypothesis that the morbidity of children (since birth to age 5) born and living in the heavily polluted (PM10, benzo[a]pyrene) eastern part of Ostrava, Czech Republic, was higher than the morbidity of children living in other parts of the city.

Methods: Ten pediatricians in 5 districts of Ostrava abstracted the medical records of 1878 children born in 2001-2004 to list all illnesses of each child in ICD-10 codes. The children were divided into four groups according to their residence at birth and thereafter. Most of the children in the eastern area were living in the city district Radvanice and Bartovice.

Results: We report on the incidence of acute illnesses in 1535 children of Czech ethnicity in the first 5 years of life. The most frequent acute illnesses (over 45% of all diagnoses) were upper respiratory infections (URI: J00-J02, J06). In the first year of life, the incidence of URI in 183 children in the eastern area - 372 illnesses/100 children/year - was more than twice as high as in the other 3 areas with a total number of 1352 children. From birth to the age of 5 years, the incidences of pneumonia, tonsillitis, viral infections (ICD-10 code B34) and intestinal infectious diseases were also several times higher in children living in the eastern part of Ostrava. The lowest morbidity was found in children living in the less polluted western part of the city.

Conclusions: The children born and living in the eastern part of the city of Ostrava had from birth through 5 years significantly higher incidence rates of acute illnesses than children in other parts of Ostrava. They also had a higher prevalence of wheezing, atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-12-74DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3844449PMC
September 2013

Health impact of air pollution to children.

Int J Hyg Environ Health 2013 Aug 10;216(5):533-40. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Prague, Czech Republic.

Health impact of air pollution to children was studied over the last twenty years in heavily polluted parts of the Czech Republic during. The research program (Teplice Program) analyzed these effects in the polluted district Teplice (North Bohemia) and control district Prachatice (Southern Bohemia). Study of pregnancy outcomes for newborns delivered between 1994 and 1998 demonstrated that increase in intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) was associated with PM10 and c-PAHs exposure (carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) in the first month of gestation. Morbidity was followed in the cohort of newborns (N=1492) up to the age of 10years. Coal combustion in homes was associated with increased incidence of lower respiratory track illness and impaired early childhood skeletal growth up to the age of 3years. In preschool children, we observed the effect of increased concentrations of PM2.5 and PAHs on development of bronchitis. The Northern Moravia Region (Silesia) is characterized by high concentrations of c-PAHs due to industrial air pollution. Exposure to B[a]P (benzo[a]pyrene) in Ostrava-Radvanice is the highest in the EU. Children from this part of the city of Ostrava suffered higher incidence of acute respiratory diseases in the first year of life. Gene expression profiles in leukocytes of asthmatic children compared to children without asthma were evaluated in groups from Ostrava-Radvanice and Prachatice. The results suggest the distinct molecular phenotype of asthma bronchiale in children living in polluted Ostrava region compared to children living in Prachatice. The effect of exposure to air pollution to biomarkers in newborns was analyzed in Prague vs. Ceske Budejovice, two locations with different levels of pollution in winter season. B[a]P concentrations were higher in Ceske Budejovice. DNA adducts and micronuclei were also elevated in cord blood in Ceske Budejovice in comparison to Prague. Study of gene expression profiles in the cord blood showed differential expression of 104 genes. Specifically, biological processes related to immune and defense response were down-regulated in Ceske Budejovice. Our studies demonstrate that air pollution significantly affect child health. Especially noticeable is the increase of respiratory morbidity. With the development of molecular epidemiology, we can further evaluate the health risk of air pollution using biomarkers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2012.12.001DOI Listing
August 2013

Personal exposure to carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Czech Republic.

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2013 Jul 19;23(4):350-5. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 14220 Prague 4, Czech Republic.

Personal exposures to carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (c-PAHs) bound to airborne particulate matter 2.5 μm (PM2.5) were measured in the context of a large-scale molecular epidemiological study in order to identify the impacts of air pollution on human health. Sampling was carried out in three industrial cities in the Czech Republic: Ostrava, Karvina and Havirov. The city of Prague, exhibiting much lower industrial air pollution but a high level of traffic, served as a control. The first monitoring campaigns were held in winter and were repeated in the summer of 2009. The active personal monitors PV 1.7 for PM2.5-bound c-PAHs were used. Non-smoking city policemen from Prague, Karvina and Havirov, and office workers from Ostrava, participated in the study. All participants completed a personal questionnaire and a time-location-activity diary. The average personal winter exposure to c-PAHs (sum of the eight PAHs-benz[a]anthracene, benzo[a]pyrene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[g,h,i]perylene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, chrysene, dibenz[a,h]anthracene and indeno[1,2,3-c,d]pyrene) was highest in Karvina, 39.1, followed by Ostrava at 15.1 and Prague at 4.3 ng/m(3). The winter levels were significantly higher than the summer values (P<0.001): 4.3 in Karvina, 3.0 in Ostrava, 1.6 in Havirov and 1.0 ng/m(3) in Prague. The average personal benzo[a]pyrene winter/summer exposures were: 6.9/0.6 in Karvina, 2.5/0.4 in Ostrava, 0.8/0.1 in Prague and 0.2 ng/m(3) in summer in Havirov. In this study, we examined personal exposure to c-PAHs and tested it for associations with potential predictor variables collected from questionnaires, addressing life style factors and day-to-day activities. We found outdoor concentration, environmental tobacco smoke exposure, home heating fuel of coal, wood or gas, frequency of exhaust fan use, cooking and commuting by a car to be the main determinants of personal exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/jes.2012.110DOI Listing
July 2013

Analysis of biomarkers in a Czech population exposed to heavy air pollution. Part I: bulky DNA adducts.

Mutagenesis 2013 Jan 9;28(1):89-95. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague 4, Czech Republic.

The health of human populations living in industrial regions is negatively affected by exposure to environmental air pollutants. In this study, we investigated the impact of air pollution on a cohort of subjects living in Ostrava, a heavily polluted industrial region and compared it with a cohort of individuals from the relatively clean capital city of Prague. This study consisted of three sampling periods differing in the concentrations of major air pollutants (winter 2009, summer 2009 and winter 2010). During all sampling periods, the study subjects from Ostrava region were exposed to significantly higher concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) and benzene than the subjects in Prague as measured by personal monitors. Pollution by B[a]P, particulate matter of aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm (PM2.5) and benzene in the Ostrava region measured by stationary monitors was also higher than in Prague, with the exception of PM2.5 in summer 2009 when concentration of the pollutant was significantly elevated in Prague. To evaluate DNA damage in subjects from both locations we determined the levels of bulky DNA adducts in peripheral blood lymphocytes using the (32)P-postlabeling method. Despite higher B[a]P air pollution in the Ostrava region during all sampling periods, the levels of B[a]P-like DNA adducts per 10(8) nucleotides were significantly higher in the Ostrava subjects only in winter 2009 (mean ± SD: 0.21 ± 0.06 versus 0.28 ± 0.08 adducts/10(8) nucleotides, P < 0.001 for Prague and Ostrava subjects, respectively; P < 0.001). During the other two sampling periods, the levels of B[a]P-like DNA adducts were significantly higher in the Prague subjects (P < 0.001). Multivariate analyses conducted among subjects from Ostrava and Prague separately during all sampling periods revealed that exposure to B[a]P and PM2.5 significantly increased levels of B[a]P-like DNA adducts in the Ostrava subjects, but not in subjects from Prague.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mutage/ges057DOI Listing
January 2013

Personal exposure to volatile organic compounds in the Czech Republic.

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2012 Sep 6;22(5):455-60. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic.

Personal exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were measured in the three industrial cities in the Czech Republic, Ostrava, Karvina and Havirov, while the city of Prague served as a control in a large-scale molecular epidemiological study identifying the impacts of air pollution on human health. Office workers from Ostrava and city policemen from Karvina, Havirov and Prague were monitored in the winter and summer of 2009. Only adult non-smokers participated in the study (N=160). Radiello-diffusive passive samplers were used to measure the exposure to benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, meta- plus para-xylene and ortho-xylene (BTEX). All participants completed a personal questionnaire and a time-location-activity diary (TLAD). The average personal BTEX exposure levels in both seasons were 7.2/34.3/4.4/16.1 μg/m(3), respectively. The benzene levels were highest in winter in Karvina, Ostrava and Prague: 8.5, 7.2 and 5.3 μg/m(3), respectively. The personal exposures to BTEX were higher than the corresponding stationary monitoring levels detected in the individual localities (P<0.001; except m,p-xylene in summer). The indoor environment, ETS (environmental tobacco smoke), cooking, a home-heating fireplace or gas stove, automobile use and being in a restaurant were important predictors for benzene personal exposure. Ostrava's outdoor benzene pollution was a significant factor increasing the exposure of the Ostrava study participants in winter (P<0.05).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/jes.2012.30DOI Listing
September 2012

Expression of XRCC5 in peripheral blood lymphocytes is upregulated in subjects from a heavily polluted region in the Czech Republic.

Mutat Res 2011 Aug 12;713(1-2):76-82. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Laboratory of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague, Czech Republic.

Air pollution causes oxidative damage to macromolecules, chromosomal aberrations and changes in gene expression. We investigated the levels of oxidative stress markers [8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG), 15-F(2t)-isoprostane (15-F2t-IsoP), protein carbonyls] and cytogenetic parameters [genomic frequency of translocations (F(G)/100), percentage of aberrant cells (%AB.C.) and acentric fragments (ace)] in subjects living in Prague and in the heavily polluted Ostrava region. We also compared the expression of genes participating in base excision repair (BER) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). We analyzed 64 subjects from Prague and 75 subjects from Ostrava. We measured oxidative stress markers by ELISA, cytogenetic parameters by fluorescence in situ hybridization and gene expression by quantitative PCR. The levels of air pollutants (benzo[a]pyrene, B[a]P; carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, c-PAHs; benzene) measured by personal monitors were significantly elevated in Ostrava compared to Prague (p<0.001). Despite this fact, we observed no differences in biomarkers of oxidative stress between the two locations. Moreover, subjects from Ostrava were less likely to have above-median levels of %AB.C. (OR; 95% CI: 0.18; 0.05-0.67; p=0.010). Multivariate analyses revealed that subjects living in Ostrava had increased odds of having above-median levels of XRCC5 expression (OR; 95% CI: 3.33; 1.03-10.8; q=0.046). Above-median levels of 8-oxodG were associated with decreased levels of vitamins C (OR; 95% CI: 0.37; 0.16-0.83; p=0.016) and E (OR; 95% CI: 0.25; 0.08-0.75; p=0.013), which were elevated in subjects from Ostrava. We suggest that air pollution by c-PAHs affects XRCC5 gene expression, which probably protects subjects from Ostrava against the induction of a higher frequency of translocations; elevated vitamin C and E levels in the Ostrava subjects decrease the levels of 8-oxodG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2011.06.001DOI Listing
August 2011

DNA adducts and oxidative DNA damage induced by organic extracts from PM2.5 in an acellular assay.

Toxicol Lett 2011 May 15;202(3):186-92. Epub 2011 Feb 15.

Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnska 1083, 14220 Prague 4, Czech Republic.

The genotoxic activities of complex mixtures of organic extracts from the urban air particles collected in various localities of the Czech Republic, which differed in the extent and sources of air pollution, were compared. For this purpose, PM2.5 particles were collected by high volume samplers in the most polluted area of the Czech Republic--Ostrava region (localities Bartovice, Poruba and Karvina) and in the locality exhibiting a low level of air pollution--Trebon--a small town in the non-industrial region of Southern Bohemia. To prepare extractable organic matter (EOM), PM2.5 particles were extracted by dichloromethane and c-PAHs contents in the EOMs were determined. As markers of genotoxic potential, DNA adduct levels and oxidative DNA damage (8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine, 8-oxodG, levels) induced by EOMs in an acellular assay of calf thymus DNA coupled with ³²P-postlabeling (DNA adducts) and ELISA (8-oxodG) in the presence and absence of microsomal S9 fraction were employed. Twofold higher DNA adduct levels (17.20 adducts/10⁸ nucleotides/m³ vs. 8.49 adducts/10⁸ nucleotides/m³) were induced by EOM from Ostrava-Bartovice (immediate proximity of heavy industry) compared with that from Ostrava-Poruba (mostly traffic emissions). Oxidative DNA damage induced by EOM from Ostrava-Bartovice was more than fourfold higher than damage induced by EOM from Trebon (8-oxodG/10⁸ dG/m³: 0.131 vs. 0.030 for Ostrava-Bartovice vs. Trebon, respectively). Since PM2.5 particles collected in various localities differ with respect to their c-PAHs content, and c-PAHs significantly contribute to genotoxicity (DNA adduct levels), we suggest that monitoring of PM2.5 levels is not a sufficient basis to assess genotoxicity of respirable aerosols. It seems likely that the industrial emissions prevailing in Ostrava-Bartovice represent a substantially higher genotoxic risk than mostly traffic-related emissions in Ostrava-Poruba. B[a]P and c-PAH contents in EOMs are the most important factors relating to their genotoxic potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2011.02.005DOI Listing
May 2011

Oxidative damage to biological macromolecules in Prague bus drivers and garagemen: impact of air pollution and genetic polymorphisms.

Toxicol Lett 2010 Nov 17;199(1):60-8. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

Laboratory of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine v.v.i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnska 1083, 142 20 Praha 4, Czech Republic.

DNA integrity was investigated in the lymphocytes of 50 bus drivers, 20 garagemen and 50 controls using the comet assay with excision repair enzymes. In parallel, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine and 15-F(2t)-isoprostane levels in the urine and protein carbonyl levels in the plasma were assessed as markers of oxidative damage to DNA, lipids and proteins. Exposure to carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs) and volatile compounds was measured by personal samplers for 48 and 24h, respectively, before the collection of biological specimens. Both exposed groups exhibited a higher levels of DNA instability and oxidative damage to biological macromolecules than the controls. The incidence of oxidized lesions in lymphocyte DNA, but not the urinary levels of 8-oxodG, correlated with exposure to benzene and triglycerides increased this damage. Oxidative damage to lipids and proteins was associated with exposure to cPAHs and the lipid peroxidation levels positively correlated with age and LDL cholesterol, and negatively with vitamin C. The carriers of at least one variant hOGG1 (Cys) allele tended to higher oxidative damage to lymphocyte DNA than those with the wild genotype, while XPD23 (Gln/Gln) homozygotes were more susceptible to the induction of DNA strand breaks. In contrast, GSTM1 null variant seemed to protect DNA integrity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2010.08.007DOI Listing
November 2010

Urinary 8-oxodeoxyguanosine levels in children exposed to air pollutants.

Mutat Res 2009 Mar 9;662(1-2):37-43. Epub 2008 Dec 9.

Laboratory of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR, v.v.i., Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague 4, Czech Republic.

Oxidative stress is believed to be one of the mechanisms of effects of air pollution to human health. We investigated levels of 8-oxodeoxyguanosine (8-oxodG), a marker of oxidative damage to DNA, in urine samples of 894 children from two districts in the Czech Republic: Teplice and Prachatice. We assessed the association between 8-oxodG levels and exposure to particulate matter of different size:
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2008.12.003DOI Listing
March 2009

Seasonal variability of oxidative stress markers in city bus drivers. Part I. Oxidative damage to DNA.

Mutat Res 2008 Jul 25;642(1-2):14-20. Epub 2008 Mar 25.

Laboratory of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, AS CR vvi, Vídenská 1083, Prague 4, Czech Republic.

We investigated the seasonal variability of 8-oxodeoxyguanosine (8-oxodG), a marker of oxidative damage to DNA, in urine of 50 bus drivers and 50 controls in Prague, Czech Republic, in three seasons with different levels of air pollution: winter 2005, summer 2006 and winter 2006. The exposure to environmental pollutants (carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, c-PAHs, particulate matter (PM), and volatile organic compounds (VOC)) was monitored by personal and/or stationary monitors. For the analysis of 8-oxodG levels, the ELISA technique was used. Bus drivers were exposed to significantly higher levels of c-PAHs in winter 2006, while in the other two seasons the exposure of controls was unexpectedly higher than that of bus drivers. We did not see any difference in VOC exposure between both groups in summer 2006 and in winter 2006; VOC were not monitored in winter 2005. 8-OxodG levels were higher in bus drivers than in controls in all seasons. The median levels of 8-oxodG (nmol/mmol creatinine) in bus drivers vs. controls were as follows: winter 2005: 7.79 vs. 6.12 (p=0.01); summer 2006: 6.91 vs. 5.11 (p<0.01); winter 2006: 5.73 vs. 3.94 (p<0.001). Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified PM2.5 and PM10 levels, measured by stationary monitors during a 3-day period before urine collection, as the only factors significantly affecting 8-oxodG levels, while the levels of c-PAHs had no significant influence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2008.03.003DOI Listing
July 2008

Seasonal variability of oxidative stress markers in city bus drivers. Part II. Oxidative damage to lipids and proteins.

Mutat Res 2008 Jul 25;642(1-2):21-7. Epub 2008 Mar 25.

Laboratory of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, AS CR vvi, Vídenská 1083, Prague, Czech Republic.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the seasonal variability of markers of oxidative damage to lipids (15-F2t-isoprostane, 15-F2t-IsoP) and proteins (protein carbonyl levels) in 50 bus drivers and 50 controls from Prague, Czech Republic, and to identify factors affecting oxidative stress markers. The samples were collected in three seasons with different levels of air pollution. The exposure to environmental pollutants (carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, c-PAHs, particulate matter, PM2.5 and PM10, and volatile organic compounds, VOC) was monitored by personal and/or stationary monitors. For the analysis of both markers, ELISA techniques were used. The median levels of individual markers in bus drivers versus controls were as follows: 15-F2t-IsoP (nmol/mmol creatinine): winter 2005, 0.81 versus 0.68 (p<0.01); summer 2006, 0.62 versus 0.60 (p=0.90); winter 2006, 0.76 versus 0.51 (p<0.001); carbonyl levels (nmol/ml plasma): winter 2005, 14.1 versus 12.9 (p=0.001); summer 2006, 17.5 versus 16.6 (p=0.26); winter 2006, 13.5 versus 11.7 (p<0.001). Multivariate logistic regression identified PM levels measured by stationary monitors over a period 25-27 days before urine collection as a factor positively associated with lipid peroxidation, while protein oxidation levels correlated negatively with both c-PAHs and PM levels. In conclusion, markers of oxidative damage to lipids and proteins were increased in bus drivers in winter seasons, but not in summer. Lipid peroxidation was positively correlated with c-PAHs and PM exposure; protein oxidation correlated negatively and was highest in summer suggesting another factor(s) affecting protein carbonyl levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2008.03.004DOI Listing
July 2008

Oxidative and nitrosative stress markers in bus drivers.

Mutat Res 2007 Apr 4;617(1-2):23-32. Epub 2007 Feb 4.

Laboratory of Genetic Ecotoxicology, Institute of Experimental Medicine AS CR and Health Institute of Central Bohemia, Vídenská 1083, 142 20 Prague, Czech Republic.

Exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with many diseases. Oxidative and nitrosative stress are believed to be two of the major sources of particulate matter (PM)-mediated adverse health effects. PM in ambient air arises from industry, local heating, and vehicle emissions and poses a serious problem mainly in large cities. In the present study we analyzed the level of oxidative and nitrosative stress among 50 bus drivers from Prague, Czech Republic, and 50 matching controls. We assessed simultaneously the levels of 15-F(2t)-isoprostane (15-F(2t)-IsoP) and 8-oxodeoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in urine and protein carbonyl groups and 3-nitrotyrosine (NT) in blood plasma. For the analysis of all four markers we used ELISA techniques. We observed significantly increased levels of oxidative and nitrosative stress markers in bus drivers. The median levels (min, max) of individual markers in bus drivers versus controls were as follows: 8-oxodG: 7.79 (2.64-12.34)nmol/mmol versus 6.12 (0.70-11.38)nmol/mmol creatinine (p<0.01); 15-F(2t)-IsoP: 0.81 (0.38-1.55)nmol/mmol versus 0.68 (0.39-1.79)nmol/mmol creatinine (p<0.01); carbonyl levels: 14.1 (11.8-19.0)nmol/ml versus 12.9 (9.8-16.6)nmol/ml plasma (p<0.001); NT: 694 (471-3228)nmol/l versus 537 (268-13833)nmol/l plasma (p<0.001). 15-F(2t)-IsoP levels correlated with vitamin E (R=0.23, p<0.05), vitamin C (R=-0.33, p<0.01) and cotinine (R=0.47, p<0.001) levels. Vitamin E levels also positively correlated with 8-oxodG (R=0.27, p=0.01) and protein carbonyl levels (R=0.32, p<0.001). Both oxidative and nitrosative stress markers positively correlated with PM2.5 and PM10 exposure. In conclusion, our study indicates that exposure to PM2.5 and PM10 results in increased oxidative and nitrosative stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2006.11.033DOI Listing
April 2007