Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.
Epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, due to in utero exposures may play a critical role in early programming for childhood and adult illness. Maternal smoking is a major risk factor for multiple adverse health outcomes in children, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear.
We investigated epigenome-wide methylation in cord blood of newborns in relation to maternal smoking during pregnancy.
We examined maternal plasma cotinine (an objective biomarker of smoking) measured during pregnancy in relation to DNA methylation at 473,844 CpG sites (CpGs) in 1,062 newborn cord blood samples from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa) using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip (450K).
We found differential DNA methylation at epigenome-wide statistical significance (p-value
Long-term exposure to polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) has been connected to chronic human health disorders. It is also well-known that i) PAH contamination alters soil bacterial communities, ii) human microbiome is associated with environmental microbiome, and iii) alteration in the abundance of members in several bacterial phyla is associated with adverse or beneficial human health effects. We hypothesized that soil pollution by PAHs altered soil bacterial communities that had known associations with human health. The rationale behind our study was to increase understanding and potentially facilitate reconsidering factors that lead to health disorders in areas characterized by PAH contamination. Large containers filled with either spruce forest soil, pine forest soil, peat, or glacial sand were left to incubate or contaminated with creosote. Biological degradation of PAHs was monitored using GC-MS, and the bacterial community composition was analyzed using 454 pyrosequencing. Proteobacteria had higher and Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes had lower relative abundance in creosote contaminated soils than in non-contaminated soils. Earlier studies have demonstrated that an increase in the abundance of Proteobacteria and decreased abundance of the phyla Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes are particularly associated with adverse health outcomes and immunological disorders. Therefore, we propose that pollution-induced shifts in natural soil bacterial community, like in PAH-polluted areas, can contribute to the prevalence of chronic diseases. We encourage studies that simultaneously address the classic "adverse toxin effect" paradigm and our novel "altered environmental microbiome" hypothesis.
The European Nordic Countries are the most exposed to opioid-related deaths. Between April and October 2016, a series of forty lethal intoxications occurred in Sweden, in which the presence of the synthetic opioid acrylfentanyl was determined to be the main - or a contributing - cause of death. In the reported cases, the blood concentration of acrylfentanyl - mostly detected in combination with other drugs - ranged from 0.01ng/g to 5ng/g; victims were predominantly males (34 males and 6 females), and their age varied between 18 and 53 years. We further describe five cases, representative of the different drug administration route (nasal spray, tablets) and intentions (accidental or voluntary intoxication). Moreover, we address nine cases of non-lethal intoxication, in single (8 cases) or polydrug scenario (1 case). We discuss the present characteristics of the Swedish drug market for fentanyl-analogs in general and acrylfentanyl in particular, reporting a structural difficulty to effectively counteracting the appearance of unscheduled substances due to the constant turnover of new molecules on the recreational drug market.
New psychoactive substances (NPS) are often poorly pharmacologically documented and the production is unregulated, implying high risks for toxic side effects. This report from the STRIDA project describes analytically confirmed non-fatal intoxications involving the phenmetrazine analogue 3-fluorophenmetrazine (3-FPM).
Observational case series of patients with suspected acute NPS exposure requiring hospital care. Blood and urine samples were collected from patients presenting in emergency departments (ED) or intensive care units (ICU), after consultation with the Swedish Poisons Information Centre (PIC). Laboratory analysis was performed by multi-component liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Clinical data were collected during PIC consultations and retrieved from medical records.
From November 2014 to October 2015, eight cases were registered as 3-FPM or "phenmetrazine" intoxications at the PIC after consultation. During the same period, analysis of STRIDA project samples confirmed 3-FPM use in a total of 19 patients (84% men) aged 22-54 (median 30) years. 3-FPM was detected in 15 out of 19 serum (2.7-1416?ng/mL) and in 14 out of 14 urine (1.0-6857?µg/mmol creatinine) samples. All patients were also tested positive for other psychoactive substances, with benzodiazepines being most common (57% of the cases). Ten patients were monitored in the ED for
We identified age-dependent post-translational modifications of skeletal muscle glycogen phosphorylase b (Ph-b), isolated from F1 hybrids of Fisher 344 x Brown Norway rats. Ph-b isolated from 34 months old rats showed a statistically significant decrease in specific activity compared to 6 months old animals: 13.8+/-0.7 vs. 20.6+/-0.8 U mg(-1) protein, respectively. Western blot analysis of the purified Ph-b with anti-3-NT antibodies revealed an age-dependent accumulation of 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT), quantified by reverse-phase HPLC-UV analysis to increase from 0.05+/-0.03 to 0.34+/-0.11 (mol 3-NT/mol Ph-b) for 6 vs. 34 months old rats, respectively. HPLC-nanoelectrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry revealed the accumulation of 3-NT on Tyr113, Tyr161 and Tyr573. While nitration of Tyr113 was detected for both young and old rats, 3-NT at positions 161 and 573 was identified only for Ph-b isolated from 34 months old rats. The sequence of the rat muscle Ph-b was corrected based on our protein sequence mapping and a custom rat PHS2 sequence containing 17 differently located amino acid residues was used instead of the database sequence. The in vitro reaction of peroxynitrite with Ph-b resulted in the nitration of multiple Tyr residues at positions 51, 52, 113, 155, 185, 203, 262, 280, 404, 473, 731, and 732. Thus, the in vitro nitration conditions only mimic the nitration of a single Tyr residue observed in vivo suggesting alternative pathways controlling the accumulation of 3-NT in vivo. Our data show a correlation of age-dependent 3-NT accumulation with Ph-b inactivation.
Marginal zinc deficiency (MZD), the subclinical stage of zinc deficiency, is common in industrialized societies. Serum zinc, the most common biomarker of zinc status, lacks sensitivity and specificity to diagnose this deficiency. Hair zinc, however, is sensitive and specific enough to detect MZD in children. Differences in hair zinc associated with age and sex have been reported. These differences have not been investigated thoroughly; therefore, interpretation of the results of hair analyses is difficult. This cross-sectional study was designed to examine the hair zinc status of a group of Vancouver preschoolers (24-71 months) and assess the age- and sex-based differences in their hair zinc. Hair samples were obtained (n = 719) and analyzed for zinc using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Our results indicated a mean hair zinc of 115 +/- 43 microg/g with 17% below the low hair zinc cutoff (70 microg/g). Boys and girls had comparable mean hair zinc, while girls had a significantly higher occurrence of low hair zinc than boys (21% vs. 12%). Children or =4. Our study provides important reference values for the hair zinc of healthy North American preschoolers.
OBJECTIVES: A significant fraction of the Alaska Native population appears to be shifting from a primarily subsistence-based diet to a market-based diet; therefore, the ability to link diet pattern to disease risk has become increasingly important to predicting public health needs. Our research aims to develop the use of stable isotope ratios as diet pattern biomarkers, based on naturally-occurring isotopic differences in the elemental composition of subsistence and non-subsistence foods. These differences are reflected in human blood, hair and fingernail isotope signatures. STUDY DESIGN: In this preliminary study, we investigate the potential for 13C and 15N to serve as dietary biomarkers for age-related dietary differences in a subset of participants involved with a long-term study initiated by the Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). METHODS: We measured delta13C and delta15N in red blood cells collected from 12 "elder" participants (age 60+ yrs) and 14 younger participants (age 14-19 yrs). Samples were evenly divided between males and females, and between two villages sampled in 2004. We also sampled market and subsistence foods in Fairbanks, AK, as an indicator of the isotopic differences likely to be observed in village foods. RESULTS: Elders were significantly enriched in 15N, but depleted in 13C, relative to younger participants. These differences are consistent with increased intake of marine subsistence in elders, and of certain market foods in younger participants. However, elders were considerably more variable in delta15N, suggesting greater differences among individuals in their usual intake. CONCLUSIONS: Overall we find that RBC stable isotope signatures exhibit variation consistent with previously documented dietary patterns in Alaska Natives, and we describe future directions for developing these biomarkers for diet pattern monitoring.
Five point mutations within the amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) sequence of the APP gene are associated with hereditary diseases which are similar or identical to Alzheimer's disease and encode: the A21G (Flemish), E22G (Arctic), E22K (Italian), E22Q (Dutch) and the D23N (Iowa) amino acid substitutions. Although a substantial body of data exists on the effects of these mutations on Abeta production, whether or not intra-Abeta mutations alter degradation and how this relates to their aggregation state remain unclear. Here we report that the E22G, E22Q and the D23N substitutions significantly increase fibril nucleation and extension, whereas the E22K substitution exhibits only an increased rate of extension and the A21G substitution actually causes a decrease in the extension rate. These substantial differences in aggregation together with our observation that aggregated wild type Abeta(1-40) was much less well degraded than monomeric wild type Abeta(1-40), prompted us to assess whether or not disease-associated intra-Abeta mutations alter proteolysis independent of their effects on aggregation. Neprilysin (NEP), insulin degrading enzyme (IDE) and plasmin play a major role in Abeta catabolism, therefore we compared the ability of these enzymes to degrade wild type and mutant monomeric Abeta peptides. Experiments investigating proteolysis revealed that all monomeric peptides are degraded similarly by IDE and plasmin, but that the Flemish peptide was degraded significantly more slowly by NEP than wild type Abeta or any of the other mutant peptides. This finding suggests that resistance to NEP-mediated proteolysis may underlie the pathogenicity associated with the A21G mutation.
Allyl isothiocyanate is present in many plants. Allergic contact dermatitis from allyl isothiocyanate is well known but infrequently reported. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of contact allergy to allyl isothiocyanate in patients with suspected contact dermatitis from vegetables and food. 259 such patients were tested at the Department of Dermatology, Gentofte Hospital, Denmark, from 1994 to 2003. Only 2 patients (0.8%) had a positive reaction (+) to allyl isothiocyanate and 43 patients (16.6%) had a ?+ reaction. One of the patients with a positive reaction provided samples of margarine, salad cream, oil and mayonnaise. These were analysed with high-performance liquid chromatography, and a moderate concentration of allyl isothiocyanate (2.5 ppm) was detected in the sample of margarine. This patient was a professional sandwich maker presenting with fingertip dermatitis mimicking 'tulip fingers' or allergic contact dermatitis from garlic and onions. In conclusion, allergic contact dermatitis from allyl isothiocyanate occurs in only a limited number of cases, despite frequent exposure. The large number of ?+ reactions raises the question as to whether the recommended patch test concentration is too low.
Alternaria alternata has been reported to be the most common fungus on Canadian Western wheat. The Alternaria toxins alternariol (AOH) and alternariol monomethyl ether (AME) are mutagenic in vitro and there is also limited evidence for carcinogenic properties. They have been found in wheat from Europe, Argentina, China and Australia, but they have not been looked for in Canadian grains or grain foods. In the present study, 83 samples of grain-based food sold in Canada, including flour, bran, breakfast cereals, infant cereals and bread, were analysed for AOH and AME using extraction with methanol, clean-up on combined aminopropyl/C18 solid phase extraction (SPE) columns, and liquid chromatography (LC) with tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) determination. The overall average recoveries of AOH and AME from a variety of spiked cereal foods (n?=?13) were 45?±?9% and 53?±?9%, which could be attributed mainly to MS matrix effects The instrumental limits of detection (LOD) were 0.34 ng/g and 0.13 ng/g for AOH and AME, respectively, and the instrumental limits of quantitation (LOQ) were 1.1 and 0.43 ng/g. Of 83 samples analysed, 70 were positive for AOH (up to 63 ng/g, in a soft wheat bran) and 64 contained AME (up to 12 ng/g in a bran-based breakfast cereal). Of particular interest was the presence of AOH and/or AME in 27 out of 30 infant foods (up to 4.4 ng/g and 9.0 ng/g, respectively, in a sample of multigrain cereal).