Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution poses significant health risks worldwide, including metabolic syndrome-related diseases with the characteristic feature of insulin resistance. However, the mechanism and influencing factors of this effect are poorly understood. In this serial in vitro study, we aimed at testing the hypothesis that macrophage-mediated effects of PM2.5 on hepatic insulin resistance depend on its chemical composition. Mouse macrophages were exposed to PM2.5 that had been collected during summer or winter in Beijing, which represented different compositions of PM2.5. Thereafter, hepatocytes were treated with macrophage-conditioned medium (CM). PM2.5 induced interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 expression and secretion in macrophages, particularly after winter PM2.5 exposure. Correspondingly, winter CM weakened hepatocellular insulin-stimulated glucose consumption. Further investigation revealed that the normal insulin pathway was suppressed in winter CM-treated hepatocytes, with increased phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 at serine residue 307 (Ser307) and decreased phosphorylation of protein kinase B (PKB/AKT) and forkhead box transcription factor O1 (FoxO1). Moreover, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, a key moderator of the sensitivity response to insulin stimulation, was activated in hepatocytes treated with winter CM. Although further studies are warranted, this preliminary study suggested an association between PM composition and insulin resistance, thus contributing to our understanding of the systemic toxicity of PM2.5.
The mechanism of health effects caused by organohalogen pollutants, e.g., toxins from electronic waste (e-waste), is poorly understood. We supposed that microRNAs (miRNAs), an important post-transcriptional regulator, could play a role in this process. In this study, fasting peripheral blood samples were collected from residents living at an e-waste site in northern China and a nearby reference population. Concentrations of e-waste related organohalogen pollutants in plasma from the exposure group were higher than the corresponding measurement in the reference group. Correspondingly, sixty miRNAs in plasma showed > 2-fold change between the two groups in microarray analysis. Among them, miR-125a-5p was confirmed to be upregulated by qRT-PCR and its validated targets were enriched in responses to xenobiotics and cancer related pathways. Furthermore, significant positive conelations were found between levels of miR-125a-5p in plasma and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in polymorphonuclear neutrophil leukocytes (P < 0.05). These evidences suggested oxidative stress might be an intermediate between e-waste related POPs exposure and alteration of plasma miRNA.
This study aims to simulate depositions of size-segregated particles in human airway in Beijing, China during seasons when fine particulate matter concentrations are high (December 2011 and April 2012). Particle size distributions (5.6-560 nm, electrical mobility diameter) near a major road in Beijing were measured by the TSI Fast Mobility Particle Sizer (FMPS). The information of size distributions provided by FMPS was applied in the Multiple-Path Particle Dosimetry model (MPPD) to quantify number and mass depositions of particles in human airway including extrathoracic (ET), tracheobronchial (TB), and pulmonary (PUL) regions of exposed Chinese in Beijing. Our results show that under ambient conditions, particle number concentration (NC) deposition in PUL is the highest in the three major regions of human airway. The total particle NC deposition in human airway in winter is higher than that in spring, especially for ultrafine particles (1.8 times higher) while particle mass concentration (MC) deposition is higher in spring. Although particle MC in clean days are much lower than that in heavily polluted days, total particle NC deposition in human airway in clean days is comparable to that in heavily polluted days. NC deposition for nucleation mode particles (10-20 nm, aerodynamic diameter) in clean days is higher than that in heavily polluted days. MC deposition for accumulation mode particles (100-641 nm, aerodynamic diameter) in heavily polluted days is much higher than that in clean days, while that of nucleation mode is negligible. The temporal variation shows that the arithmetic mean and the median values of particle NC and MC depositions in the evening are both the highest, followed by morning and noon, and it is most likely due to increased contribution from traffic emissions. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs) are strong environmental mutagens and carcinogens originating from both primary emissions and secondary reactions in the atmosphere. The sources and the toxicity of different NPAH species could vary greatly; therefore a specie-specific source apportionment is essential to evaluate their health risks and to formulate controlling regulations. However, few studies have reported source apportionment of NPAHs species to date. In this study, we developed an easy-to-perform method for the apportionment of primary versus secondary sources of airborne NPAHs based on the relationship between NPAHs and NO2. After log-transformation of both NPAHs and NO2 concentrations, a slope of beta between these two variables was obtained by the linear regression. When (3 is significantly smaller than 1, it indicates primary emissions while 13 significantly greater than 1 suggests secondary formation. We have validated this method with data previously collected in Beijing. A good correlation, with R value of 0.57, was observed between results produced by this new method and by Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF). The correlation could be further improved (R = 0.71) if the gas/particle partition of NPAHs is taken into consideration. This developed method enables the source apportionment for individual NPAHs species and could be used to validate the results of other receptor models. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Air pollution is among the top threats to human health in China. As air toxicants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) could bring significant risks to population; however, the exposure to PAHs in China and its health impact are not fully understood. In 2012, a summer exchange program allowed 10 students to travel from Los Angeles to Beijing and stay there for 10 weeks. Based on the program, this study investigated the difference in urinary concentration of 12 hydroxylated-PAHs (Sigma 12OH-PAHs) and malondialdehyde (MDA) between the two cities. The median concentration of Sigma 12OH-PAHs in Beijing (14.1 mu g g(-1) creatinine) was significantly higher than that in Los Angeles (5.78 mu g g(-1) creatinine), indicating a higher exposure in Beijing. The ratios of homogeneous OH-PAHs (e.g., 1-/2-OH-NAP) changed significantly between the two cities (p < 0.01), which might suggest a potential alteration in metabolism subsequent to exposure. A significant association between Sigma 12OH-PAHs and MDA (p < 0.01) was observed, with the association varying between the two cities. This study suggests that exposure to PAHs might be linked to metabolism alteration and calls for future studies to investigate the role this possible alteration played in the health effects of PAHs exposure.
As part of the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government has developed air pollution prevention and control plans for key regions with a focus on the power, transport, and industrial sectors. Here, we investigate the contribution of residential emissions to regional air pollution in highly polluted eastern China during the heating season, and find that dramatic improvements in air quality would also result from reduction in residential emissions. We use the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry to evaluate potential residential emission controls in Beijing and in the Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei (BTH) region. In January and February 2010, relative to the base case, eliminating residential emissions in Beijing reduced daily average surface PM2.5 (particulate mater with aerodynamic diameter equal or smaller than 2.5 micrometer) concentrations by 14 +/- 7 mu g.m(-3) (22 +/- 6% of a baseline concentration of 67 +/- 41 mu g.m(-3); mean +/- SD). Eliminating residential emissions in the BTH region reduced concentrations by 28 +/- 19 mu g.m(-3) (40 +/- 9% of 67 +/- 41 mu g.m(-3)), 44 +/- 27 mu g.m(-3) (43 +/- 10% of 99 +/- 54 mu g.m(-3)), and 25 +/- 14 mu g.m(-3) (35 +/- 8% of 70 +/- 35 mu g.m(-3)) in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei provinces, respectively. Annually, elimination of residential sources in the BTH region reduced emissions of primary PM2.5 by 32%, compared with 5%, 6%, and 58% achieved by eliminating emissions from the transportation, power, and industry sectors, respectively. We also find air quality in Beijing would benefit substantially from reductions in residential emissions from regional controls in Tianjin and Hebei, indicating the value of policies at the regional level.
Atmospheric polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their derivatives are of great concern due to their adverse health effects. However, source identification and apportionment of these compounds, particularly their nitrated and hydroxylated derivatives (i.e., NPAHs and OHPAHs), in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Hong Kong are still lacking. In this study, we conducted a 1-year observation at an urban site in Hong Kong. PM2.5-bound PAHs and their derivatives were measured, with median concentrations of 4590, 44.4 and 31.6 pg m(-3) for Sigma(21)PAHs, Sigma(13)NPAHs, and Sigma(12)OHPAHs, respectively. Higher levels were observed on regional pollution days than on long regional transport (LRT) or local emission days. Based on positive matrix factorization analysis, four sources were determined: marine vessels, vehicle emissions, biomass burning, and a mixed source of coal combustion and NPAHs secondary formation. Coal combustion and biomass burning were the major sources of PAHs, contributing over 85% of PAHs on regional and LRT days. Biomass burning was the predominant source of OHPAHs throughout the year, while NPAHs mainly originated from secondary formation and fuel combustion. For benzo[a]pyrene (BaP)-based PM2.5 toxicity, the mixed source of coal combustion and NPAHs secondary formation was the major contributor, followed by biomass burning and vehicle emissions. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The relationship between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and hypertension remains a subject of debate. The aims of this study were to determine an association of concentrations of PAHs in housewives' hair with hypertension risk and the modification effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) related to Phase I metabolism of PAHs. We recruited 405 women for a cross-sectional study in Shanxi Province, China, including 170 with hypertension (the case group) and 235 without hypertension (the control group). We analyzed 26 individual PAHs in hair samples and the SNPs of the genes including cytochrome P450, family 1, subfamily A, polypeptide 1 (CYP1A1), CYP1A2, CYP1B1 and CYP2E1. Our results showed that seven PAHs in hair samples were measured with detection rate >70%. Only acenaphthylene was found to be associated with an increased risk of hypertension with adjustment for the potential confounders following Bonferroni correction, whereas others not. No SNPs of the concerned genes were found to be associated with the risk of hypertension. A multiple interaction effect of PAHs in housewives' hair and SNPs on hypertension risk was not observed. It was concluded that PAHs tended to contribute to the formation of hypertension. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
China has become one of the major recycling sites for the electronic waste (e-waste) from worldwide. Pollutants emerged from the e-waste dismantling and the subsequent health effects to populations are of great concern. Typically, exposure to organic pollutants, such as bisphenol A (BPA) especially generated from primitive dismantling, is an important scientific issue for their adverse health effects to local residents. In this study, 29 e-waste dismantling workers and 24 local residents from a dismantling area in North China were recruited as the exposure group. Residents (N = 53) living 40 km away from this e-waste area were selected as the reference. The median concentration of urinary BPA of the exposure group was 10.7 mu g.g(-1) creatinine, which was significantly higher than that of the references (0.66 mu g.g(-1) creatinine; P < 0.01), indicating that working and/or living in the e-waste area caused the elevated body burden of BPA. Urinary 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) of the exposure group (median: 236 mu g.g(-1) creatinine) was higher than that of the references (median: 142 mu g.g(-1) creatinine) with a marginal significance (P = 0.055). Meanwhile, serum levels of glutathione S-transferase (GSH-ST) and Cu/Zn-Superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD) were significantly lower in the exposure group, while glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx) was higher when compared to the references (P < 0.01). Significantly positive association between urinary BPA and 8-OHdG was found (P < 0.05); however, significantly negative association was found between BPA and serum GSH-ST (P < 0.01). After controlling for confounders, 34.9% (95% CI: 19.4%-52.3%) increment of urinary 8-OHdG and 5.46% (95% CI: 1.17%-9.56%) decrement of serum GSH-ST per one-fold increase of BPA were estimated. Those results provided evidence on high exposure level of BPA among the populations from the e-waste dismantling area and a high risk of oxidative damage to DNA.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), formed through incomplete combustion process, have adverse health effects. To investigate spatial distribution and sources of PAHs in North China, PAHs with passive sampling in 90 gridded sites during June to September in 2011 were analyzed. The average concentration of the sum of fifteen PAHs in North China is 220 +/- 14 ng/m(3), with the highest in Shanxi, followed by Shandong and Hebei, and then the Beijing-Tianjin area. Major sources of PAHs are identified for each region of North China, coke process for Shanxi, biomass burning for Hebei and Shandong, and coal combustion for Beijing-Tianjin area, respectively. Emission inventory is combined with back trajectory analysis to study the influence of emissions from surrounding areas at receptor sites. Shanxi and Beijing-Tianjin areas are more influenced by sources nearby while regional sources have more impact on Hebei and Shandong areas. Results from this study suggest the areas where local emission should be the major target for control and areas where both local and regional sources should be considered for PAH abatement in North China. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.