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Contribution of Persistent Organic Pollutant Exposure to the Adipose Tissue Oxidative Microenvironment in an Adult Cohort: A Multipollutant Approach

Artacho-Cordón, Francisco, León, Josefa, Sáenz, José M., Fernández, Mariana F., Martin-Olmedo, Piedad, Olea, Nicolás, Arrebola, Juan P.
Environmental Science & Technology 2016 v.50 no.24 pp. 13529-13538
HCH (pesticide), adipose tissue, adults, biomarkers, cell structures, cross-sectional studies, dicofol, glutathione, hexachlorobenzene, lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress, persistent organic pollutants, polychlorinated biphenyls, regression analysis, superoxide dismutase, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances
Despite growing in vitro and in vivo evidence of the putative role of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the induction of oxidative damage in cell structures, this issue has been poorly addressed from an epidemiologic perspective. The aim of this study was to explore associations between adipose tissue POP concentrations and the in situ oxidative microenvironment. A cross-sectional study was conducted in a subsample (n = 271) of a previously established cohort, quantifying levels of eight POPs and four groups of oxidative stress biomarkers in adipose tissue. Associations were explored using multivariate linear regression analyses adjusted for potential confounders. We assessed the combined effect of POPs on oxidative stress/glutathione system biomarkers using weighted quantile sum regression (WQS). Increased concentrations of p,p′-DDE, HCB, β-HCH, dicofol, and PCBs (congeners −138, −153, and −180) were predominantly associated with higher lipid peroxidation (TBARS) [exp(β) = 1.09–1.78, p < 0.01–0.04)] and SOD activity [exp(β) = 1.13–1.48, p < 0.01–0.05)] levels. However, only a few associations were observed with glutathione system biomarkers, e.g., PCB-180 with total glutathione [exp(β) = 1.98, p = 0.03]. The WQS index was found to be positively associated with SOD activity, and PCB-138, PCB-180, and β-HCH were the main contributors to the index. Likewise, the WQS index was positively associated with TBARS levels, with the three PCBs acting as the main contributors. This is the first epidemiological evidence of the putative disruption by POPs of the adipose tissue oxidative microenvironment. Our results indicate that POP exposure may enhance alternative pathways to the glutathione detoxification route, which might result in tissue damage. Further research is warranted to fully elucidate the potential health implications.