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Proteomic evaluation of human umbilical cord tissue exposed to polybrominated diphenyl ethers in an e-waste recycling area

Li, Minghui, Huo, Xia, Pan, Yukui, Cai, Haoxing, Dai, Yifeng, Xu, Xijin
Environment international 2018 v.111 pp. 362-371
antioxidant activity, antioxidants, apoptosis, biomarkers, body mass index, catalase, cell structures, correlation, cytochrome c, electronic wastes, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, fetal development, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, glutathione transferase, growth and development, head circumference, humans, lipids, metabolism, mothers, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, pregnancy complications, protein composition, proteomics, recycling, umbilical cord, China
Parental exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) is associated with adverse birth outcomes. This study aims to examine differentially-expressed protein profiles in umbilical cord tissue, derived from mothers exposed to PBDEs, and investigate candidate biomarkers to reveal the underlying molecular mechanisms. Umbilical cord samples were obtained from women residing in an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling area (Guiyu) and reference area (Haojiang) in China. The concentration of PBDEs in umbilical cord tissue was determined by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Isobaric tagging for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ)-based proteomic technology was conducted to analyze differentially-expressed protein profiles. The total PBDE concentration was approximately five-fold higher in umbilical cords from Guiyu than from Haojiang (median 71.92ng/g vs. 15.52ng/g lipid, P<0.01). Neonatal head circumference, body-mass index (BMI) and Apgar1 score were lower in Guiyu and negatively correlated with PBDE concentration (P<0.01). Proteomic analysis showed 697 proteins were differentially expressed in the e-waste-exposed group compared with the reference group. The differentially-expressed proteins were principally involved in antioxidant defense, apoptosis, cell structure and metabolism. Among them, catalase and glutathione S-transferase omega-1, were down-regulated, and cytochrome c was found to be up-regulated, changes which were further verified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. These results suggest that an antioxidant imbalance and cell apoptosis in the umbilical cord following PBDE exposure is associated with neonatal birth outcomes.