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Decreased erythrocyte CD44 and CD58 expression link e-waste Pb toxicity to changes in erythrocyte immunity in preschool children

Huo, Xia, Dai, Yifeng, Yang, Tian, Zhang, Yu, Li, Minghui, Xu, Xijin
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.664 pp. 690-697
biomarkers, electronic wastes, erythrocyte count, erythrocytes, immunity, interferon-gamma, interleukin-12, interleukin-1beta, interleukin-2, lead, leukocyte count, long term effects, preschool children, regression analysis, secretion, toxicity
Lead (Pb) toxicity damages blood cells and disturbs the immune micro-environment. When Pb enters the circulatory system, >95% of Pb accumulates in erythrocytes. We therefore conducted this study to explore the long-term effect of Pb exposure on expression of erythrocyte adhesion molecules (CD44 and CD58) and related downstream cytokine concentrations. We enrolled a total of 267 preschool children, 2–7 years of age, from Guiyu (e-waste-exposed group, n = 132) and Haojiang (reference group, n = 135) in November and December 2015. We measured child blood Pb, biomarkers including erythrocyte CD44 and CD58, erythrocyte count, leukocyte count and inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-12p70 and IFN-γ), and calculated erythrocyte Pb levels. Regression model demonstrated that higher erythrocyte Pb was associated with lower CD44 and CD58. Compared to low erythrocyte Pb levels (quartile 1), high erythrocyte Pb levels (quartile 4) were related to lower levels of erythrocyte CD44 and CD58. Elevated blood Pb correlated with higher IL-12p70 and IFN-γ, and lower IL-2. The mediation effect of erythrocyte CD44 on the relationship of erythrocyte Pb with IL-1β and IL-12p70 was significant, and the effect of erythrocyte Pb on IFN-γ was mediated by erythrocyte CD58. The data provides novel translational insight into the relationship between elevated Pb exposure and the change of erythrocyte immunity and downstream cytokine secretion in preschool children.