Zhanfen Qin

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Peping, Beijing, China

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Publications (12)29.09 Total impact

  • Yinfeng Zhang · Yuanyuan Li · Zhanfen Qin · Huili Wang · Jianzhong Li ·
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    ABSTRACT: Amphibian metamorphosis provides a wonderful model to study the thyroid hormone (TH) signaling disrupting activity of environmental chemicals, with Xenopus laevis as the most commonly used species. This study aimed to establish a rapid and sensitive screening assay based on TH-response gene expression analysis using Pelophylax nigromaculatus, a native frog species distributed widely in East Asia, especially in China. To achieve this, five candidate TH-response genes that were sensitive to T3 induction were chosen as molecular markers, and T3 induction was determined as 0.2nmol/L T3 exposure for 48hr. The developed assay can detect the agonistic activity of T3 with a lowest observed effective concentration of 0.001nmol/L and EC50 at around 0.118-1.229nmol/L, exhibiting comparable or higher sensitivity than previously reported assays. We further validated the efficiency of the developed assay by detecting the TH signaling disrupting activity of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), a known TH signaling disruptor. In accordance with previous reports, we found a weak TH agonistic activity for TBBPA in the absence of T3, whereas a TH antagonistic activity was found for TBBPA at higher concentrations in the presence of T3, showing that the P. nigromaculatus assay is effective for detecting TH signaling disrupting activity. Importantly, we observed non-monotonic dose-dependent disrupting activity of TBBPA in the presence of T3, which is difficult to detect with in vitro reporter gene assays. Overall, the developed P. nigromaculatus assay can be used to screen TH signaling disrupting activity of environmental chemicals with high sensitivity. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Journal of Environmental Sciences 06/2015; 34. DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2015.01.028 · 2.00 Impact Factor
  • Qinqin Lou · Shan Cao · Wei Xu · Yinfeng Zhang · Zhanfen Qin · Wuji Wei ·
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    ABSTRACT: Like Xenopus laevis, some species of the Rana genus are also used to study endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Although ribosomal protein L8 (rpl8) is the most-used reference gene for analyzing gene expression by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in Rana, its suitability as the reference gene has never been validated in any species of the Rana genus. We characterized rpl8 cDNA in Rana nigromaculata, a promising native species in East Asia for assaying endocrine disrupting effects. We found that the rpl8 cDNA consisted of 919 bp and encoded 257 amino acids, exhibiting high identities of amino acid sequence with known rpl8 in other Rana species. Then, we examined the stability of mRNA expression during development. Compared with elongation factor 1 alpha 1, another common housekeeping gene, neither stage-specific nor tissue-specific expression of the rpl8 gene was found in all tissues examined (brain, liver, intestine, tail, testis and ovary) during R. nigromaculata development. Finally, we investigated rpl8 expression under exposure to hormones. No change in rpl8 mRNA expression was found under exposure to thyroid hormone (T4) and estrogen (estradiol), whereas expression of the corresponding biomarker genes was induced. Our results show that rpl8 is an appropriate reference gene for analyzing gene expression by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for assaying EDCs using R. nigromaculata, and might also provide support for using rpl8 as a reference gene in other Rana species due to the high conservation of rpl8 among the Rana genus.
    Journal of Environmental Sciences 11/2014; 26(11). DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2014.09.018 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Considering some advantages of Rana nigromaculata as an experimental species, we propose that this species, like Xenopus laevis, could be used to assay thyroid hormone (TH) signaling disrupting actions. To validate the utilizability of R. nigromaculata, we investigated the responsiveness of R. nigromaculata to a TH receptor (TR) agonist (T3) and antagonist (amiodarone) by analyzing expression, based on characterizing TR cDNA and developmental expression patterns. With high levels of identity with the corresponding genes in X. laevis, both TRα and TRβ in R. nigromaculata exhibited roughly similar developmental expression patterns to those of X. laevis, in spite of some species-specific differences. Both TRα and TRβ expression had greater changes in the liver and intestine than in the tail and brain during metamorphosis. T3 exposure for 2 days induced more dramatic increases of TRβ expression in stage 27 than in stage 34 tadpoles but not in stage 42 tadpoles, showing that the responsiveness of R. nigromaculata to TH decreased with development and disappeared at the onset of metamorphic climax. Corresponding to greater changes of TRβ expression in the liver and intestine than in the tail and brain during metamorphosis, the liver and intestine had higher responsiveness to exogenous T3 than the tail and brain. Amiodarone inhibited T3-induced TRβ expression. Our results show that R. nigromaculata can be used as a model species for assaying TH signaling disrupting actions by analyzing TRβ expression, and intestine tissues at stage 27 are ideal test materials due to high responsiveness and easy accessibility.
    Journal of Environmental Sciences 10/2014; 26(10). DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2014.08.008 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Data concerning effects of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) on thyroid hormone (TH)-dependent vertebrate development have been limited, although TBBPA has been demonstrated in vitro to disrupt the TH signaling pathway at the transcriptional level. In this study, we investigated the effects of TBBPA on T3-induced and spontaneous Xenopus laevis metamorphosis, which share many similarities with TH-dependent development in higher vertebrates. In a 6-day T3-induced metamorphosis assay using pre-metamorphic tadpoles, 101000 nM TBBPA exhibited inhibitory effects on T3-induced expression of TH-response genes and morphological changes in a concentration-dependent manner, with a weak stimulatory action on tadpole development and TH-response gene expression in the absence of T3 induction. In a spontaneous metamorphosis assay, we further found that TBBPA promoted tadpole development from stage 51 to 56 (pre- and pro-metamorphic stages), but inhibited metamorphic development from stage 57 to 66 (metamorphic climax). These results strongly show that TBBPA, even at low concentrations, disrupts TH-dependent development in a developmental stage-dependent manner, i.e., TBBPA exhibits an antagonistic activity at the developmental stages when animals have high endogenous TH levels, whereas it acts as an agonist at the developmental stages when animals have low endogenous TH levels. Our study highlights the adverse influences of TBBPA on TH-dependent development in vertebrates.
    Environmental Science and Technology 06/2014; 48(14). DOI:10.1021/es502366g · 5.33 Impact Factor
  • Yaxian Zhao · Xianli Ruan · Yuanyuan Li · Minchan Yan · Zhanfen Qin ·
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    ABSTRACT: Data on early human fetal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) is limited. However, early pregnancy, in particular the first trimester, is critical for fetal development. We investigated exposure to PBDEs and placental transfer during early pregnancy by analyzing PBDEs in paired aborted fetuses (n=65), placentas (n=65), and maternal blood samples (n=31) at 10-13 weeks gestation, which were collected in a hospital near electronic wastes (e-wastes) recycling sites in Taizhou, China. Mean total PBDE (ΣPBDE) concentrations were 4.46, 7.90, and 15.7 ng/g lipid weight (lw) in the fetuses, placentas, and blood, respectively. The three matrices had roughly similar PBDE congener profiles, dominated by BDE-209, -197, -153, -47, and -28. Significant correlations were found between ΣPBDE concentrations in the paired matrices. Comparing the concentration ratios between the paired samples, we observed significantly higher Fetus/Blood and Fetus/Placenta ratios for BDE-28, -99, and -47 than for BDE-197, -209, and -153, while opposite results were found in Placenta/Blood ratios. Our results indicate that PBDEs can enter the fetus during the first trimester, and low brominated congeners cross the placenta more easily than high brominated congeners, which tend to remain in the placenta. This phenomenon is consistent with findings at the end of pregnancy.
    Environmental Science & Technology 04/2013; 47(11). DOI:10.1021/es305349x · 5.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we examined concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in mudsnails (Cipangopaludina cahayensis) and sediment samples from an electronic waste recycling area to investigate the correlation between PBDE accumulation and age. The results showed that PBDE accumulation did not increase with age, suggesting a dynamic balance between the uptake, depuration and biotransformation of PBDEs relative to growth dilution in mudsnails. We infer that this phenomenon is associated with low absorption efficiencies, rapid depuration rates and high biotransformation rates of PBDEs. BDE-209 contributed only up to about 5 %, whereas BDE-209 was the dominant congener and contributed up to 90 % of the total PBDEs in surface sediments. The difference in PBDE congener pattern between mudsnails and sediments showed a low bioaccumulation potential for these compounds in mudsnails.
    Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 04/2013; 91(1). DOI:10.1007/s00128-013-0993-8 · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) as ubiquitous persistent organic pollutants have attracted much attention in recent years. Exposure to PBDEs could induce a high health risk for children. The aim of this study was to investigate the PBDEs exposure of children (9-12 years) from Taizhou, China. Fifty-eight blood samples were collected in one school in a mountainous area in Taizhou. The concentrations of sigma9PBDEs (sum of BDE-28, -47, -99, -100, -153, -154, -183, -197 and -209) ranged from 2.66 to 33.9 ng/g lipid wet (lw) with a median of 7.22 ng/g lw. These concentrations were lower than those of children in USA, but close to European and Asian general population levels. The results showed that children in Taizhou countryside were at a low level of PBDEs exposure. The predominant congener was BDE-209, followed by BDE-28, -47, -197 and -153. High abundance of BDE-209 was consistent with the pollution background of PBDEs in China characterized by high brominated congeners as main pollutants.
    Journal of Environmental Sciences 07/2011; 23(7):1199-204. DOI:10.1016/S1001-0742(10)60553-0 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The levels and distributions of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in chicken tissues from an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling area in southeast China were investigated. Human dietary intake by local residents via chicken muscle and eggs was estimated. The mean PBDEs concentrations in tissues ranged from 15.2 to 3138.1 ng/g lipid weight (lw) and in egg the concentration was 563.5 ng/g lw. The results showed that the level of total PBDEs (sigmaPBDEs) in the chicken tissue was 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than those reported in the literature. The large difference of sigmaPBDEs concentrations between tissues confirmed that the distribution of PBDEs in tissues depend on tissue-specificity rather than the "lipid-compartment". BDE-209 was the predominant congener (82.5%-94.7% of sigmaPBDEs) in all chicken tissues except in brain (34.7% of sigmaPBDEs), which indicated that deca-BDE (the major commercial PBDE formulation comprising 65%-70% of total production) was major pollution source in this area and could be bioaccumulated in terrestrial animals. The dietary PBDEs intake of the local residents from chicken muscle and egg, assuming only local bred chickens and eggs were consumed, ranged from 2.2 to 22.5 ng/(day x kg body weight (bw)) with a mean value of 13.5 ng/(day x kg bw), which was one order of magnitude higher than the value reported in previous studies for consumption of all foodstuffs.
    Journal of Environmental Sciences 01/2011; 23(1):133-8. DOI:10.1016/S1001-0742(10)60384-1 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), as a flame retardant, is widely produced and used. To study the thyroid disruption by technical decaBDE at low concentrations, Xenopus laevis tadpoles were exposed to technical decaBDE mixture DE-83R (1-1000 ng/L) in water from stage 46/47 (free swimming larvae, system of Nieuwkoop and Faber) to stage 62. DE-83R at concentration of 1000 ng/L significantly delayed the time to metamorphosis (presented by forelimb emergence, FLE). Histological examination showed that DE-83R at all tested concentrations caused histological alterations - multilayer follicular epithelial cell and markedly increased follicle size accompanied by partial colloid depletion and increase in the peripheral colloid vacuolation, in thyroid glands. All tested concentrations of DE-83R also induced a down-regulation of thyroid receptor mRNA expression. These results demonstrated that technical decaBDE disrupted the thyroid system in X. laevis tadpoles. Analysis of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (sum of 39 congeners) in X. laevis indicated that mean concentrations of total PBDEs in X. laevis exposed to 1, 10, 100, 1000 ng/L were 11.0, 128.1, 412.1, 1400.2 ng/g wet weight, respectively. Considering that PBDEs burden ofX. laevis tadpoles was close to PBDEs levels in amphibians as reported in previous studies, our study has raised new concerns for thyroid disruption in amphibians of technical decaBDE at environmentally relevant concentrations.
    Journal of Environmental Sciences 01/2010; 22(5):744-51. DOI:10.1016/S1001-0742(09)60172-8 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To understand potential ecotoxicological effects of electrical and electronic equipment waste (e-waste) recycling and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) bioaccumulation in loaches, a semi-field experiment using Chinese loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) as experimental fish was performed. Larval loaches were kept in net-cage for three months in an e-wastes recycling site and a reference site in Southeastern China. There was significant difference of the survival rate between the loaches from the e-wastes recycling site (27%, 19/70) and from reference site (70%, 49/70). Histopathological responses were also found in all the livers examined in loaches from the e-wastes recycling site. These results showed that mixed pollutants resulted from e-wastes recycling led to ecotoxicological effects on loaches. The bioaccumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), the main pollutants in e-waste, in loaches was also studied, the mean concentration of total PBDEs in sediment was 6726.17 ng/g wet weight and in water samples was 4.08 ng/L (dissolved phase). BDE 209 was the dominant congener in sediment and with relatively high concentration in water. Relatively low concentration of BDE 209 (less than 0.01% of total PBDEs) and high concentration of BDE47 (up to 39.34% of total PBDEs) were detected in loaches.
    Journal of Environmental Sciences 01/2009; 21(12):1695-701. DOI:10.1016/S1001-0742(08)62475-4 · 2.00 Impact Factor
  • Zhanfen Qin · Xiaobai Xu ·
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the series of papers is to discuss the application of Xenopus laevis, as model animal in biology, in ecotoxicology. X. laevis as model animal is wildly used in biological study and has provided a lot of relating data because of many advantages, such as living in water and being easily maintained, laying eggs in the whole year, and externally fertilizing and developing. Embryos and larvae of X. laevis like other amphibians are directly exposed in the aquatic environment and sensitive to pollutants. In addition, sex differentiation and sex organ development of X. laevis are sensitive to sex hormones and endocrine disruptors with sex hormone activities, which enable X. laevis to be used in studies on sex hormone disruption and reproductive toxicity of endocrine disruptors. Metamorphic development of X. laevis is very sensitive to thyroid hormones and thyroid disruptors, which enables X. laevis to be used for evaluating thyroid disruptors. Also, X. laevis ecotoxicology can be linked with amphibian population declines and malformed frog occurrence, being one of the hotspots in ecology. Thus, more and more laboratories have introduced X. laevis to ecotoxicological study. The quality of laboratory animals correlates with scientificity and reliability of results from animal experiments. It is especially important for toxicology. Quality control of X. laevis involving several factors such as water and food is discussed in this paper.
    Chinese Science Bulletin 06/2006; 51(11):1273-1280. DOI:10.1007/s11434-006-1273-3 · 1.58 Impact Factor
  • Jingming Zhou · Zhanfen Qin · Cong Lin · Xiaobai Xu ·
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    ABSTRACT: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are global persistent organic pollutants. Almost all commercial PCBs mixtures, single PCB congener, and their metabolites possess endocrine disrupting activities. They can disrupt the estrogen/androgen system, thyroid hormone system and other endocrine systems by interfering with the synthesis, transport, storage, metabolism, and feedback regulation of hormones. The newest data related to the endocrine disrupting activities of PCBs and their mechanisms are reviewed and the research perspectives are also discussed. Keywordspolychlorinated biphenyls-endocrine disruptor-thyroid hormone disruptor-environmental estrogen
    Chinese Science Bulletin 02/2004; 49(3):215-219. DOI:10.1007/BF03182800 · 1.58 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

85 Citations
29.09 Total Impact Points


  • 2004-2015
    • Chinese Academy of Sciences
      • • State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology
      • • Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences
      Peping, Beijing, China