Ling Yu He

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, Bryan, Texas, United States

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Publications (3)13.12 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In situ biomonitoring has been used to assess the effects of pollution on aquatic species in heavily polluted waterways. In the current study, we used in situ biomonitoring in conjunction with molecular biomarker analysis to determine the effects of pollutant exposure in salmon caged in the Duwamish waterway, a Pacific Northwest Superfund site that has been subject to remediation. The Duwamish waterway is an important migratory route for Pacific salmon and has received historic inputs of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Juvenile pre-smolt Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) caged for 8 days in the three contaminated sites in close proximity within the Duwamish were analyzed for steady state hepatic mRNA expression of 7 exposure biomarker genes encompassing several gene families and known to be responsive to pollutants, including cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) and CYP2K1, glutathione S-transferase pi class (GST-pi), microsomal GST (mGST), glutamylcysteine ligase catalytic subunit (GCLC), UDP-glucuronyltransferase family 1 (UDPGT), and type 2 deiodinase (type 2 DI, or D2). Quantitation of gene expression was accomplished by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) in assays developed specifically for Chinook salmon genes. Gill PAH-DNA adducts were assessed as a chemical effects biomarker using (32)P-postlabeling. The biomarkers in the field-caged fish were analyzed with respect to caged animals maintained at the hatchery receiving flow-through water. Chemical analysis of sediment samples from three field sampling sites revealed relatively high concentrations of total PAHs in one site (site B2, 6711ng/g dry weight) and somewhat lower concentrations of PAHs in two adjacent sites (sites B3 and B4, 1482 and 1987ng/g, respectively). In contrast, waterborne PAHs at all of the sampling sites were relatively low (<1ng/L). Sediment PCBs at the sites ranged from a low of 421ng/g at site B3 to 1160ng/g at site B4, and there were no detectable waterborne PCBs at any of the sites (detection limit=10ng/L). There were no significant differences (p<0.05) in biomarker gene expression in the Duwamish-caged fish relative to controls, although there was a pattern of gene expression suppression at site B3, the most heavily PAH-enriched site. The lack of a marked perturbation of mRNA biomarkers was consistent with relatively low levels of gill PAH-DNA adduct levels that did not differ among caged reference and field fish, and which were also consistent with relatively low waterborne concentrations of chemicals. The results of our study suggest a low bioavailability of sediment pollutants in caged juvenile Chinook potentially reflecting low waterborne exposures occurring at contaminated sites within the Duwamish waterway that have undergone partial remediation.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Environmental Research
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    ABSTRACT: Emissions of complex mixtures of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other compounds into the environment represent a potential threat to the health of humans. Information regarding the dose and duration of exposure is essential to determine the degree of risk and to identify sensitive receptors within a population. Although measurements of chemical concentrations in air may be used to estimate exposures, internal biomarkers provide more accurate information regarding the dose of exposure and retention of toxic chemicals. This study was conducted in a population in rural China exposed to PAHs from a variety of sources. The study population was located in an area known to have an elevated incidence of birth defects. Parents of children born with a neural tube defect (NTD) were recruited as case participants and parents of children born with no visible birth defect were recruited as controls. The study was designed to test the hypothesis that parents of children born with a NTD would exhibit a biomarker of exposure at higher levels than the parents of a child with no visible birth defect. A total of 35 mothers and 32 fathers were recruited as case participants, and 18 mothers and 19 fathers were recruited as control participants. Venous blood was collected from the study participants by hospital staff as soon as possible following the birth of the child. PAHs were isolated from the whole blood by solvent extraction and DNA was isolated from a separate aliquot of blood for (32)P-postlabeling to measure bulky adducts. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in phase II enzymes were also monitored in an attempt to identify sensitive receptors. Both total and carcinogenic PAH (cPAH) concentrations were elevated in the parents of case children. Both values were elevated significantly in mothers, whereas only cPAH concentrations were elevated significantly in fathers. Levels of DNA adducts were highly variable and displayed a reverse pattern to that of PAH levels in blood. None of the polymorphisms evaluated were correlated with PAH levels or DNA adducts. For mothers, whose total PAH concentration was above the median concentration, the age-adjusted odds ratio (OR) for having a child with a NTD was 8.7. Although this suggests that PAHs may be a contributing factor to the risk of NTDs, the lack of a correlation with DNA adducts would suggest a possible non-genotoxic mechanism. Alternatively, the PAHs may be a surrogate for a different exposure that is more directly related to the birth defects. The results have shown that blood levels of PAHs may be used to identify populations exposed to elevated concentrations of combustion by-products.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2009 · Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
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    ABSTRACT: Settled house dust can be a source of human exposure to toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through non-dietary ingestion and dermal contact. Information regarding the concentrations of various contaminants in house dust would be useful in estimating the risk associated with exposure to these compounds. This study reports on the surface loading, variability and distribution of PAHs in settled house dust collected from homes in three locations: Sumgayit, Azerbaijan; Shanxi Province, China; and southern Texas, United States. The highest PAH floor surface loadings were observed in China, followed by Azerbaijan and Texas. Median concentrations of high molecular weight (four ring and larger) PAHs ranged from a low of 0.11 microg/m(2) in Texas, to 2.9 microg/m(2) in Azerbaijan and 162 microg/m(2) in China. These trends in total surface loading and relative carcinogenicity indicate that the risk of health effects from exposure to PAHs in house dust is highest in the Chinese population and lowest in the Texas population. As anticipated, variability among dust samples from different houses within the same region was high, with coefficients of variation greater than 100%. Alkylated PAHs comprised 30-50% of the total mass of PAHs. Based on a comparison of the composition of specific components, PAHs in China and Azerbaijan were determined to be derived mainly from combustion sources rather than from unburned fossil fuels such as petroleum. These results, coupled with ongoing investigation of appropriate PAH exposure biomarkers in humans, will guide future efforts to identify ways to reduce exposures in the study areas.
    No preview · Article · May 2008 · Environment International