[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Estrogen-like endocrine disrupting compounds (EEDC) such as bisphenol A, nonylphenol, and phthalic acid esters are toxic compounds that may occur in both raw- and drinking water. The aim of this study was to combine chemical- and bioassay to evaluate the risk of EEDCs in the drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs). Fifty-six samples were collected from seven DWTPs located in northern-, central-, and southern Taiwan from 2011 to 2012 and subjected to chemical analyses and two bioassay methods for total estrogenic activity (E-Screen and T47D-KBluc assay). Among of the considered EEDCs, only dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) were detected in both drinking and raw water samples. DBP levels in drinking water ranged from <MDL to 0.840 μg/L and from <MDL to 0.760 μg/L in raw water. DEHP had higher detection rate (82.1 %) than other compounds and was present in both drinking water and raw water from all the DWTPs. The highest daily drinking water intake calculated for male and female were 0.0823 and 0.115 μg/kg per day. The two selected bioassays were conducted for the first batch of 56 samples and a detection rate of 23 % for estradiol equivalent (EEQ) lower than the LOQ to 1.3 and 15 % for EEQ lower than LOQ to 0.757 for the second 53 samples. Our results showed a good correlation between E-screen and chemical assay which indicates that a combination of both can be used in detecting EEDCs in environmental samples.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Environmental Science and Pollution Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our goal was to develop a fast-screening method for measuring dioxin levels in soils. The adenovirus (Ad)-dioxin-responsive (DR) bioassay system (AdEasy-6XDRE-TATA-Luc) combined with a fast-cleanup system was examined under conventional conditions (i.e., with incubation at 37°C) and three alternative conditions [incubation at 37°C with addition of phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA), incubation at 33°C, and incubation at 33°C with addition of PMA]. The best conditions for carrying out the Ad-DR bioassay was 33°C and no addition of PMA. The background level of soil dioxins determined by the chemical assay [6.49 ng I-TEQ/kg dry weight (dw)] was well correlated (Pearson's r = 0.873, p < 0.001) with that by the Ad-DR bioassay [expressed in ng bioanalytical equivalents (BEQ) 81.1 ng BEQ/kg dw] (n = 17). When surveyed in contaminated soil samples (n = 114) from industrial areas by the Ad-DR bioassay, dioxin levels were 117, 102, 98.5, and 112 ng BEQ/kg dw, respectively, in northern, central, southern, and eastern Taiwan.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have antibacterial characteristics, and currently are applied in Ag-containing products. This study found neural cells can uptake 3-5 nm AgNPs, and investigated the potential effects of AgNPs on gene expression of inflammation and neurodegenerative disorder in murine brain ALT astrocytes, microglial BV-2 cells and neuron N2a cells. After AgNPs (5, 10, 12.5 μg/ml) exposure, these neural cells had obviously increased IL-1β secretion, and induced gene expression of C-X-C motif chemokine 13 (CXCL13), macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO) and glutathione synthetase (GSS) for inflammatory response and oxidative stress neutralization. Additionally, this study found amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques for pathological feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) deposited in neural cells after AgNPs treatment. After AgNPs exposure, the gene expression of amyloid precursor protein (APP) was induced, and otherwise, neprilysin (NEP) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) were reduced in neural cells as well as protein level. These results suggested AgNPs could alter gene and protein expressions of Aβ deposition potentially to induce AD progress in neural cells. It's necessary to take notice of AgNPs distribution in the environment.
Preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Environmental Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following an increase in the use of electric appliances that can generate 50 or 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, concerns have intensified regarding the biological effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) on human health. Previous epidemiological studies have suggested the carcinogenic potential of environmental exposure to ELF-EMFs, specifically at 50 or 60 Hz. However, the biological mechanism facilitating the effects of ELF-EMFs remains unclear. Cellular studies have yielded inconsistent results regarding the biological effects of ELF-EMFs. The inconsistent results might have been due to diverse cell types. In our previous study, we indicated that 1.5 mT, 60 Hz ELF-EMFs will cause G1 arrest through the activation of the ATM-Chk2-p21 pathway in human keratinocyte HaCaT cells. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether ELF-EMFs cause similar effects in a distinct epidermal keratinocyte, primary normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK), by using the same ELF-EMF exposure system and experimental design. We observed that ELF-EMFs exerted no effects on cell growth, cell proliferation, cell cycle distribution, and the activation of ATM signaling pathway in NHEK cells. We demonstrated that the 2 epidermal keratinocytes responded to ELF-EMFs differently. To further validate this finding, we simultaneously exposed the NHEK and HaCaT cells to ELF-EMFs in the same incubator for 168 h and observed the cell growths. The simultaneous exposure of the two cell types results showed that the NHEK and HaCaT cells exhibited distinct responses to ELF-EMFs. Thus, we confirmed that the biological effects of ELF-EMFs in epidermal keratinocytes are cell type specific. Our findings may partially explain the inconsistent results of previous studies when comparing results across various experimental models.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In daily life, humans are exposed to the extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) generated by electric appliances, and public concern is increasing regarding the biological effects of such exposure. Numerous studies have yielded inconsistent results regarding the biological effects of ELF-EMF exposure. Here we show that ELF-EMFs activate the ATM-Chk2-p21 pathway in HaCaT cells, inhibiting cell proliferation. To present well-founded results, we comprehensively evaluated the biological effects of ELF-EMFs at the transcriptional, protein, and cellular levels. Human HaCaT cells from an immortalized epidermal keratinocyte cell line were exposed to a 1.5 mT, 60 Hz ELF-EMF for 144 h. The ELF-EMF could cause G1 arrest and decrease colony formation. Protein expression experiments revealed that ELF-EMFs induced the activation of the ATM/Chk2 signaling cascades. In addition, the p21 protein, a regulator of cell cycle progression at G1 and G2/M, exhibited a higher level of expression in exposed HaCaT cells compared with the expression of sham-exposed cells. The ELF-EMF-induced G1 arrest was diminished when the CHK2 gene expression (which encodes checkpoint kinase 2; Chk2) was suppressed by specific small interfering RNA (siRNA). These findings indicate that ELF-EMFs activate the ATM-Chk2-p21 pathway in HaCaT cells, resulting in cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. Based on the precise control of the ELF-EMF exposure and rigorous sham-exposure experiments, all transcriptional, protein, and cellular level experiments consistently supported the conclusion. This is the first study to confirm that a specific pathway is triggered by ELF-EMF exposure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous endocrine disrupting chemical in our daily life, and its health effect in response to prenatal exposure is still controversial. Early-life BPA exposure may impact brain development and contribute to childhood neurological disorders. The aim of the present study was to investigate molecular target genes of neuronal development in trans-placental exposure to BPA.
A meta-analysis of three public microarray datasets was performed to screen for differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in exposure to BPA. The candidate genes of neuronal development were identified from gene ontology analysis in a reconstructed neuronal sub-network, and their gene expressions were determined using real-time PCR in 20 umbilical cord blood samples dichotomized into high and low BPA level groups upon the median 16.8 nM.
Among 36 neuronal transcripts sorted from DAVID ontology clusters of 457 DEGs using the analysis of Bioconductor limma package, we found two neuronal genes, sex determining region Y-box 2 (Sox2) and paired box 6 (Pax6), had preferentially down-regulated expression (Bonferroni correction p-value <10−4 and log2-transformed fold change ≤−1.2) in response to BPA exposure. Fetal cord blood samples had the obviously attenuated gene expression of Sox2 and Pax6 in high BPA group referred to low BPA group. Visualized gene network of Cytoscape analysis showed that Sox2 and Pax6 which were contributed to neural precursor cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation might be down-regulated through sonic hedgehog (Shh), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) and Notch signaling.
These results indicated that trans-placental BPA exposure down-regulated gene expression of Sox2 and Pax6 potentially underlying the adverse effect on childhood neuronal development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endometrial cancers (ECs) are the most common form of gynecologic malignancy. Recent studies have reported that ECs reveal distinct markers for molecular pathogenesis, which in turn is linked to the various histological types of ECs. To understand further the molecular events contributing to ECs and endometrial tumorigenesis in general, a more precise identification of cancer-associated molecules and signaling networks would be useful for the detection and monitoring of malignancy, improving clinical cancer therapy, and personalization of treatments.
ECs-specific gene co-expression networks were constructed by differential expression analysis and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA). Important pathways and putative cancer hub genes contribution to tumorigenesis of ECs were identified. An elastic-net regularized classification model was built using the cancer hub gene signatures to predict the phenotypic characteristics of ECs. The 19 cancer hub gene signatures had high predictive power to distinguish among three key principal features of ECs: grade, type, and stage. Intriguingly, these hub gene networks seem to contribute to ECs progression and malignancy via cell-cycle regulation, antigen processing and the citric acid (TCA) cycle.
The results of this study provide a powerful biomarker discovery platform to better understand the progression of ECs and to uncover potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of ECs. This information might lead to improved monitoring of ECs and resulting improvement of treatment of ECs, the 4th most common of cancer in women.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inorganic arsenic (iAs) is an established transplacental agent known to affect fetal development in animal studies. However, iAs has not been adequately studied in the general population with respect to iAs exposure during pregnancy and its impact on the health status of newborns. The aims of this study were to 1) elucidate the association between arsenic exposure and oxidative/methylated DNA damage in pregnant women, and 2) determine the association with birth outcomes. A birth cohort study of 299 pregnant mother-newborn pairs was recruited during 2001-2002 in Taiwan. We collected maternal urine samples during the 3(rd) trimester for measuring iAs and its metabolites. We used high-performance liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) for quantifications of the arsenic species. Liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometer (LC-MS/MS) was used to measure the 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) and N(7)-methylguanosine (N(7)-MeG) DNA damage biomarkers. Birth outcomes were collected to assess the associations with maternal arsenic exposure and the DNA damage biomarkers. Multiple regression analyses showed that maternal urinary iAs had positive associations with the methylated N(7)-MeG (beta = 0.35, p<0.001) and oxidative 8-oxodG (beta = 0.24, p<0.001) DNA damage biomarkers, and a decreased one-minute (1-min) Apgar score (beta = -0.23, p = 0.041). Maternal N(7)-MeG was also associated with a decreased 1-min Apgar score (beta = -0.25, p = 0.042). Mutual adjustment for iAs and N(7)-MeG showed an independent and significant prediction for a decreased 1-min Apgar score of iAs (beta = -0.28, p = 0.036). Maternal iAs exposure was associated with both maternal DNA damage and adverse newborn health. Maternal N(7)-MeG levels might be a novel biomarker for monitoring fetal health related to iAs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The composting procedure in food waste plants generates airborne bioaerosols that have the potential to damage human airway epithelial cells. Persistent inflammation and repair responses induce airway remodeling and damage to the respiratory system. This study elucidated the expression changes of airway remodeling genes in human lung mucoepidermoid NCI-H292 cells exposed to bioaerosols from a composting plant. Different types of microorganisms were detectable in the composting plant, using the agar culture method. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the level of Aspergillus fumigatus and the profile of remodeling genes. The real-time PCR results indicated that the amount of A. fumigatus in the composting hall was less than 102 conidia. The endotoxins in the field bioaerosols were determined using a limulus amebocyte lysate test. The endotoxin levels depended on the type of particulate matter (PM), with coarse particles (2.5-10 μm) having higher endotoxin levels than did fine particles (0.5-2.5 μm). After exposure to the conditioned medium of field bioaerosol samples, NCI-H292 cells showed increased pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 release and activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 (p21WAF1/CIP1) gene expression, but not of matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-9. Airborne endotoxin levels were higher inside the composting hall than they were in other areas, and they were associated with PM. This suggested that airborne bioaerosols in the composting plant contained endotoxins and microorganisms besides A. fumigatus that cause the inflammatory cytokine secretion and augment the expression of remodeling genes in NCI-H292 cells. It is thus necessary to monitor potentially hazardous materials from bioaerosols in food composting plants, which could affect the health of workers.
Preview · Article · Dec 2013 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Integrins are a family of transmembrane adhesion proteins that mediate cell adhesion and intracellular signaling. Integrin-αvβ3 is expressed on the surface of human glioblastoma cells, and can be further induced by chemical stress. The Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif-containing peptides are specifically bound to integrin-αvβ3, and to inhibit neovasculature underlying competition to normal extracellular matrix proteins. This study employed two types of RGD peptides, cyclic RGD (c(RGDyK)) and bi-cyclic RGD (E[c(RGDyK)](2)) peptide, to human glioblastoma U87MG cells with combination of low dose Paclitaxel (PTX) pre-treatment to augment therapeutic activity for RGD peptide-induced apoptosis.
Human glioblastoma U87MG cells were treated with RGD peptides in the absence or presence of initial exposure to low-dose 10 nM PTX. Results showed that integrin-αvβ3 expressing on the surface of U87MG cells was induced by 10 nM PTX pre-treatment for 12 hrs. Additionally, the U87MG cells pre-treated with PTX and followed by RGD peptides exhibited greater expression of caspases-3, -8 and -9 than those merely treated with single agent of PTX or RGD peptide. Furthermore, the caspase-3, -8 and -9 inhibitor presented significant protection against E[c(RGDyK)](2) peptide induced U87MG programmed cell death. The increased expression of PTX-induced integrin-αvβ3 was correlated with the enhanced apoptosis in U87MG cells.
This study provides a novel concept of targeting integrin-αvβ3 with RGD peptides in combination with low-dose PTX pre-treatment to improve efficiency in human glioblastoma treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study evaluated emergency room visit (ERV) risks for all causes and cardiopulmonary diseases associated with temperature and long-lasting extreme temperatures from 2000 to 2009 in four major cities in Taiwan. The city-specific daily average temperatures at the high 95th, 97th, and 99th percentiles, and the low 10th, 5th, and 1st percentiles were defined as extreme heat and cold. A distributed lag non-linear model was used to estimate the cumulative relative risk (RR) of ERV for morbidities associated with temperatures (0 to 3-day lags), extreme heat and cold lasting for 2 to 9 days or longer, and with the annual first extreme heat or cold event after controlling for covariates. Low temperatures were associated with slightly higher ERV risks than high temperatures for circulatory diseases. After accounting for 4-day cumulative temperature effect, the ERV risks for all causes and respiratory diseases were found to be associated with extreme cold at the 5th percentile lasting for >8 days and 1st percentile lasting for >3 days. The annual first extreme cold event of 5th percentile or lower temperatures was also significantly associated with ERV, with RRs ranging from 1.09 to 1.12 for all causes and from 1.15 to 1.26 for respiratory diseases. The annual first extreme heat event of 99th percentile temperature was associated with higher ERV for all causes and circulatory diseases. Annual first extreme temperature event and intensified prolonged extreme cold events are associated with increased ERVs in Taiwan.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Science of The Total Environment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a sealant and flux of plastic materials and has been determined to be an endocrine-disrupting chemical. Prenatal exposure to BPA can lead to substantial adverse effects on fetal growth and development. This study was conducted to assess BPA concentration in pregnant women and umbilical cord blood, and to investigate whether maternal BPA exposure affected fetal outcomes including lower birth weight (LBW), smaller size for gestational age (SGA), and high leptin (HLP) and low adiponectin (LAD) secretion.
We measured the BPA levels of maternal blood (n = 97) and umbilical cord blood (n = 97) with a high-performance liquid chromatography/UV detector. The protein secretion of leptin and adiponectin were separately determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A logistic regression was performed to estimate the effects of maternal exposure to BPA on LBW, SGA, and adverse action of adipokines in newborns.
The geometric means of BPA concentration in maternal blood and fetal cord blood were 2.5 ng/ml and 0.5 ng/ml, respectively. Elevated risks of LBW (OR 2.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.72-3.36), SGA (OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.39-3.01), and adverse action of leptin (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.12-2.25) and adiponectin (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.52-3.97) were observed in male neonates in the highest quartile of maternal BPA exposure.
Elevated prenatal BPA exposure increased the risk of LBW, SGA, and adverse actions of adipokines in neonates, especially in male infants. These results provide further evidence that maternal exposure is correlated with adverse birth outcomes.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Environmental Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diarrhea is an important public health problem in Taiwan. Climatic changes and an increase in extreme weather events (extreme heat, drought or rainfalls) have been strongly linked to the incidence of diarrhea-associated disease. This study investigated and quantified the relationship between climate variations and diarrhea-associated morbidity in subtropical Taiwan. Specifically, this study analyzed the local climatic variables and the number of diarrhea-associated infection cases from 1996 to 2007. This study applied a climate variation-guided Poisson regression model to predict the dynamics of diarrhea-associated morbidity. The proposed model allows for climate factors (relative humidity, maximum temperature and the numbers of extreme rainfall), autoregression, long-term trends and seasonality, and a lag-time effect. Results indicated that the maximum temperature and extreme rainfall days were strongly related to diarrhea-associated morbidity. The impact of maximum temperature on diarrhea-associated morbidity appeared primarily among children (0-14years) and older adults (40-64years), and had less of an effect on adults (15-39years). Otherwise, relative humidity and extreme rainfall days significantly contributed to the diarrhea-associated morbidity in adult. This suggested that children and older adults were the most susceptible to diarrhea-associated morbidity caused by climatic variation. Because climatic variation contributed to diarrhea morbidity in Taiwan, it is necessary to develop an early warning system based on the climatic variation information for disease control management.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Science of The Total Environment
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cordyceps sinensis (CS), a Chinese tonifying herb, has been widely used for centuries in Asian countries as a medicine and a health supplement. Although ample evidence indicates that CS can modulate immune responses, the functional effect of CS on dendritic cells (DCs) is still unclear. This study examines how CS affects human monocyte-derived DCs in two physiological states: naïve and LPS-induced inflammatory. Our experimental results demonstrate that CS acts as an activator and maturation inducer of immature DCs by stimulating the expression of costimulatory molecules and proinflammatory cytokines by DCs, enhancing the DC-induced, allogeneic T cell proliferation, and reducing the endocytic ability of DCs. In contrast, CS suppresses the LPS-induced, inflammatory response by decreasing the LPS-induced expression of costimulatory molecules and proinflammatory cytokines by DCs. CS also suppresses the LPS-induced, DC-elicited, allogeneic T cell proliferation and shifts the LPS-activated, DC-driven Th1 response toward a Th2 response. These results demonstrate that CS differentially regulates the DC activities according to the presence or absence of the inflammatory signs. Restated, with the lack of an ongoing inflammatory environment, CS primes DCs toward a Th1-type immunity, whereas in a potential inflammatory reaction, CS balances the over-reactivity of elicited Th1 immunity. This investigation illustrates the Yin-Yang balancing effects of CS as a medicine and a health supplement.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Indoor air pollution has recently become a public concern in Taiwan. People recognize that indoor air quality (IAQ) may be more important than outdoor air quality because they spend over 80% of their time indoors. IAQ could affect health and comfort of building occupants. The objectives of this study are (1) to characterize the indoor concentrations of selected air pollutants at two hospitals in Hsinchu, Taiwan, (2) to evaluate the potential indoor sources of pollutants in these selected hospitals and their indoor/outdoor relationships, and (3) to compare pollutant concentrations with values published in other studies. A significant between-hospital difference in average indoor concentration of nitrogen dioxide and 54.14, 32.69 ppb for Hospital A and B, respectively (p < 0.05). Indoor nitrogen dioxide concentration was significantly positively correlated with outdoor nitrogen dioxide concentration, PM(10) concentration, and traffic flow (r = 0.91, 0.65 and 0.72, respectively). The ozone level was also lower in our hospitals than 30 ppb standard.
Preview · Article · Feb 2009 · Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bronchial epithelial cells exposed to allergens typically secrete chemokines to recruit eosinophils. Persistent inflammation and repair responses result in airway remodeling and irreversible airflow limitation. House dust mite (HDM) is a common allergen causing allergic disorders. Thioredoxin (TRX) is a redox protein that scavenges reactive oxygen species (ROS). This study was to elucidate how TRX mediates gene expression of remodeling factors of human bronchial epithelial cells in response to HDM stimuli interacting with eosinophils. This study cultured normal human bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells with eosinophils exposed to 0.5 microg/ml recombinant Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus 1 (rDer p1) protease to mimic the allergen-immune reaction. Eosinophils were induced by rDer p1 protease to secrete tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha and generate ROS. When cultured with rDer p1-stimulated eosinophils, BEAS-2B cells released interleukin-6 and underwent apoptosis. The HDM-stimulated eosinophils applied oxidative stress and apoptosis to BEAS-2B cells through the release of mediators. Damaged BEAS-2B cells interfered with gene expression of remodeling factors, such as transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta 1, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor (p21(waf)) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 9, relevant to inflammatory response and epithelial repair in airway remodeling. Notably, BEAS-2B cells over-expressing TRX reduced eosinophil-derived apoptosis and suppressed underlying airway remodeling via attenuation of TGF-beta1, EGFR and p21(waf) and up-regulation of MMP9 expression. Results of this study indicated TRX-over-expressing bronchial epithelial cells attenuated TGF-beta1 and activated MMP9 expression to prevent airway remodeling from HDM-induced inflammation. The finding can be as a reference for further therapeutic studies of TRX.
Preview · Article · Oct 2008 · Inhalation Toxicology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoke (CS) generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) to produce oxidative damage of bronchial epithelial cells. Prolonged repair responses lead to airway remodeling and irreversible airflow limitation. Thioredoxin (TRX) is a redox protein that scavenges ROS to prevent oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanisms underlying TRX-mediated CS-induced stress relevant to airway remodeling. Results showed that CS stimulated ROS generation and apoptosis in normal human bronchial epithelial (BEAS-2B) cells, and interfered with gene expression of remodeling factors, such as activation of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (p21), but repressed matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-9. In particular, TRX-overexpressing bronchial epithelial (TRX-TD) cells reduced CS-induced apoptosis, and suppressed airway remodeling through attenuation of TGF-beta1, EGFR, and p21 and upregulation of MMP-9 expression. TGF-beta1 was shown to regulate MMP-9 as evidenced by suppression of MMP-9 protein induction by TGF-beta1 antibody. In addition, CS produced apoptosis of BEAS-2B cells via TRX oxidation, which activated signal transduction factors, including apoptosis signal-regulating kinase (ASK) 1 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). In contrast, TRX-TD cells exposed to CS retained reduced-form TRX, and inactivated ASK1 and JNK to attenuate apoptosis. This study indicated TRX overexpression was involved in CS-induced apoptosis and prevented airway remodeling through ASK1-JNK inactivation and MMP-9 augmentation.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Taiwanese use over 30 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks every year. The heavy metal contamination of disposable chopsticks is a public health issue. Total heavy metal content of disposable chopsticks is 50.42 and 73.90 g/g for a single pair and a coupled set, respec-tively. Manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu), in the order of abundance, are the three most common heavy met-als found in chopsticks of both types. The hazard index of using a single pair and a coupled set are 1.322 and 1.681, respectively, suggesting that disposable chopsticks are likely to cause adverse human health effects and hazards. The policy of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), made effective in 2007, curbs the use of disposable chopsticks in schools and government agencies and en-courages the use of nondisposable stainless tableware. Monitoring the effectiveness of this policy and inspecting disposable chopsticks on the market should continue so as to ensure the health and safety of the public.
Preview · Article · Jan 2008 · Fresenius Environmental Bulletin
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The occurrence of childhood asthma has been associated with air pollution in studies. However, it remains unclear as of the specific air components associated with the disease among children. We conducted a study in Taipei attempting to identify air pollution markers that may have association with the disease. Based on the daily traffic density, this subproject divided Taipei metropolitan into 3 areas: high, moderate and low density areas. From each area, 3 primary schools were randomly selected for a questionnaire screening survey to identify students with the complaint of asthma. The parents of 4952 students from 7 Schools responded to this study. Among the students responded to the study, 17.7% (432/2440) boys and 11.5% (289/2512) girls had been diagnosed with asthma. Students at schools in moderate traffic areas were most prevalent with asthma (16.5%) and students at schools in low traffic areas the least (13.4%). The prevalence increased from 11.8% among students living in areas with the least air pollution to 25.0% in areas with the highest pollution; the corresponding odds ratio increased from 1.33, (95% CI =1.04~1.70) to 2.13, (95% CI =1.17~3.89). We also found that maternal smoking during pregnancy was strongly associated with an increased risk of asthma (smoking over 20 cigarettes per day, OR=7.49, 95% CI=1.51-37.2). In conclusion, this study has demonstrated that the asthma prevalence among school children may be associated with the traffic pollution. Key words: air pollution, childhood asthma, primary school students, traffic density, Taiwan