Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Eva Cecilie Bonefeld-Jørgensen - Lecturer

  • Institute of Environmental and Occupational Medicine

Background. The toxicological assessment of the lipophilic persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including PCBs, pesticides and dioxins, is complicated since individuals are exposed to a complex mixture of contaminants. POPs have been correlated to disruption of cellular mechanisms including the homoestasis and functions of hormones. POPs are suspected to be involved in an array of health effects on e.g. reproduction and neuro-immune systems. Sperm DNA integrity is essential for the accurate transmission of genetic information and sperm DNA damage can cause decreased male fertility. We developed ex vivo cell systems to determine the net integrated level of xenobiotic activity in the human serum fraction containing the actual POP mixture.

The focus of the talk will be 1) to give an overview of recent data of fertility markers vs. POP exposure for Inuit compared to Europeans, 2) to present data of the integrated serum xenobiotic activity of POPs using bio-effect markers including estrogen receptor (ER), androgen receptor (AR) and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) transactivity, and 3) to evaluate the possible relations to POP levels and DNA damage in sperm of healthy males.

Results and Conclusions. The xenobiotic activity levels were compared among study groups from Greenland (Nuuk., Sisimiut, Tasiilaq, Quannaq) and study groups from Europe (Sweden, Warsaw and Kharkiv) and further evaluated for association to the serum POP proxy markers and sperm DNA damage and integrity.  No strong consistent correlations between serum xenobiotic activity and the two POP markers were found. However, using the sum of 14 PCBs and/or 10 organoclorine pesticides for analyses of Inuit data clear correlations were found.

 Thus, our data indicate that the selected POP markers alone can not predict the integrated serum xenobiotic activity.

 Significant different serum xenobiotic activities as well as levels of the POP proxy markers, DNA damage and %DFI were observed between Inuits and Europeans. Inuit elicited a negative correlation between serum xenobiotic activities and DNA damage as well as %DFI, whereas for Europeans positive relations were seen.

 We suggest that the variation in serum xenobiotic activity reflects differences in serum POP mixtures in context with genetic factors and/or life style factors. We believe that serum xenobiotic activity can substantially contribute to the health assessment of chemical body burdens.

15 May 2008

Event (Conference)

TitleThe annual workshop of the international network of Circumpolar research, Tromsø, 12-16. May, 2008

ID: 12103426