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Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2007 May;28(5):1147-52.

[Porphyrins as the early biomarkers for arsenic exposure of human].

[Article in Chinese]

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State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550002, China.


To investigate the effects of arsenic exposure on porphyrins excretion profiles in human, porphyrins were measured by HPLC and total arsenic by HG-AAS in urine samples collected from arsenicosis-endemic areas and control sites in Guizhou Province. Analytical data showed that urinary uroporphyrin-III and coproporphyrin-III were significantly elevated in arsenic-exposed group compared with those in control group, while urinary coproporphyrin-I was not significantly higher in arsenic-exposed group than that in control group. Not any significant difference was found in porphyrins between the male and female except for 20-40 years age group. As far as age was concerned, arsenic-exposed group of <20 years showed significant increases in uroporphyrin-III and coproporphyrin-III compared with the control group of <20 years. Similarly, arsenic-exposed groups of 20-40 years and >40 years also showed significant increases in coproporphyrin-III compared with corresponding age groups of control. Besides, there were positive correlations between the urinary arsenic and total coproporphyrin, and total porphyrin. The effects of arsenic exposure were associated with increased porphyrins excretion, which was suggested that porphyrins were possible to be used as biomarkers of early health effect due to arsenicosis.

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