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Occup Environ Med. 2014 Oct;71(10):675-80. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2014-102173. Epub 2014 Jul 4.

Urinary VEGF and PGE2 levels and the association with arsenical metabolites in copper-smelting workers.

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Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Liaoning Provincial Key Laboratory of Arsenic Biological Effect and Poisoning, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Shenyang, China.
Shenyang Health Inspection Bureau, Shenyang City, China.



To examine vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and PGE2 levels in urine from the copper smelting workers exposed to arsenic and analyse the relationships between urinary VEGF or PGE2 level and arsenical metabolites.


The study was conducted in a group of 106 copper-smelting male workers. Information about each subject was obtained by questionnaire, inorganic As (iAs), monomethylarsonic acid (MMA), dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), VEGF and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in urine were determined. Standing height, body weight, and blood pressure were measured.


According to the urine arsenic levels, participants were separated into three groups: Group 1: urine total arsenic <35 mg/L, Group 2: 35-100 mg/L, and Group 3: >100 mg/L. The median levels of urinary VEGF and PGE2 in Groups 1, 2 and 3 were 10.57 and 1032.0 pg/mL, 24.39 and 1060.9 pg/mL, and 49.0 and 1330.4 pg/mL, respectively. Urinary VEGF levels were positive associated with arsenical metabolites (iAs, MMA, DMA and TAs). Additionally, urinary VEGF and PGE2 levels were all correlated positively with the urinary MMA% (r=0.221, p=0.026 and r=0.206, p=0.037). While urinary VEGF was negatively with DMA% and secondary methylation index (r=-0.242, p=0.014 and r=-0.214, p=0.030, respectively).


Urinary VEGF and PGE2 levels increased in arsenic exposure copper smelting workers, and urinary VEGF levels are well associated with the urinary arsenicals. This finding may provide useful information for developing measurement, prevention and treatment of damage induced by arsenic in the future.

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