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Sci Total Environ. 2016 Jul 15;559:166-173. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.187. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

Associations of serum perfluoroalkyl acid levels with T-helper cell-specific cytokines in children: By gender and asthma status.

Author information

1
Guanghzou Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment, Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China.
2
Faculty of Health, School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, 4059, Australia.
3
International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health (WHO CC for Air Quality and Health), Australia-China Centre for Air Quality Science and Management, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD, 4001, Australia.
4
Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei 100, Taiwan.
5
Department of Statistics and Operations Research, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China.
6
Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei 100, Taiwan. Electronic address: leolee@ntu.edu.tw.
7
Guanghzou Key Laboratory of Environmental Pollution and Risk Assessment, Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China. Electronic address: donggh5@mail.sysu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are a group of common chemicals that ubiquitously exist in wildlife and humans. Experimental data suggest that they may alter T-lymphocyte functioning in situ by preferentially enhancing the development of T-helper 2 (TH2)- and inhibiting TH1-lymphocyte development and might increase allergic inflammation, but few human studies have been conducted. To evaluate the association between serum PFAAs concentrations and T-lymphocyte-related immunological markers of asthma in children, and further to assess whether gender modified this association, 231 asthmatic children and 225 non-asthmatic control children from Northern Taiwan were recruited into the Genetic and Biomarker study for Childhood Asthma. Serum concentrations of ten PFAAs and levels of TH1 [interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-2] and TH2 (IL-4 and IL-5) cytokines were measured. The results showed that asthmatics had significantly higher serum PFAAs concentrations compared with the healthy controls. When stratified by gender, a greater number of significant associations between PFAAs and asthma outcomes were found in males than in females. Among males, adjusted odds ratios for asthma among those with the highest versus lowest quartile of PFAAs exposure ranged from 2.59 (95% CI: 1.14, 5.87) for the perfluorobutanesulfonate (PFBS) to 4.38 (95% CI: 2.02, 9.50) for perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS); and serum PFAAs were associated positively with TH2 cytokines and inversely with TH1 cytokines among male asthmatics. Among females, no significant associations between PFAAs and TH2 cytokines could be detected. In conclusion, increased serum PFAAs levels may promote TH cell dysregulation and alter the availability of key TH1 and TH2 cytokines, ultimately contributing to the development of asthma that may differentially impact males to a greater degree than females. These results have potential relevance in asthma prevention.

KEYWORDS:

Asthma; Children; Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs); T(H)2 cytokines; T-helper 1 (T(H)1) cytokines

PMID:
27060656
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.187
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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