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Chemosphere. 2017 Sep;182:745-752. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.04.112. Epub 2017 Apr 26.

Multiple metal exposures and their correlation with monoamine neurotransmitter metabolism in Chinese electroplating workers.

Author information

1
Department of Hygienic Analysis and Detection, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
2
Jiangsu Provincial Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
3
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
4
Key Lab of Modern Toxicology, Ministry of Education, Department of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
5
Department of Hygienic Analysis and Detection, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China. Electronic address: gaorong@njmu.edu.cn.
6
Changzhou Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Changzhou, Jiangsu, China. Electronic address: wg699@163.com.

Abstract

Excessive metal exposure has been recognized as one of the detrimental factors for brain damage. However, the potential adverse effects induced by heavy metals on monoamine neurotransmitter pathways remains poorly understood. Our study aimed to investigate the possible association between metal exposure and neurotransmitter metabolism. By a cross-sectional investigation, 224 electroplating workers and 213 non-electroplating exposure workers were recruited in the exposure and control groups. Metal exposure levels were analyzed using inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry and monoamine neurotransmitter pathway metabolites were measured by ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry in human urine samples. Multivariate linear regression model was used to assess the dose-response relationships of urinary metals and neurotransmitter pathway metabolites. Significant dose-dependent trends of urinary vanadium quartiles with all metabolites were observed, and the trends demonstrated significance after multiple testing correction. It also showed that urinary chromium levels were significantly associated with decreased serotonin level and cadmium was positively associated with norepinephrine and epinephrine. In addition, arsenic was positively associated with tryptophan, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Iron was positively associated with increased homovanillic acid (HVA) and epinephrine while nickel was negatively associated with increased epinephrine levels. Zinc was positively related to tryptophan, kynurenin (KYN), 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA), dopamine, HVA and norepinephrine. There was no significant association between urinary copper with any other metabolites after adjusting of multiple metal models. Metal exposure may be associated with neurotransmitter metabolism disturbances. The present work is expected to provide some support in the prevention and management of metal-associated neurological diseases.

KEYWORDS:

Metabolites; Neurological diseases; Neurotransmitter disturbance; Urinary heavy metals

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