Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives


Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives


Article excerpt

TOXICOLOGY Hormone Receptor Activity of PBDEs and Metabolites

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been shown to have estrogenic, antiestrogenic and/or antiandrogenic activities mediated through estrogen receptor [alpha] (ER[alpha]). However, relatively little is known about effects of PBDEs through other nuclear hormone receptors, such as ER[beta], the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), or thyroid hormone receptors (TR). Kojima et al. (p. 1210) characterized the activities of eight principal PBDE cogeners, four para-hydroxylated (HO) metabolites, and four para-methoxylated (MeO) metabolites against human ER[alpha], ER[beta], androgen receptor (AR), GR, [TR[alpha].sub.1], and [TR[beta].sub.1] using reporter gene assays in Chinese hamster ovary cells. The authors report that of the 16 compounds tested, 6 showed agonistic activities and 6 showed antagonistic activities in ER[alpha] assays, 2 showed agonistic activities and 6 showed antagonistic activities in ER[beta] assays, 13 showed antagonistic activities in AR assays, 7 showed weak antagonistic activity in GR assays, and only 1 (4-HO-BDE-90) showed weak antagonistic activity in [TR[alpha].sub.1] and [TR[beta].sub.j] assays. In general, para-HO-PBDE metabolites showed the most potent activities. The authors conclude that endocrine-disrupting effects of PBDE cogeners and metabolites operate through multiple nuclear hormone receptors and that metabolites may have stronger effects than parent compounds.

REMEDIATION Effectiveness of Integrated Pest Management in Public Housing

The increasing prevalence of asthma has increased concerns about indoor allergens associated with cockroaches and other pests, but the potential for adverse health effects due to pesticide use are also a concern. Kass et al. (p. 1219) compared control of cockroaches and mice in 280 apartments maintained by the New York City (NYC) Housing Authority that were assigned to traditional pest control (quarterly professional pesticide applications and pesticide use by residents) or integrated pest management (IPM). In contrast with previous studies of IPM interventions that involved extensive participant education and multiple home visits, units assigned to IPM received only a single visit from a team that cleaned kitchens and bathrooms, sealed ports of entry, applied boric acid and cockroach baits, instructed residents to cover garbage and store food in sealed containers, and asked them to not to use other pesticides. The authors report that cockroach control was significantly better and allergen levels and pesticide use were significantly reduced in IPM housing units compared with controls, and that IPM is now used as the standard pest control method by the NYC Housing Authority.

GENE REGULATION/GENE EXPRESSION Racial Differences in Paraoxonase-1

Paraoxonase-1 (PON1) is a calcium-dependent lactonase/hydrolase synthesized by the liver that associates with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles. It has been suggested that PON1 activity may be protective against cardiovascular disease (CVD) because of its role as a lipoprotein antioxidant; however, associations between CVD and the [PON1.sub.Q192R] polymorphism, a marker of hydrolytic activity, have been inconsistent. Davis et al. (p. 1226) examined the distribution of diazoxonase to paraoxonase ratios (a proxy measure of .[PON1.sub.192] genotype) in serum samples from 100 African Americans and 100 Caucasians (50 males and 50 females in each group) obtained from commercial blood banks in Alabama and Tennessee. African Americans had higher paraoxonase activities but lower diazoxonase activities than Caucasians, indicating that fewer African Americans carried the functional QQ [PON1.sub.192] genotype (approximately 15% vs. 60%), consistent with the hypothesis that racial differences in CVD risk may be partly explained by racial differences in PON1 activity.

* Also see Science Selections, p. A359

EPIDEMIOLOGY Circulating Biomarkers of Effect and Air Pollution in a Susceptible Population

Associations between air pollution and cardiovascular disease may be at least partly due to oxidative stress and inflammation. …

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