Impact of fetal and childhood mercury exposure on immune status in children
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AbstractBackground: Mercury exposure have been shown to affect immune status in animals as reflected by cytokine expression. It is unclear whether low levels of exposure during fetal and/or childhood periods could impact on immune status in humans. Objectives: To test the hypothesis that fetal and childhood mercury exposure is associated with childhood cytokine profiles and to investigate whether childhood selenium levels interact with any of the associations found. Methods: Children were recruited from a previously established birth cohort between the ages of 6-9 years for assessment and measurement of blood mercury, selenium and cytokine profile (interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-13 and TNF-alpha). Multivariable linear regression models were used to assess the adjusted association of cord blood mercury concentration and current mercury concentrations with levels of the cytokine levels. We tested whether the association with current mercury level varied by current selenium level and cord blood mercury level. Results: IL-10 was negatively associated with current blood mercury concentration. The effect was greatest in cases with low cord blood mercury and low current selenium concentrations. None of the other cytokine levels were associated with either cord blood or current blood mercury concentrations, except that cord blood mercury was negatively associated with IL-6. Conclusions: Childhood mercury exposure was negatively associated with childhood IL-10 levels. It is postulated that while selenium is protective, low levels of fetal mercury exposure may increase the degree of this negative association during childhood. Further studies into the clinical significance of these findings are required.
All Author(s) ListHui L.L., Chan M.H.M., Lam H.S., Chan P.H.Y., Kwok K.M., Chan I.H.S., Li A.M., Fok T.F.
Journal nameEnvironmental Research
Year2016
Month1
Day1
Volume Number144
PublisherAcademic Press
Place of PublicationUnited States
Pages66 - 72
ISSN0013-9351
eISSN1096-0953
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsChildren, Cord blood, Cytokines, Mercury, Selenium

Last updated on 2020-19-09 at 02:36