Identification of genetic susceptibilities to low-dose mercury exposure in children
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Individual variability in the methylmercury(MeHg) metabolism and accumulation had been recognized for a long time. Genetic variations in glutathione (GSH)-related and metallothioneins (MTs) genes, which involved in producing enzymes in the MeHg metabolism pathway were proposed as one of the reasons for the differences in Hg metabolism from individual to individual.

To investigate the impact of genetic variations in MTs and GSH-related genes on the association between fish consumption and body MeHg burden, as measured by hair Hg concentrations.

A total of 189 children and 165 mothers with either high or low fish consumption were recruited. Their hair total Hg (tHg) and MeHg levels and genotypes for GCLC, GCLM, GPx1, GSTA1, GSTP1, MT1A, MT2A, and MT4 were determined. Based on their 14-day food records, their amounts of fish consumed and their MeHg intakes were estimated. The impact of genetic variations on hair Hg concentrations was examined by using independent t tests and multivariate linear regressions.

The mean hair MeHg and tHg levels were 0.58µg/g and 1.0µg/g for children, and 0.61µg/g and 1.03µg/g for mothers, respectively. The presence of variant alleles of GPx1, GCLC-129, GSTA1-52, GSTP1-105, and MT1M (rs2270836 and rs9936741) were associated with significant differences in hair Hg levels among children and mothers in the independent t tests. After adjustment for fish consumption and other confounding factors, mothers who carried a variant allele of GCLC-129, MT1M (rs9936741), and GPx1 have lower hair Hg levels whereas those with GSTP1-105 variant allele have higher hair Hg levels.

Our results showed that genetic variations in GSH-related and MTs gene have significant effects on body burden of Hg. These genetic variations might have a significant influence on MeHg metabolism and thus affecting the accumulation of Hg in our body. Understanding the genetic influence on body burden of Hg could facilitate the identification of people who are highly susceptible to MeHg exposure and improve the accuracy of current risk assessment.
Acceptance Date11/05/2018
All Author(s) ListChan P.H.Y., Lam H.S., Chan K.Y.Y., Chau, S. C. L., Chan M.H.M., Cheung R., Li A.M.
Name of ConferenceHealth Research Symposium 2017
Start Date of Conference16/06/2017
End Date of Conference16/06/2017
Place of ConferenceHong Kong
Country/Region of ConferenceHong Kong
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2018-29-10 at 17:26