Environmental arsenic exposure, selenium and sputum alpha-1 Antitrypsin

Relevance to SWEHSC: 

Exposure to arsenic in drinking water is associated with increased respiratory disease. Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) protects the lung against tissue destruction. The objective of this study was to determine whether arsenic exposure is associated with changes in airway AAT concentration and whether this relationship is modified by selenium. A total of 55 subjects were evaluated in Ajo and Tucson, Arizona.

Cluster of Efforts: 

         

Milestones: 

Tap water and first morning void urine were analyzed for arsenic species, induced sputum for AAT and toenails for selenium and arsenic. Household tap-water arsenic, toenail arsenic and urinary inorganic arsenic and metabolites were significantly higher in Ajo (20.6 +/- 3.5 μg/l, 0.54 +/- 0.77 μg/g and 27.7 +/- 21.2 μg/l, respectively) than in Tucson (3.9 +/-2.5 μg/l, 0.16+/-0.20 μg/g and 13.0 +/-13.8 μg/l, respectively). In multivariable models, urinary monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) was negatively, and toenail selenium positively associated with sputum AAT (P = 0.004 and P = 0.002, respectively). In analyses stratified by town, these relationships remained significant only in Ajo, with the higher arsenic exposure. Reduction in AAT may be a means by which arsenic induces respiratory disease, and selenium may protect against this adverse effect.

 

HIGHLIGHTS not yet published

 

  • Beamer - Assessment of exposure levels and sources of arsenic and other metal exposure downwind from a legacy superfund mine site.  Levels were correlated with the urinary arsenic levels in the exposed population.

 

  • Vercelli - The discovery of the central role played by microbial diversity in the asthma-protective and allergy-protective effects of farming warrants metagenomic studies that concertedly and longitudinally investigate the microbiome, the genome, and the immune system.

 

  • Lantz/Boitano – arsenic can affect epithelial to mesenchymal transition in the lung.  Alterations are reduced with high folate diets

 

SWEHSC Terms: