Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Environmental chemical burden in metabolic tissues and systemic biological pathways in adolescent bariatric surgery patients: A pilot untargeted metabolomic approach.

Authors: Valvi, Damaskini; Walker, Douglas I; Inge, Thomas; Bartell, Scott M; Jenkins, Todd; Helmrath, Michael; Ziegler, Thomas R; La Merrill, Michele A; Eckel, Sandrah P; Conti, David; Liang, Yongliang; Jones, Dean P; McConnell, Rob; Chatzi, Leda

Published In Environ Int, (2020 10)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Advances in untargeted metabolomic technologies have great potential for insight into adverse metabolic effects underlying exposure to environmental chemicals. However, important challenges need to be addressed, including how biological response corresponds to the environmental chemical burden in different target tissues. AIM: We performed a pilot study using state-of-the-art ultra-high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHRMS) to characterize the burden of lipophilic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in metabolic tissues and associated alterations in the plasma metabolome. METHODS: We studied 11 adolescents with severe obesity at the time of bariatric surgery. We measured 18 POPs that can act as endocrine and metabolic disruptors (i.e. 2 dioxins, 11 organochlorine compounds [OCs] and 5 polybrominated diphenyl ethers [PBDEs]) in visceral and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue (vAT and sAT), and liver samples using gas chromatography with UHRMS. Biological pathways were evaluated by measuring the plasma metabolome using high-resolution metabolomics. Network and pathway enrichment analysis assessed correlations between the tissue-specific burden of three frequently detected POPs (i.e. p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethene [DDE], hexachlorobenzene [HCB] and PBDE-47) and plasma metabolic pathways. RESULTS: Concentrations of 4 OCs and 3 PBDEs were quantifiable in at least one metabolic tissue for > 80% of participants. All POPs had the highest median concentrations in adipose tissue, especially sAT, except for PBDE-154, which had comparable average concentrations across all tissues. Pathway analysis showed high correlations between tissue-specific POPs and metabolic alterations in pathways of amino acid metabolism, lipid and fatty acid metabolism, and carbohydrate metabolism. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the measured POPs appear to accumulate preferentially in adipose tissue compared to liver. Findings of plasma metabolic pathways potentially associated with tissue-specific POPs concentrations merit further investigation in larger populations.

PubMed ID: 32683211 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adolescent; Bariatric Surgery*; Environmental Pollutants*/analysis; Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry; Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers; Humans; Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated*/analysis; Metabolomics; Pilot Projects; Polychlorinated Biphenyls*

to Top