Superfund Research Program
Measuring Chronic Exposure to and Bioavailability of Organic Chemicals and their Metabolites with a Novel Universal Passive Sampling Device
Project Leader: Damian Shea (North Carolina State University)
Grant Number: P42ES005948
Funding Period: 2011-2018
- Project Summary
Epidemiologic studies have shown an association between elevated levels of cadmium (Cd) and placental-related diseases of pregnancy. In this project, Damian Shea, Ph.D., and his research team investigated targeted oxidative and placentation pathways in JEG-3 placental trophoblast cells treated with Cd alone, an environmental Cd mixture collected using passive sampling from a waste site in China, and an identical mixture prepared in the lab. The researchers found higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROSs) were produced and accompanied by disruption of critical pathway signaling in Cd and Cd-mixture treated cells versus controls. There were also higher gene expression levels in mixture-treated cells compared to the Cd only-treated cells. Taken together, the results indicate that treatment of placental cells with Cd results in increased production of ROSs that disrupt placentation pathways involved in disease pathogenesis. Co-occurrence of toxic metals may induce detrimental health effects that are currently underestimated when analyzed as single metals.