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Association between occupational exposure to trichloroethylene and serum levels of microRNAs: a cross-sectional molecular epidemiology study in China.

Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31161417


The objective of our study was to evaluate the association between occupational exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), a suspected lymphomagen, and serum levels of miRNAs in a cross-sectional molecular epidemiology study of TCE-exposed workers and comparable unexposed controls in China.


Serum levels of 40 miRNAs were compared in 74 workers exposed to TCE (median: 12 ppm) and 90 unexposed control workers. Linear regression models were used to test for differences in serum miRNA levels between exposed and unexposed workers and to evaluate exposure-response relationships across TCE exposure categories using a three-level ordinal variable [i.e., unexposed, < 12 ppm, the median value among workers exposed to TCE) and ≥ 12 ppm)]. Models were adjusted for sex, age, current smoking, current alcohol use, and recent infection.


Seven miRNAs showed significant differences between exposed and unexposed workers at FDR (false discovery rate) < 0.20. miR-150-5p and let-7b-5p also showed significant inverse exposure-response associations with TCE exposure (Ptrend= 0.002 and 0.03, respectively). The % differences in serum levels of miR-150-5p relative to unexposed controls were - 13% and - 20% among workers exposed to < 12 ppm and ≥ 12 ppm TCE, respectively.


miR-150-5p is involved in B cell receptor pathways and let-7b-5p plays a role in the innate immune response processes that are potentially important in the etiology of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Further studies are needed to replicate these findings and to directly test the association between serum levels of these miRNAs and risk of NHL in prospective studies.