2005 Vol. 18, No. 3
2005, 18(3): 141-145.
Objective To investigate the removal of cadmium from aqueous solution by waste fungal biomass of Aspergillus niger, originated from citric acid fermentation industry. Methods Batch adsorption test was used to study the biosorption equilibrium and isotherm. The Cd2+ concentration was measured with atomic adsorption spectrophotometer (AAS) HITACHI 180-80. Results The biosorption achieved equilibrium within 30 min. The adsorption isotherm could be described by Freundlich adsorption model, and the constants KF and 1/n were determined to be 2.07 and 0.18, respectively, and the correlation efficiency was 0.97. The optimal pH for Cd adsorption was 6.0. The cadmium-laden biomass could be effectively regenerated using 0.1 N HCl. Conclusion The waste biomass of Aspergillus niger, a by-product of fermentation industry, is a potential biosorbent for the removal of cadmium from aqueous solution.
2005, 18(3): 146-152.
Objective To study the possible intervention of isoflavones in cytotoxicity induced by cadmium in vascular endothelial cells. Methods An ECV 304 cell line derived from human umbilical vein endothelial cells was adopted. Genistein / daidzein was added prior to or simultaneously with CdCl2, cell viability was determined by MTT assay, and metallothionein mRNA expression was monitored by RT-PCR method. Results Cell viability was higher in isoflavone and CdCl2 co-treated groups than that in CdCl2 treated group, with CdCl2 concentration at 10, 20, 40, and 80 μmol/L, respectively. However this increase was not observed in the group treated with CdCl2 at a concentration of 60 μmol/L. Isoflavones (10-10 mol/L to 10-5 mol/L) were added 24 h before cells were challenged with 80 μmol/L CdCl2 for 24 h or simultaneously with 80 μmol/L CdCl2. Genistein increased cell viability only at 10-5 mol/L, while daidzein caused a dose-dependent increase from 10-10 mol/L to 10-5 mol/L in co-treatment with CdCl2. In pre-treatment, genistein (10-7 to 10-5 mol/L) increased cell viability whereas only 10-5 mol/L of daidzein exerted protection. Apparent protection could be found when the cells were pre-treated with 10-5 mol/L isoflavones for over 12 h, whereas 24 h incubation was required in such a co-treatment, with the exception of daidzein that had a significant protection in only 3 h. Isoflavones (10-6 mol/L) incubated for 3 h to 24 h, increased MT IIA and MT IF mRNA expression, but the induction could not last for more than 24 h. Co-treatment with isoflavones could induce an additional induction of MT IIA mRNA expression in cells exposed to cadmium. However, the additional induction of MT IIA and MT IF mRNA was not seen when pre-treatment was carried out with isoflavones, with the exception of an increase in MT IIA mRNA expression in the daidzein pre-treated group. Conclusion Genistein/daidzein could reverse the cytotoxicity of cadmium either in pre-treatment or in co-treatment. The protection is the strongest in 10-5 mol/L of isoflavones with a dose-dependent pattern. There are differences between genistein and daidzein in their protective effects. Whether the protection of isoflavones is related to their capacity of inducing MT mRNA expression remains to be elucidated.
Assessment of Impacts of Public Health Interventions on the SARS Epidemic in Beijing in Terms of the Intervals Between Its Symptom Onset, Hospital Admission, and Notification
2005, 18(3): 153-158.
Objectives To assess the impacts of public health interventions on the outbreak of SARS in Beijing by analyzing the intervals between symptom onset, hospital admission and notification of its cases. Methods Data of SARS cases reported from the Beijing Municipal Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (BCDC) were collected and analyzed by descriptive epidemiology. Results In the early epidemic period, the intervals between the disease onset and the hospital admission seemed irregular, so was the intervals between the hospital admission and the notification. After the middle ten days of April, the intervals turned out to be more regular, and the disordered situation in terms of the hospital admission and the case notification was gradually brought under control. Conclusions Public health interventions against SARS has revealed positive impacts on SARS control program in Beijing. The timing and sensitivity of epidemic information reporting systems has been greatly improved in Beijing as a result of successful fight against this disease.
Establishment of Exposure-response Functions of Air Particulate Matter and Adverse Health Outcomes in China and Worldwide
2005, 18(3): 159-163.
Objective To obtain the exposure-response functions that could be used in health-based risk assessment of particulate air pollution in China. Methods Meta analysis was conducted on the literatures on air particulate matter and its adverse health outcomes in China and worldwide. Results For each health outcome from morbidity to mortality changes, the relative risks were estimated when the concentration of air particulate matter increased to some certain units. Conclusion The exposure-response functions recommended here can be further applied to health risk assessment of air particulate matter in China.
2005, 18(3): 164-168.
Objective To analyze protein changes in the lung of Wistar rats exposed to gaseous formaldehyde (FA) at 32-37 mg/m3 for 4 h/day for 15 days using proteomics technique. Methods Lung samples were solubilized and separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), and gel patterns were scanned and analyzed for detection of differently expressed protein spots. These protein spots were identified by MALDI-TOF-MS and NCBInr protein database searching. Results Four proteins were altered significantly in 32-37 mg/m3 FA group, with 3 proteins up-regulated, 1 protein down-regulated. The 4 proteins were identified as aldose reductase, LIM protein, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, and chloride intracellular channel 3. Conclusion The four proteins are related to cell proliferation induced by FA and defense reaction of anti-oxidation. Proteomics is a powerful tool in research of environmental health, and has prospects in search for protein markers for disease diagnosis and monitoring.
2005, 18(3): 169-175.
Objective Faunal health is largely dependent on their soil environment and available litter quality. So the effects of different soil habitats and pesticides on citrate synthase (CS) activity of soil fauna and its population were studied. Methods The soil animals were collected from different pedoecosystems for habitat study. Whereas Vigna radiata based system was selected for pesticidal observations. The field was divided into five equal plots for control and treatment of γ-BHC, quinalphos, carbaryl and cypermethrin. Soil fauna was collected by quadrat method and extracted by Tullgren funnel. Individuals of a species having similar sizes were collected for the estimation of CS activity. They were homogenized and fractions were obtained by differential centrifugation. The activity of CS was assayed spectrophotometrically. Results Citrate synthase (CS) activity of beetle (Rasphytus fregi), woodlouse (Porcellio laevis) and centipede (Scolopendra morsitans) varied significantly with respect to changes in different soil habitats. Though the CS activity of R. fregi, P. laevis, and S. morsitans differed among themselves but the highest activity of CS in these animals was in V. radiata and lowest in A. nilotica based pedoecosystem. The aerobic capacity of centipede was maximum followed by woodlouse and beetle. The treatment of γ-BHC, quinalphos, carbaryl and cypermethrin significantly reduced the CS activity of these animals. γ-BHC showed maximum reduction in CS activity indicating highly toxic effect of organochlorine on aerobic metabolism of soil fauna. However, minimum reduction was observed in response to carbaryl (in beetle) or cypermethrin (in woodlouse/centipede) leading to impairment of aerobic capacity. The differences in pesticide effects might be assigned to the differences in chemical nature of pesticides and their interactions with below-ground fauna. Treatment of γ-BHC and quinalphos reduced the population of Acari, Coleoptera, Collembola, other arthropods as well as total soil fauna. Acari was least affected by γ-BHC and maximally affected (72%) in response to quinalphos. The effect of γ-BHC was fairly similar on Coleoptera, Collembola, other arthropod and total soil fauna suggesting almost similar sensitivity to this pesticide. Likewise, quinalphos was similarly effective on Collemobola and other soil arthropods. Application of carbaryl decreased Acari and Coleoptera population but increased Collembola, other arthropods and total faunal populations. However, application of cypermethrin significantly reduced the population of Acari, Coleoptera, Collembola and total soil fauna and increased the population of other soil arthropods. In both the cases, acarine population was least affected. Conclusion The observations show the habitat-specific variation in aerobic capacity of soil fauna. However, pesticide-dependent loss in population might be due to impairment of aerobic capacity of soil inhabiting animals in desert.
Efficient and Quick Inactivation of SARS Coronavirus and Other Microbes Exposed to the Surfaces of Some Metal Catalysts
2005, 18(3): 176-180.
Objective To study the two metal catalysts Ag/Al2O3 and Cu/Al2O3 that interdict the transmission pathway for SARS and other respiratory infectious diseases. Methods Two metal catalysts Ag/Al2O3 and Cu/Al2O3 were pressed into wafers. One hundred μL 106 TCID50/mL SARS-CoV, 100 μL 106 PFU/mL recombinant baculovirus expressing hamster's prion protein (haPrP) protein and roughly 106 E. coli were slowly dropped onto the surfaces of the catalyst wafers and exposed for 5 and 20 min, respectively. After eluted from the surfaces of wafers, the infectivity of viruses and propagation of bacteria were measured. The expression of PrP protein was determined by Western blot. The morphological changes of bacteria were observed by electronic microscopy. Results After exposure to the catalysts surfaces for 5 and 20 min, the infectivity of SARS-CoV in Vero cells and baculovirus in Sf9 cells dropped down to a very low and undetectable level, and no colony was detected using bacteria culture method. The expression of haPrP protein reduced to 21.8% in the preparation of Sf9 cells infected with recombinant baculovirus exposed for 5 min and was undetectable exposed for 20 min. Bacterial membranes seemed to be cracked and the cytoplasm seemed to be effluent from cell bodies. Conclusion Exposures to the surfaces of Ag/Al2O3 and Cu/Al2O3 destroy the replication and propagation abilities of SARS-CoV, baculovirus and E. coli. Inactivation ability of metal catalysts needs to interact with air, utilizing oxygen molecules in air. Efficiently killing viruses and bacteria on the surfaces of the two metal catalysts has a promising potential for air-disinfection in hospitals, communities, and households.
Effect of Dexamethasone on Nitric Oxide Synthase and Caspase-3 Gene Expressions in Endotoxemia in Neonate Rat Brain
2005, 18(3): 181-186.
Objective To investigate the gene and protein expressions of three isoforms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and gene expression of Caspase-3, and effect of dexamethasone on them in neonatal rats with lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced endotoxemic brain damage. Methods Expressions of the three isoforms of NOS and caspase-3 mRNA in the brain were investigated by RT-PCR in postnatal 7-day wistar rats with acute endotoxemia by intraperitoneal administration of LPS. Regional distributions of NOSs were examined by immunohistochemical technique. Results nNOS and Caspase-3 mRNA were obviously detected. eNOS mRNA was faintly expressed, but iNOS mRNA was undetectable in the control rat brain. The expressions of NOS mRNA of three isoforms were weak 2 h after LPS (5 mg/mg) delivery, peaked at 6 h, and thereafter, reduced gradually up to 24 h. The expression intensity was in the order of nNOS> iNOS> eNOS. Widespread nNOS, scattered eNOS distribution and negative iNOS were identified in the control rat brain and all isoforms of NOS could be induced by LPS which reached the apex at 24 h in the order of nNOS> iNOS> eNOS as detected by immunostaining. Although Caspase-3 mRNA could be found in all groups, DNA fragmentation was only seen at 6 h and 24 h. The expressions of NOS and Caspase-3 mRNA were inhibited in the rat brain when dexamethasone was administrated. Conclusion LPS-induced NO production induces apoptosis of neurons through mechanism involving the Caspase-3 activation, which may play an important role in the pathogenesis of brain damage during endotoxemia, and neuro-protective effects of dexamethasone may be partially realized by inhibiting the expression of NOS mRNA.
2005, 18(3): 187-191.
Objective The biodegradation characteristics of di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), an environmental endocrine disruptor, were studied by the method of dominant bacteria and immobilized microorganisms. Methods Taking DBP as the only carbon source to acclimatize the collected activated sludge, the concentration of DBP increased progressively in the process of acclimatization. Plate streaking was used to separate 1 strain of the degradation dominant bacteria after acclimatization. Better conditions to degrade DBP by the bacterium could be obtained through orthogonal experiments and the bacterium was identified. Then the acclimated activated sludge was made to immobilize the microorganism using polyvinyl alcohol as entrapment agent. The immobilized microorganism degraded DBP at different conditions. Results The appropriate conditions to degrade DBP by the dominant bacteria were: degradation time, 32 h; DBP concentration, 200 mg/L; rate of shaking incubator, 100 r/min; pH, 7 and temperature, 30℃. DBP could be degraded by more than 95% under such conditions. The bacteria were identified as pseudomonas. The proliferated immobilized microorganisms degraded DBP more effectively and more adapted to temperature and pH than the free acclimated activated sludge. Conclusion One strain of DBP degradation dominant bacteria was separated from the acclimatized activated sludge. It could grow with DBP as the only carbon source and energy, and degraded DBP effectively. After having been immobilized and proliferated, the dominant bacteria could keep a higher biological activity and degrade DBP more effectively than activated sludge.
2005, 18(3): 192-197.
Objective To investigate the effect of yogurt supplementation on the growth of preschool children in Beijing suburbs. Methods Four hundred and two preschool children (217 males, 185 females), aged 3-5 years, whose height for age and/or weight for age were less than the reference level, were selected as subjects from 7 kindergartens in Beijing Fangshan District. The subjects were divided randomly into control group (CG, 201) and yogurt supplemented group (YG, 201). Each subject in YG was given one serving of yogurt (125 g) for 5 days a week from March to December in 2001, while nothing additional was provided to CG. All subjects kept their usual diet during the study. Anthropometry (body height and weight and upper-arm circumference) and the bone mineral density (BMD) of forearm were measured every 3 months. Disease status and dietary intake were also recorded and assessed. Results The intake of calcium, zinc, and vitamin B2 in YG was significantly higher than that in CG. The incidence and duration of upper-respiratory infection and diarrhea of children in YG were significantly less than those in CG. The height gain of children in YG was significantly higher than that in CG after yogurt was supplemented for 3, 6, and 9 months (P<0.05) (1.90±0.49 cm vs 1.77±0.54 cm, 3.83±0.57cm vs 3.64±0.66 cm and 5.43±0.69 cm vs 5.24±0.76 cm, respectively). The weight gain of children in YG was significantly higher than that in CG after yogurt was supplemented for 3, 6, and 9 months (P<0.05) (0.70±0.43 kg vs 0.49±0.35 kg, 0.98±0.62 kg vs 0.80±0.60 kg and 1.42±0.76 kg vs 1.20±0.67 kg, respectively). The BMD of children in YG was significantly higher than that in CG after yogurt was supplemented for 9 months (P<0.05) (0.415±0.058 g/cm2 vs 0.400±0.065 g/cm2). Conclusion Yogurt is beneficial to the improvement of calcium, zinc, and vitamin B2 intake, the decreasing of the incidence and duration of upper-respiratory infection and diarrhea, and the promotion of the health and the growth and development of preschool children.
2005, 18(3): 198-206.
Objective To investigate the alterations in auditory brainstem evoked responses (ABRs) and the changes of carboplatin-induced ototoxicity in the cochlear oxidant/antioxidant systems and otoprotection by an antioxidant lipoate. Methods Male wistar rats were divided into four groups and treated as follows: 1) vehicle (saline) control, 2) carboplatin (256 mg/kg, i.p.), 3) lipoate (100 mg/kg, i.p.), 4) lipoate + carboplatin. Post-treatment ABRs were performed after four days and rats were sacrificed with their cochleae harvested and analyzed. Results Carboplatin significantly elevated ABR threshold above the pretreatment thresholds. Lipoate+carboplatin treated rats showed decreased elevation of hearing threshold. Carboplatin significantly depleted cochlear reduced to oxizized glutathione (GSH/GSSG) ratio, whereas lipoate+carboplatin treatment increased GSH/GSSG ratio. Carboplatin significantly decreased cochlear copper zinc-superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), glutathione reductase (GR) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activities and enzyme protein expressions and a significant increase in Mn-SOD activity, protein expression and malondialdehyde (MDA) level. Cochlear antioxidant enzyme activities, enzyme protein expressions and MDA level were partially restored in lipoate+carboplatin treated rats, compared to carboplatin alone. Conclusion Carboplatin-induced ototoxicity is related to impairment of cochlear antioxidant system and otoprotection conferred by lipoate is associated with partial sparing of the cochlear antioxidant defense system.
2005, 18(3): 207-210.
Objective To study the self-consciousness of children with learning disabilities (LD) and to identify related factors. Methods Five hundred and sixty pupils graded from 1 to 6 in an elementary school were investigated. According to the pupil rating scale revised screening for learning disabilities (PRS), combined Raven's test (CRT) and achievement of main courses, 35 of 560 pupils were diagnosed as LD children. Thirty-five children were selected from the average children and 35 from advanced children in academic achievement equally matched in class, gender, and age with LD children as control groups. The three groups were tested by Piers-Harris children's self-concept scale. Basic information of each subject was collected by self-made questionnaire. Results Compared with the average and advanced children, LD children got significantly lower scores in self-concept scale. Based on logistic regression analysis, 3 factors were identified, including family income per month, single child and delivery model. Conclusion The results suggest that self-consciousness of children with LD is lower than that of normal children.