Eight ways chemical pollutants harm the body 化學污染物傷害人體的八種方式

News Release 5-Mar-2021

Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

Research News

A new review of existing evidence proposes eight hallmarks of environmental exposures that chart the biological pathways through which pollutants contribute to disease: oxidative stress and inflammation, genomic alterations and mutations, epigenetic alterations, mitochondrial dysfunction, endocrine disruption, altered intercellular communication, altered microbiome communities, and impaired nervous system function.

The study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, Ludwig Maximilian University, and Hasselt University is published in the journal Cell.

“Every day we learn more about how exposure to pollutants in air, water, soil, and food is harmful to human health,” says senior author Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, chair of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia Mailman School. “Less understood, however, are the specific biological pathways through which these chemicals inflict damage on our bodies. In this paper, we provide a framework to understand why complex mixtures of environmental exposures bring about serious illness even at relatively modest concentrations.”

We are continually exposed to a mixture of pollutants, which lead to changes in our bodies in multiple domains, from conception to old age. They govern gene expression, train and shape our immune systems, trigger physiological responses, and determine wellbeing and disease.

The paper summarizes evidence for eight hallmarks of environmental insults:

1. Oxidative stress and inflammation: When antioxidant defenses are depleted, inflammation, cell death, and organ damage occur.

2. Genomic alterations and mutations: An accumulation of DNA errors can trigger cancer and other chronic diseases.

3. Epigenetic alterations: Epigenetic changes alter the synthesis of proteins responsible for childhood development and regular function of the body.

4. Mitochondrial dysfunction: A breakdown in the cellular powerplant may interfere with human development and contribute to chronic disease.

5. Endocrine disruption: Chemicals found in our environment, food, and consumer products disrupt the regulation of hormones and contribute to disease.

6. Altered intercellular communication: Signaling receptors and other means by which cells communicate with each other, including eurotransmission, are affected.

7. Altered microbiome communities: An imbalance in the population of bacteria and other microorganisms in our body can make us susceptible to allergies and infections.

8. Impaired nervous system function. Microscopic particles in air pollution reach the brain through the olfactory nerve, and can interfere with cognition.

Not all environmental exposures are harmful. The researchers note that exposure to nature has been reported to have beneficial impacts on mental health.

These eight hallmarks are by no means comprehensive and do not capture the full complexity of the chemical and physical properties of environmental exposures, including mixtures of exposures over the short and long-term. Further research is needed to understand the complex mechanisms by which exposures affect human biology, and how altered processes interact and contribute to disease or confer health benefits, across the life course.

“We need research to expand our knowledge of disease mechanisms going beyond genetics.

Advances in biomedical technologies and data science will allow us to delineate the complex interplay of environmental insults down to the single-cell level,” says Baccarelli. “This knowledge will help us develop ways to prevent and treat illness. With the serious environmental challenges like air pollution and climate change, most of all, we need strong local, national, and inter-governmental policies to ensure healthy environments.”

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The study’s corresponding author is Annette Peters, PhD, director of the Institute of Epidemiology at Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, and chair of epidemiology, Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry and Epidemiology, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Tim S. Nawrot, PhD, Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium, is a co-author.

Support for the research was provided by a grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (874627), the Flemish Research Fund, Belgium (G048420N), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (P30009089, ES025225, ES032638).

新聞稿2021年3月5日

哥倫比亞大學梅爾曼公共衛生學院

研究新聞

對現有證據的新審查提出了環境暴露的八個標誌,這些標誌說明了污染物促成疾病的生物學途徑:氧化應激和炎症,基因組改變和突變,表觀遺傳學改變,線粒體功能障礙,內分泌破壞,細胞間通訊改變,微生物組改變,以及神經系統功能受損。

哥倫比亞大學郵遞員公共衛生學院,路德維希·馬克西米利安大學和哈瑟爾特大學的研究人員的這項研究發表在《細胞》雜誌上。

“每天,我們都更多地了解暴露於空氣,水,土壤和食物中的污染物如何對人體健康有害,”資深作者安德里亞·巴卡雷利醫學博士說。 “然而,很少了解這些化學物質對我們的身體造成損害的具體生物學途徑。在本文中,我們提供了一個框架,以理解複雜的環境暴露混合物即使在相對較低的濃度下也能引起嚴重的疾病。”

我們不斷地暴露於污染物的混合物中,這些污染物導致我們的身體從受孕到老年的多個領域發生變化。它們控制基因表達,訓練和塑造我們的免疫系統,觸發生理反應,並確定健康和疾病。

本文總結了環境侮辱的八個標誌的證據:

1.氧化應激和炎症:抗氧化劑防禦能力不足時,會發生炎症,細胞死亡和器官損傷。

2.基因組的改變和突變:DNA錯誤的積累會引發癌症和其他慢性疾病。

3.表觀遺傳學改變:表觀遺傳學改變改變了負責兒童時期發育和機體正常功能的蛋白質的合成。

4.線粒體功能障礙:細胞動力裝置的衰竭可能會干擾人類的發育並導致慢性疾病。

5.內分泌干擾:在我們的環境,食物和消費產品中發現的化學物質會破壞激素的調節並導致疾病。

6.改變的細胞間通訊:信號受體和細胞相互通訊的其他方式(包括歐洲傳輸)受到影響。

7.微生物群落的改變:我們體內細菌和其他微生物種群的不平衡可能使我們容易過敏和感染。

8.神經系統功能受損。空氣污染中的微小顆粒通過嗅覺神經到達大腦,並會干擾認知。

並非所有的環境暴露都是有害的。研究人員指出,據報導,接觸大自然會對心理健康產生有益影響。

這八個標誌絕不是全面的,也沒有涵蓋環境暴露的化學和物理特性的全部複雜性,包括短期和長期暴露的混合。需要進行進一步的研究,以了解暴露影響人類生物學的複雜機制,以及改變的過程如何在整個生命過程中相互作用,對疾病產生影響或賦予健康益處。

“我們需要進行研究,以擴大我們對遺傳學以外的疾病機制的認識。

生物醫學技術和數據科學的進步將使我們能夠將環境侵害的複雜相互作用描繪到單細胞水平,”巴卡雷利說,“這種知識將幫助我們開發預防和治療疾病的方法。面對空氣污染和氣候變化等嚴峻的環境挑戰,最重要的是,我們需要強有力的地方,國家和政府間政策,以確保健康的環境。”

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