Global Transcriptional Analysis of Nontransformed Human Intestinal Epithelial Cells (FHs 74 Int) after Exposure to Selected Drinking Water Disinfection By-Products

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Prochazka, Erik
Melvin, Steven D
Escher, Beate I
Plewa, Michael J
Leusch, Frederic DL
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Background: Drinking water disinfection inadvertently leads to the formation of numerous disinfection by-products (DBPs), some of which are cytotoxic, mutagenic, genotoxic, teratogenic, and potential carcinogens both in vitro and in vivo. Objectives: We investigated alterations to global gene expression (GE) in nontransformed human small intestine epithelial cells (FHs 74 Int) after exposure to six brominated and two chlorinated DBPs: bromoacetic acid (BAA), bromoacetonitrile (BAN), 2,6-dibromo-p-benzoquinone (DBBQ), bromoacetamide (BAM), tribromoacetaldehyde (TBAL), bromate (BrO−3), trichloroacetic acid (TCAA), and trichloroacetaldehyde (TCAL). Methods: Using whole-genome cDNA microarray technology (Illumina), we examined GE in nontransformed human cells after 4h exposure to DBPs at predetermined equipotent concentrations, identified significant changes in gene expression (p≤0.01), and investigated the relevance of these genes to specific toxicity pathways via gene and pathway enrichment analysis. Results: Genes related to activation of oxidative stress–responsive pathways exhibited fewer alterations than expected based on prior work, whereas all DBPs induced notable effects on transcription of genes related to immunity and inflammation. Discussion: Our results suggest that alterations to genes associated with immune and inflammatory pathways play an important role in the potential adverse health effects of exposure to DBPs. The interrelationship between these pathways and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) may explain the common occurrence of oxidative stress in other studies exploring DBP toxicity. Finally, transcriptional changes and shared induction of toxicity pathways observed for all DBPs caution of additive effects of mixtures and suggest further assessment of adverse health effects of mixtures is warranted.

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Environmental Health Perspectives

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© The Author(s) 2019. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this journal please refer to the journal’s website or contact the author(s).

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Prochazka, E; Melvin, SD; Escher, BI; Plewa, MJ; Leusch, FDL, Global Transcriptional Analysis of Nontransformed Human Intestinal Epithelial Cells (FHs 74 Int) after Exposure to Selected Drinking Water Disinfection By-Products, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2019, 127 (11)