TOPIC IV "Biomonitoring"

Biomarkers of exposure and biomarkers of effect in human urine

As part of the HMGU-project “ENVIRONMENTAL NANOPARTICLES AND HEALTH: Exposure, Modeling and Epidemiology of Nanoparticles and their Composition within KORA” we developed HPLC and LC-MS-methods for the determination of biomarkers of exposure (monohydroxylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and biomarkers of oxidative stress (malondialdehyde, F2a-isoprostanes, 8-hydroxy-2-deoxy-guanosine) in human urine.  A subgroup of the KORA FF4 cohort was investigated and the results are entered in the KORA-data base. In close collaboration with the Institute of Epidemiology II the biomonitoring data is currently evaluated.
The analytical methods were also used during a pilot study investigating different exposure situations of fine particulate matter for travelers between Germany and China. Significant associations between respective ambient concentrations of particulate matter and urinary concentrations of biomarkers of exposure and biomarkers of oxidative stress were found (Wu et al., Biomarkers 2017).

Wu, X. et al.: Determination of air pollution-related biomarkers of exposure in urine of travellers between Germany and China using liquid chromatographic and liquid chromatographic-mass spectrometric methods: A pilot study. Biomarkers 22, 1-27 (2017).

Assessment of oxidative stress in cells exposed to fine particulate matter

Oxidative stress is an early biochemical effect caused by different stress situations of an organism. Persisting oxidative stress can lead to damage of cellular macromolecules and thus finally induce harmful inflammation processes. Exposure to fine particulate matter is one important causer of oxidative stress in cell systems; and the assessment of oxidative stress in cell systems exposed to various exposure scenarios is a helpful measure in the investigation and elucidation of molecular effect mechanisms. For this purpose liquid chromatographic tandem mass spectrometric methods for the determination of biomarkers of oxidative stress in cell-samples are established and applied during different studies.

Determination of branched fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs)

Insulin resistance is a crucial factor correlating with and contributing to obesity, the metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Understanding of mechanisms of insulin resistance is vital for prevention and treatment of these metabolic disorders. Recently, a novel signaling class of lipids, branched fatty acid esters of hydroxyl fatty acids (FAHFAs), has been identified in the pioneering work of B.B. Kahn and co-workers (Yore et al., 2014). FAHFAs seem to be involved in metabolic processes influencing generation of and protection against diabetes type 2. Within a cooperation project with the Genome Analysis Center (Prof. J. Adamski) a liquid chromatographic tandem mass spectrometric method for the high-throughput analysis of FAHFAs in different biological matrices is developed. The goal of this cooperation project is the establishment of a validated, reliable assay which will be an important tool for both, the metabolic phenotyping of pre-diabetes and for the analysis of mechanisms of metabolic diseases in humans.

Yore, M. M. et al. : Discovery of a class of endogenous mammalian lipids with anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory effects. Cell 159, 318-332 (2014).

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