Lung inflammation biomarkers and lung function in children chronically exposed to arsenic

Edgar Olivas-Calderón, Rogelio Recio-Vega, A. Jay Gandolfi, R. Clark Lantz, Tania González-Cortes, Cesar Gonzalez-De Alba, John R. Froines, Jorge A. Espinosa-Fematt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Evidence suggests that exposure to arsenic in drinking water during early childhood or in utero has been associated with an increase in respiratory symptoms or diseases in the adulthood, however only a few studies have been carried out during those sensitive windows of exposure. Recently our group demonstrated that the exposure to arsenic during early childhood or in utero in children was associated with impairment in the lung function and suggested that this adverse effect could be due to a chronic inflammation response to the metalloid. Therefore, we designed this cross-sectional study in a cohort of children associating lung inflammatory biomarkers and lung function with urinary As levels. A total of 275 healthy children were partitioned into four study groups according with their arsenic urinary levels. Inflammation biomarkers were measured in sputum by ELISA and the lung function was evaluated by spirometry. Fifty eight percent of the studied children were found to have a restrictive spirometric pattern. In the two highest exposed groups, the soluble receptor for advanced glycation end products' (sRAGE) sputum level was significantly lower and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) concentration was higher. When the biomarkers were correlated to the urinary arsenic species, negative associations were found between dimethylarsinic (DMA), monomethylarsonic percentage (%MMA) and dimethylarsinic percentage (%DMA) with sRAGE and positive associations between %DMA with MMP-9 and with the MMP-9/tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP-1) ratio. In conclusion, chronic arsenic exposure of children negatively correlates with sRAGE, and positively correlated with MMP-9 and MMP-9/TIMP-1 levels, and increases the frequency of an abnormal spirometric pattern. Arsenic-induced alterations in inflammatory biomarkers may contribute to the development of restrictive lung diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-167
Number of pages7
JournalToxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Arsenic
  • Lung inflammation
  • Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9)
  • Soluble receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE)
  • Sputum
  • Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP-1)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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