A simple method for simultaneous determination of inorganic and total mercury contents in human hair by neutron activation analysis (NAA) has been developed. The method is based on the selective extraction of methylmercury from hair by hydrochloric acid. Thus, the residual phase containing inorganic mercury can be determined by NAA. Further, the methylmercury contents in hair samples are easily calculated by subtracting the inorganic mercury contribution from the total Hg simultaneously given by INAA. Several reference materials of human hair, including IAEA hair RM 085 and 086, Chinese hair RMs GBW 09101 and 07601, were analyzed by this method. Our results show that the method is reliable.
Authors:W. Ding, Q. Qian, X. Hou, W. Feng, and Z. Chai
The content of chromium in the DNA, RNA and protein fractions separated from chromium-rich and normal brewer's yeast was determined by neutron activation analysis (NAA). Our results show that the extracted relative amounts and concentrations of DNA, RNA and proteins have no significant difference for two types of yeast, but the chromium content in DNA, RNA and proteins fractions extracted from the chromium-rich yeast are substantially higher than those from the normal. In addition, the concentration of chromium in DNA is much higher than that in RNA and proteins. It is evident that the inorganic chromium compounds can enter the yeast cell during the yeast cultivation in the chromium-containing culture medium and are converted into organic chromium species, which are combined with DNA, RNA and proteins.
Chromium speciation was investigated in the liver cytosol, serum and urine of normal and diabetic rats after a single intravenous injection of enriched stable isotope 50Cr tracer solution. Sephadex G-25 gel chromatography combined with instrumental neutron activation analysis was used to isolate and characterize protein-bound chromium in the above materials. The results indicate that Cr is mainly combined with a high-molecular-weight protein either in liver cytosol or serum. A low-molecular-weight, Cr-containing compound (LMWCr) was found in all the observed liver, serum and urine samples of both normal and diabetic rats. Chromium is excreted chiefly as LMWCr in urine.
Twenty-seven pairs of head hair from mothers and their new-born infants were collected at the time of delivery in a hospital in Beijing. The total mercury content in the hair samples was determined by INAA. The correlation between mercury content in hair of mothers and their new-born infants has been investigated. In addition, the change of Hg content in pregnant women's hair during their pregnancy was also studied by INAA and SRXRF. The results indicate a significant positive correlation between the mercury content in maternal and infant head hairs (r=+0.862, p<0.001). The average content of Hg in infant and maternal hairs was 0.66±0.31 g/g and 0.59±0.25 g/g, respectively. The infant level exceeded the maternal by 12%. The Hg content in maternal head hair gradually reduced during pregnancy. Further, the methylmercury (Me–Hg) content in 3 maternal hair samples was analyzed by GC(EC). The Me–Hg was in accordance with the total mercury content. Thus a conclusion can be drawn that damage to the infant from Hg occurred in the early stages of pregnancy.
In order to study the metabolism of physiological amounts of51Cr (10 μg/100 g of body wt.) intragastrically administered in rats, the activable enriched stable isotope Cr-50 compound Cr2O3 was used as a tracer. The absorption and distribution of51Cr(III) in rats with time were studied. Significant51Cr contents were found in all the organs and tissues of interest. The kidney, liver and bone contain higher amounts of51Cr than others. The fact that specific activities of51Cr are notably high in kidney, bone, spleen and pancreas and decrease gradually with time suggests that there are tighter
binding of chromium in these organs. The excretion of51Cr at various time intervals was also studied. Almost totally intragastrically administered dose was excreted in the feces.
The increased urinary excretion of51Cr with time indicates that the urine-chromium is the metabolic derivative of organism. In view of the tissues distribution
and excretion, it can be concluded that no more that 1% of the dose was absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
Authors:Q. Zhang, Z. Qian, L. Pan, H. Li, and H. Zhu
Berberine, a primary pharmacological active constitute of Coptidis Rhizoma, could inhibit neuronal apoptosis in cerebral ischemia. Here, we aimed to investigate whether and how HIF-1 is implicated in the anti-apoptosis effect of berberine on neurons under hypoxia/ischemia. Viability of PC12 cells treated with berberine prior to or following CoCl2-induced hypoxia was evaluated. Annexin V-PI staining was employed to analyse cell apoptosis ratio. HIF-1α and apoptosis-associated molecules were detected via Western blotting. TUNEL and immunohistochemistry were used to demonstrate apoptosis, HIF-1α and p53 levels in cerebral tissue of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rats. Berberine pretreatment promoted PC12 cells survival and inhibited apoptosis under hypoxia condition. At the same time, it decreased cell viability and enhancement of apoptosis were observed with berberine treatment under hypoxia. Decreased HIF-1α, caspase 9, caspase 3 and increased Bcl-2/Bax ratio were responsible for the anti-apoptosis of berberine pretreatment. However, pro-apoptosis by berberine under hypoxia was indicated with opposing regulation of those molecules. Significant reduction of apoptosis, HIF-1α and p53 were found in cerebral tissue of MCAO rats treated with berberine. The present study suggests that berberine regulates neuronal apoptosis in cerebral ischemia, which might be dependent on the degree of cell injury. HIF-1 and the followed apoptotic pathway are involved in those effects of berberine.
Authors:X. Wang, Y. Wu, Q. Wu, Y. Qian, W. Yue, and Q. Liang
The rhizome of Sparganium stoloniferum Buch.-Ham has been used as a traditional Chinese folk medicine for thousands of years. Phenolic compounds are the main bioactive ingredients of the plant. In order to determine the content of phenolic compounds from different major cultivations, a reliable method has been developed using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with a triple quadrupole electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. Seven compounds, including rutin, kaempferol, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, formononetin, ferulic acid, vanillic acid, and p-coumaric acid, were simultaneously measured in 10 min. The established approach was fully validated in terms of linearity, sensitivity, precision, repeatability as well as recovery, and successfully applied to determine seven phenolic compounds of Rhizoma Sparganii. This study may be helpful in the quality control of Rhizoma Sparganii and can offer technical support for the pharmacological and clinical study of related drugs.
Authors:H. Y. Jin, Q. Hui, J. Y. Jun, A. Ch. Ju, L. D. Sen, D. R. Qian, and Q. R. Lin
Three isoforms of metallothionein protein induced with Zinc were isolated and purified from housefly larvae, Musca domestica, by gel filtration on Sephadex G-75, G-25 and anion exchange on DEAE-52 chromatography. Among them, one was found to possess antibacterial activity, and was further characterized by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, sulphydryl group determination, enzyme hydrolysis, and spectra property. Our results showed that the novel protein has the characteristics of heat-stable, low-molecular weight (6 kDa), rich-cysteine (approximately 12 cysteine residues in one molecule), metal affinity, and antibacterial activity. This paper was the first to report that metallothionein had antibacterial activity. We expect that this characteristic would give some help to investigate definite physiological functions of metallothionein.
Authors:Q. Qian, W. Feng, J. Chen, P. Zhang, C. Chai, J. Pan, Y. Wu, S. Zheng, X. Liu, and Z. Chao
The iron contents in the hair and blood samples of 37 juvenile athletes who were supplemented with 0, 8 and 16 mg Fe/day, respectively, in the food of ferrous gluconatecontaining chocolate for 3 months were determined before and after the supplementation by INAA, SRXRF and blood analysis. The experimental results showed that after supplementation of the iron-fortified food, the normal ferritin level in the blood of the male athletes was attained and the iron content in the hair was increased with supplementation, but both are not in the positive proportion. Most of the female athletes had similar results. It is suggested that supplementation of 8 mg iron/day to juvenile athletes may be desirable.
Authors:Z. Chai, Q. Qian, X. Feng, P. Zhang, N. Liu, W. Feng, M. Kuang, H. Wang, and Y. Zhang
The occupational health impact of atmospheric pollution on exposed workers at one iron and steel complex was studied by instrumental neutron activation analysis of workers' hair samples and medical examination. The experimental results indicate that there is a positive correlation between the high inhalation amounts of iron and other trace elements by the exposed workers and the symptom of their high blood pressure and hypoglycemia, which implies that the atmospheric environment polluted by iron and steel industry has an adverse health impact on the exposed workers. The measures to relieve and abate the occupational diseases caused by air-borne particulate matter should be taken