A novel method for source-specific hemoglobin adducts of nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Kylie Wheelock, Junfeng Jim Zhang, Rob McConnell, Deliang Tang, Heather E. Volk, Ya Wang, Julie B. Herbstman, Shuang Wang, David H. Phillips, David Camann, Jicheng Gong, Frederica Perera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are ubiquitous air pollutants associated with negative impacts on growth, development and behavior in children. Source-specific biological markers of PAH exposure are needed for targeting interventions to protect children. Nitro-derivatives of PAH can act as markers of exposure to diesel exhaust, gasoline exhaust, or general combustion sources. Using a novel HPLC-APCI-MS/MS detection method, we examined four hemoglobin (Hb) adducts of nitro-PAH metabolites and the Hb adduct of a benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) metabolite in 22 umbilical cord blood samples. The samples were collected from a birth cohort with comprehensive data on prenatal PAH exposure, including prenatal personal air monitoring and DNA adducts in maternal and umbilical cord blood. Using non-parametric analyses, heat maps, and principal component analysis (PCA), we analyzed the relationship between the five Hb adducts and previous PAH measurements, with each measurement representing a different duration of exposure. We found that Hb adducts derived from several diesel-related nitro-PAHs (2-nitrofluorene and 1-nitropyrene) were significantly correlated (r = 0.77, p ≤ 0.0001) and grouped together in PCA. Nitro-PAH derived Hb adducts were largely unrelated to previously collected measures of exposure to a number of PAH parent compounds. These measures need to be validated in a larger sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-789
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science: Processes and Impacts
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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