Heavy metal influence on BDE-47 uptake in the human KERTr keratinocyte cell line

Yuan Kang*, Yi Yin, Qiu Yun Zhang, Lai Sheng Li, Li Xuan Zeng, Ji Wen Luo, Ming Hung WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Significant correlations between concentrations of PBDEs and heavy metals were observed in the human body. However, there is a lack of evidence on the linkage between the uptake of heavy metals and PBDEs. This study is the first report on the BDE-47 uptake profile in a human cell line. Hg and As exposures to KERTr (human skin derived keratinocyte) did not significantly (p > 0.05) affect the uptake of BDE47, whereas Pb and Cd significantly (p < 0.05) affected the uptake of BDE-47 in KERTr. The change in Km was minor after exposure to all heavy metals. The maximum transport rate (Vmax) after exposure to Pb (Vmax: 5.23 ± 0.49) and As (Vmax: 4.95 ± 0.60) was significantly increased when compared with the background of the KERTr cell line (Vmax: 4.07 ± 0.35). Real-time RT-PCR indicated that OATP-B, OATP-D, and OATP-E were expressed in the KERTr cell line. The upregulation or downregulation of OATP B and D genes were minor after exposure to heavy metals, but the OATP E gene was upregulated by three to fourfold in KERTr cell line after exposure to Pb an Cd, which may explain the significant increase of uptake of BDE-47 in KERTr after exposures to Pb and Cd. This study indicated that the uptake effects should be considered when performing risk assessment of human exposure to PBDEs and heavy metal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-361
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Toxicology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Heavy metals
  • KERTr
  • PBDEs
  • Uptake


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