Chronic early childhood exposure to arsenic is associated with a TNF-mediated proteomic signaling response

Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2017 Jun;52:183-187. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2017.04.007. Epub 2017 Apr 8.


Exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) in drinking water is a global public health concern and is associated with a range of health outcomes, including immune dysfunction. Children are a particularly sensitive population to the effects of inorganic arsenic, yet the biological mechanisms underlying adverse health outcomes are understudied. Here we used a proteomic approach to examine the effects of iAs exposure on circulating serum protein levels in a cross-sectional children's cohort in Mexico. To identify iAs-associated proteins, levels of total urinary arsenic (U-tAs) and its metabolites were determined and serum proteins assessed for differences in expression. The results indicate an enrichment of Tumor Necrosis Factor-(TNF)-regulated immune and inflammatory response proteins that displayed decreased expression levels in relation to increasing U-tAs. Notably, when analyzed in the context of the proportions of urinary arsenic metabolites in children, the most robust response was observed in relation to the monomethylated arsenicals. This study is among the first serum proteomics assessment in children exposed to iAs.

Keywords: Arsenic; Arsenic metabolism; Early childhood exposure; Proteomics.

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic / toxicity*
  • Arsenic / urine
  • Arsenicals / urine
  • Blood Proteins / analysis*
  • Child
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexico
  • Proteomics
  • Signal Transduction


  • Arsenicals
  • Blood Proteins
  • Arsenic