Associations of blood levels of trace elements and heavy metals with metabolic syndrome in Chinese male adults with microRNA as mediators involved

Environ Pollut. 2019 May;248:66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.02.015. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Abstract

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a global health problem with an increasing prevalence. However, effects of trace elements and heavy metals on MetS and the mechanism underlying this effect are poorly understood. A preliminary cross-sectional study was conducted in 2015. Significantly higher blood concentrations of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), and selenium (Se) were observed in the MetS group. With a priori adjustment for age, the concentration of Cu and Se in the blood was associated with a 2.56 - fold [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.11, 5.92] and 3.31 - fold (95% CI, 1.4, 7.82) increased risk of MetS, respectively. Moreover, increased blood Se concentrations were associated with body mass index (BMI) [odds ratio (OR): 2.56; 95% CI, 1.11, 5.93], high blood pressure [for both systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP); OR: 3.82; 95% CI, 1.47, 7.31 for SBP and OR: 2.56; 95% CI, 1.18, 5.59 for DBP], and hypertriglyceridemia (OR: 3.3; 95% CI, 1.51, 7.2). In addition, the expression of miR-21-5p, miR-122-5p, and miR-146a-5p was significantly higher in subjects with MetS than those without MetS. Increased expression of miR-21-5p was significantly associated with increased SBP (β = 5.28; 95% CI, 0.63, 9.94) and DBP (β = 4.17; 95% CI, 0.68, 7.66). Moreover, Cu was positively associated with miR-21-5p (β = 3.02; 95% CI, 0.07, 5.95), whereas Se was positively associated with miR-122-5p (β = 2.7; 95% CI, 0.64, 4.76). The bootstrapping mediation models indicated that miR-21-5p partially mediated the relationships between Cu level and SBP/DBP. This study suggested that Cu and Se were both associated with MetS, and miR-21-5p participated in the development of MetS associated with Cu.

Keywords: Cross-sectional study; Heavy metal; Mediation model; Metabolic syndrome; MiRNA; Trace element.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cadmium / blood
  • China
  • Copper / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Lead / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / genetics*
  • Metals, Heavy / blood*
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Selenium / blood
  • Trace Elements / blood*

Substances

  • MIRN122 microRNA, human
  • MIRN146 microRNA, human
  • MIRN21 microRNA, human
  • Metals, Heavy
  • MicroRNAs
  • Trace Elements
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Copper
  • Selenium