This study aimed to evaluate the response of HepaRG cells after co-exposure to phthalates and heavy metals, using a high-dimensional biology paradigm (HDB). Liver is the main metabolism site for the majority of xenobiotics. For this reason, the HepaRG cell line was used as an in vitro model, and cells were exposed to two characteristic mixtures of phthalates and heavy metals containing phthalates (DEHP, DiNP, BBzP) and metals (lead, methylmercury, total mercury) in a concentration-dependent manner. The applied chemical mixtures were selected as the most abundant pollutants in the REPRO_PL and PHIME cohorts, which were studied using the exposome-wide approach in the frame of the EU project HEALS. These studies investigated the environmental causation of neurodevelopmental disorders in neonates and across Europe. The INTEGRA computational platform was used for the calculation of the effective concentrations of the chemicals in the liver through extrapolation from human biomonitoring data and this dose (and a ten-times higher one) was applied to the hepatocyte model. Multi-omics analysis was performed to reveal the genes, proteins, and metabolites affected by the exposure to these chemical mixtures. By extension, we could detect the perturbed metabolic pathways. The generated data were analyzed using advanced bioinformatic tools following the HEALS connectivity paradigm for multi-omics pathway analysis. Co-mapped transcriptomics and proteomics data showed that co-exposure to phthalates and heavy metals leads to perturbations of the urea cycle due to differential expression levels of arginase-1 and -2, argininosuccinate synthase, carbamoyl-phosphate synthase, ornithine carbamoyltransferase, and argininosuccinate lyase. Joint pathway analysis of proteomics and metabolomics data revealed that the detected proteins and metabolites, choline phosphate cytidylyltransferase A, phospholipase D3, group XIIA secretory phospholipase A2, α-phosphatidylcholine, and the a 1,2-diacyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, are responsible for the homeostasis of the metabolic pathways phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis I, and phospholipases metabolism. The urea, phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis I and phospholipase metabolic pathways are of particular interest since they have been identified also in human samples from the REPRO_PL and PHIME cohorts using untargeted metabolomics analysis and have been associated with impaired psychomotor development in children at the age of two. In conclusion, this study provides the mechanistic evidence that co-exposure to phthalates and metals disturb biochemical processes related to mitochondrial respiration during critical developmental stages, which are clinically linked to neurodevelopmental perturbations.

Multi-omics analysis reveals that co-exposure to phthalates and metals disturbs urea cycle and choline metabolism

Horvat M.;Sarigiannis D.;Karakitsios S.
2021

Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate the response of HepaRG cells after co-exposure to phthalates and heavy metals, using a high-dimensional biology paradigm (HDB). Liver is the main metabolism site for the majority of xenobiotics. For this reason, the HepaRG cell line was used as an in vitro model, and cells were exposed to two characteristic mixtures of phthalates and heavy metals containing phthalates (DEHP, DiNP, BBzP) and metals (lead, methylmercury, total mercury) in a concentration-dependent manner. The applied chemical mixtures were selected as the most abundant pollutants in the REPRO_PL and PHIME cohorts, which were studied using the exposome-wide approach in the frame of the EU project HEALS. These studies investigated the environmental causation of neurodevelopmental disorders in neonates and across Europe. The INTEGRA computational platform was used for the calculation of the effective concentrations of the chemicals in the liver through extrapolation from human biomonitoring data and this dose (and a ten-times higher one) was applied to the hepatocyte model. Multi-omics analysis was performed to reveal the genes, proteins, and metabolites affected by the exposure to these chemical mixtures. By extension, we could detect the perturbed metabolic pathways. The generated data were analyzed using advanced bioinformatic tools following the HEALS connectivity paradigm for multi-omics pathway analysis. Co-mapped transcriptomics and proteomics data showed that co-exposure to phthalates and heavy metals leads to perturbations of the urea cycle due to differential expression levels of arginase-1 and -2, argininosuccinate synthase, carbamoyl-phosphate synthase, ornithine carbamoyltransferase, and argininosuccinate lyase. Joint pathway analysis of proteomics and metabolomics data revealed that the detected proteins and metabolites, choline phosphate cytidylyltransferase A, phospholipase D3, group XIIA secretory phospholipase A2, α-phosphatidylcholine, and the a 1,2-diacyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine, are responsible for the homeostasis of the metabolic pathways phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis I, and phospholipases metabolism. The urea, phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis I and phospholipase metabolic pathways are of particular interest since they have been identified also in human samples from the REPRO_PL and PHIME cohorts using untargeted metabolomics analysis and have been associated with impaired psychomotor development in children at the age of two. In conclusion, this study provides the mechanistic evidence that co-exposure to phthalates and metals disturb biochemical processes related to mitochondrial respiration during critical developmental stages, which are clinically linked to neurodevelopmental perturbations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12076/12380
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