The combined toxicity of mixed chemicals is usually evaluated according to several specific endpoints, and other potentially toxic effects are disregarded. In this study, we provided a metabolomics strategy to achieve a comprehensive understanding of toxicological interactions between mixed chemicals on metabolism. The metabolic changes were quantified by a pseudotargeted analysis, and the types of combined effects were quantitatively discriminated according to the calculation of metabolic effect level index (MELI). The metabolomics strategy was used to assess the combined effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) on the metabolism of human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Our data suggested that exposure to a combination of PAHs and SCCPs at human internal exposure levels could result in an additive effect on the overall metabolism, whereas diverse joint effects were observed on various metabolic pathways. The combined exposure could induce a synergistic up-regulation of phospholipid metabolism, an additive up-regulation of fatty acid metabolism, an additive down-regulation of tricarboxylic acid cycle and glycolysis, and an antagonistic effect on purine metabolism. SCCPs in the mixture acted as the primary driver for the acceleration of phospholipid and fatty acid metabolism. Lipid metabolism disorder caused by exposure to a combination of PAHs and SCCPs should be an important concern for human health.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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