1022-7954/03/3907- $25.00 © 2003
Russian Journal of Genetics, Vol. 39, No. 7, 2003, pp. 823–827. Translated from Genetika, Vol. 39, No. 7, 2003, pp. 982–987.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2003 by Lavryashina, Uljanova, Druzhinin, Tolochko.
Nonspeciﬁc resistance of the organism to various
environmental factors is determined by the adaptive
genetic system characteristic of the given species [1–3].
Individual features of the origin and progression of a
multifactorial disease depend on the interplay of genet-
ically determined structures of the organism and com-
plex effects of environmental factors . Occupational
conditions, to which working people are exposed for a
substantial part of their life, are an important compo-
nent of environmental factors. Exposure to occupa-
tional hazards inevitably induces a response of the
organism. Under adverse occupational conditions, indi-
viduals develop either an adequate adaptive response or
various pathologies . The cause-and-effect relation-
ship may be manifested in a speciﬁc profess disorder
induced by a particular occupational factor.
Chronic ﬂuorine intoxication is common for work-
ers employed in aluminum industry and may cause ﬂu-
orosis, an occupational disease which was ﬁrst
observed in Copenhagen in 1931 . Fluorosis affects
various organs and systems, causing disability.
Age at onset and clinical signs vary among people
who are similar in time and dose rate of occupational
exposure to ﬂuorine [7, 8]. A possible cause is a genet-
ically determined variation in sensitivity to occupa-
tional hazards [8–10]. As we have previously shown,
risk of occupational ﬂuorosis in Siberian workers
employed in aluminum industry is associated with sev-
eral erythrocytic isoantigens and a set of particular
qualitative dermatoglyphic characters .
Genetic polymorphism determines speciﬁc features
of complex metabolic processes, which underlie differ-
entiation of the human population into risk groups and
a relatively resistant cohort . There are grounds for
believing that genetic predisposition to a particular dis-
ease is conditional ; i.e., theoretically, it is possible
to select conditions that would completely eliminate or
minimize the likelihood of disease development in spite
of the genetically determined predisposition. The
objective of this work was to study genetic factors asso-
ciated with resistance or susceptibility to occupational
MATERIALS AND METHODS
From 1986 to 1996, workers of the Novokuznetsk
and Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plants were examined in
the Laboratory of Genetics, Kemerovo State University
in collaboration with the Institute of Gerontology
(Kiev, Ukraine) and Institute of the Complex Problems
of Hygiene and Occupational Diseases. In total, we
examined 987 male East Slavs (ethnic Russians, Ukrai-
nians, and Belarussians).
Two groups were isolated from this sample. The test
group included 152 patients with ﬂuorosis I or II; the
control group included 349 individuals who worked at
the plants for at least ten years and had no record of
occupational disorders. Mean age of the controls was
greater than that of the patients (49.0
0.32 vs. 45.0
Erythrocytic (AB0, Rhesus, MN, P1, and Lewis)
and leukocytic (HLA A, B, and C) antigens were
assessed immediately after blood collection. Serum
proteins haptoglobin (Hp) and group-speciﬁc compo-
nent (Gc) were studied after a single freezing–thawing.
Phenotyping included the standard hemagglutination,
electrophoresis, and complement-dependent cytotoxic-
ity tests [14–17]. Palm prints and ﬁngerprints were
obtained with printing ink according to a standard pro-
cedure and interpreted as described by Cummins and
Midlo [18, 19, 31].
The groups were characterized with respect to phe-
notype frequencies of 11 genetic systems. Heterogene-
A Study of the Genetic Basis of Susceptibility
to Occupational Fluorosis in Aluminum Industry Workers
M. B. Lavryashina, M. V. Uljanova, V. G. Druzhinin, and T. A. Tolochko
Kemerovo State University, Kemerovo, 650043 Russia; fax: (3842)23-38-85; e-mail: email@example.com
Received October 31, 2001; in ﬁnal form, October 31, 2002
—The phenotype frequency distributions of several classical blood genetic markers and der-
matoglyphic characters were analyzed in workers of Siberian aluminum plants who had occupational ﬂuorosis.
Comparison with healthy workers revealed signiﬁcant differences in frequencies of several markers. Pheno-
types B (AB0), D (Rh), MN (MN), P1 (P), Le a (Lewis), Gc 2-1, Cx (on both hands), Th/I+ (on the left hand),
C3, and C4 (HLA) were associated with higher risk of occupational ﬂuorosis.