Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI

Piscataway, NJ, United States

Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI

Piscataway, NJ, United States
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Prasad K.,Molecular Histology Center | Prasad K.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI | Beach T.G.,Banner Sun Health Research Institute | Hedreen J.,McLean Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Brain Pathology | Year: 2012

The role of Lewy bodies, Lewy neurites and α-synuclein (αSYN) in the pathophysiology and diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD) is unclear. We used postmortem human tissue, a panel of antibodies (Abs) and confocal microscopy to examine the three-dimensional neurochemical anatomy of the nigrostriatal system. Abs were specific to truncated (tαSYN), phosphorylated and full-length αSYN. The findings demonstrate the critical role of tαSYN in initiating aggregation, a role for other forms of αSYN in aggregate expansion, a reason for the wide variety of proteins present in different aggregates, an explanation for the laminar appearance of aggregates described historically using different methods, the existence of proximal greater than distal aggregation in the vulnerable nigrostriatal pathway, the independent transport of different forms of αSYN as cargo along axons and a possible sequence for the formation of Lewy bodies. Findings differed between incidental Lewy body disease and PD only quantitatively. These findings have implications for understanding the pathogenesis and treatment of PD. © 2012 The Authors.


Prasad K.,Molecular Histology Center Http Eohsirutgersedu Mhc | Prasad K.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI | Richfield E.K.,Molecular Histology Center Http Eohsirutgersedu Mhc | Richfield E.K.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI
Experimental Neurology | Year: 2010

The accurate and reliable counting of tyrosine hydroxylase positive (TH+) and tyrosine hydroxylase negative (TH-) neurons in the ventral midbrain is an important measure in studies related to Parkinson's disease and many other disorders associated with this region. Despite recent advancements, the use of stereology remains limited due to a variety of challenges for many users. We implemented a real-time fluorescence detection method and the use of an antibody to the neuron specific nuclear antigen (NeuN) to overcome some challenges for users. We found that the regional value for the two different cell types (TH+ and TH-) varied with the method of detection (chromogenic versus fluorescence) and with different nuclear markers (Nissl, DAPI, or NeuN). The number of both TH+ and TH- neurons was higher using fluorescence detection. The number of TH- neurons was higher using NeuN as a neuronal nuclear marker compared to DAPI. We identified 3 types of neuronal nuclei using NeuN staining characteristics. The method is applicable for mouse and rat. We describe a practical approach for epifluorescence-based counting of these two types of neurons that may offer significant advantages over existing methods for potential users. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Burger J.,Rutgers University | Burger J.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI | Gochfeld M.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI | Gochfeld M.,Rutgers University | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Research | Year: 2014

There is an abundance of field data on levels of metals for feathers in a variety of birds, but relatively few data for tissues, especially for migrant species from one location. In this paper we examine the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in muscle, liver, brain, fat and breast feathers from migrant semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) collected from Delaware Bay, New Jersey. Our primary objectives were to (1) examine variation as a function of tissue, (2) determine the relationship of metal levels among tissues, and (3) determine the selenium:mercury molar ratio in different tissues since selenium is thought to protect against mercury toxicity. We were also interested in whether the large physiological changes that occur while shorebirds are on Delaware Bay (e.g. large weight gains in 2-3 weeks) affected metal levels, especially in the brain. There were significant differences among tissues for all metals. The brain had the lowest levels of arsenic and cadmium, and was tied for the lowest levels of all other metals except lead and selenium. Correlations among metals in tissues were varied, with mercury levels being positively correlated for muscle and brain, and for liver and breast feathers. Weights vary among individuals at the Delaware Bay stopover, as they arrive light, and gain weight prior to migration north. Bird weight and levels of arsenic, cadmium, and selenium in the brain were negatively correlated, while they were positively correlated for lead. There was no positive correlation for mercury in the brain as a function of body weight. The selenium:mercury molar ratio varied significantly among tissues, with brain (ratio of 141) and fat having the highest ratios, and liver and breast feathers having the lowest. In all cases, the ratio was above 21, suggesting the potential for amelioration of mercury toxicity. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Bandera E.V.,The Cancer Institute of New Jersey | Bandera E.V.,Rutgers University | Chandran U.,The Cancer Institute of New Jersey | Chandran U.,Rutgers University | And 8 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2011

Background: Despite extensive research and interest in endocrine disruptors, there are essentially no epidemiologic studies of estrogenic mycotoxins, such as zeranol and zearalenone (ZEA). ZEA mycoestrogens are present in grains and other plant foods through fungal contamination, and in animal products (e.g., meat, eggs, dairy products) through deliberate introduction of zeranol into livestock to enhance meat production, or by indirect contamination of animals through consumption of contaminated feedstuff. Zeranol is banned for use in animal husbandry in the European Union and other countries, but is still widely used in the US. Surprisingly, little is known about the health effects of these mycoestrogens, including their impact on puberty in girls, a period highly sensitive to estrogenic stimulation. Objectives and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis among 163 girls, aged 9 and 10 years, participating in the Jersey Girl Study to measure urinary mycoestrogens and their possible relationship to body size and development. Results: We found that mycoestrogens were detectable in urine in 78.5% of the girls, and that urinary levels were predominantly associated with beef and popcorn intake. Furthermore, girls with detectable urinary ZEA mycoestrogen levels tended to be shorter and less likely to have reached the onset of breast development. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that ZEA mycoestrogens may exert anti-estrogenic effects similar to those reported for isoflavones. To our knowledge, this was the first evaluation of urinary mycoestrogens and their potential health effects in healthy girls. However, our findings need replication in larger studies with more heterogeneous populations, using a longitudinal approach. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Burger J.,Rutgers University | Burger J.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI
Environmental Research | Year: 2013

There is an abundance of data for levels of metals from a range of species, but relatively few long-term time series from the same location. In this paper I examine the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in feathers from fledgling great egrets (Ardea alba) collected at nesting colonies in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey from 1989 to 2011. The primary objectives were to test the null hypotheses that (1) There were no temporal differences in metal levels in feathers of fledgling great egrets, and (2) Great egrets nesting in different areas of Barnegat Bay (New Jersey) did not differ in metal levels. There were significant yearly variations in levels of all heavy metals in feathers of fledgling great egret, but levels decreased significantly from 1989 to 2011 only for lead (1470. ppb to 54.3. ppb), cadmium (277. ppb to 30.5. ppb), and manganese (only since 1996; 2669. ppb to 329. ppb)). Although mercury levels decreased from 2003-2008 (6430. ppb to 1042. ppb), there was no pattern before 2003, and levels increased after 2008 to 2610. ppb in 2011. Lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese and mercury were higher in feathers from great egrets nesting in the northern part of the bay, and selenium was highest in feathers from mid-bay. The lack of a temporal decline in mercury levels in feathers of great egrets is cause for concern, since the high levels in feathers from some years (means as high as 6430. ppb) are in the range associated with adverse effects (5000. ppb for feathers). © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Burger J.,Rutgers University | Burger J.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI | Gochfeld M.,Johnson University | Gochfeld M.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2011

Risk assessment determines pathways, and exposures that lead to poor health. For exposures that fall disproportionately on urban low-income communities, minorities, and Native Americans, these pathways are often more common than in the general population. Although risk assessors often evaluate these pathways on an ad hoc basis, a more formal way of addressing these nonstandard pathways is needed to adequately inform public health policy. A conceptual model is presented for evaluating nonstandard, unique, or excessive exposures, particularly for environmental justice communities that have an exposure matrix of inhalation, dermal, ingestion, and injection. Risk assessment can be improved by including nonstandard and unique exposure pathways as described in this conceptual model.


Anumolu S.S.,Rutgers University | DeSantis A.S.,Rutgers University | DeSantis A.S.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI | Menjoge A.R.,Rutgers University | And 7 more authors.
Biomaterials | Year: 2010

Half mustard (CEES) and nitrogen mustard (NM) are commonly used surrogates and vesicant analogs of the chemical warfare agent sulfur mustard. In the current study, in situ forming poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based doxycycline hydrogels are developed and evaluated for their wound healing efficacy in CEES and NM-exposed rabbit corneas in organ culture. The hydrogels, characterized by UV-Vis spectrophotometry, rheometry, and swelling kinetics, showed that the hydrogels are optically transparent, have good mechanical strength and a relatively low degree of swelling (<7%). In vitro doxycycline release from the hydrogel disks (0.25% w/v) was found to be biphasic with release half times of ∼12 and 72 h, respectively, with 80-100% released over a 7-day period. Permeation of doxycycline through vesicant wounded corneas was found to be 2.5 to 3.4 fold higher than non-wounded corneas. Histology and immunofluorescence studies showed a significant reduction of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and improved healing of vesicant-exposed corneas by doxycycline hydrogels compared to a similar dose of doxycycline delivered in phosphate buffered saline (PBS, pH 7.4). In conclusion, the current studies demonstrate that the doxycycline-PEG hydrogels accelerate corneal wound healing after vesicant injury offering a therapeutic option for ocular mustard injuries. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Burger J.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute EOHSI | Burger J.,Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute | Burger J.,Rutgers University | Harris S.,Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation | And 3 more authors.
Risk Analysis | Year: 2010

The concept that all peoples should have their voices heard on matters that affect their well-being is at the core of environmental justice (EJ). The inability of some people of small towns, rural areas, minority, and low-income communities, to become involved in environmental decisions is sometimes due to a lack of information. We provide a template for the ecological information that is essential to examine environmental risks to EJ populations within average communities, using case studies from South Carolina (Savannah River, a DOE site with minority impacts), Washington (Hanford, a DOE site with Native American impacts), and New Jersey (nonpoint, urbanized community pollution). While the basic ecological and public health information needs for risk evaluations and assessments are well described, less attention has been focused on standardizing information about EJ communities or EJ populations within larger communities. We suggest that information needed about EJ communities and populations includes demographics, consumptive and nonconsumptive uses of their regional environment (for example, maintenance and cosmetic, medicinal/religious/cultural uses), eco-dependency webs, and eco-cultural attributes. A purely demographics approach might not even identify EJ populations or neighborhoods, much less their spatial relation to the impact source or to each other. Using information from three case studies, we illustrate that some information is readily available (e.g., consumption rates for standard items such as fish), but there is less information about medicinal, cultural, religious, eco-cultural dependency webs, and eco-cultural attributes, all of which depend in some way on intact, functioning, and healthy ecosystems. © 2010 Society for Risk Analysis.


Tunno B.J.,University of Pittsburgh | Dalton R.,University of Pittsburgh | Cambal L.,University of Pittsburgh | Holguin F.,University of Pittsburgh | And 2 more authors.
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2016

Because fine particulate matter (PM2.5) differs in chemical composition, source apportionment is frequently used for identification of relative contributions of multiple sources to outdoor concentrations. Indoor air pollution and source apportionment is often overlooked, though people in northern climates may spend up to 90% of their time inside. We selected 21 homes for a 1-week indoor sampling session during summer (July to September 2011), repeated in winter (January to March 2012). Elemental analysis was performed using inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and factor analysis was used to determine constituent grouping. Multivariate modeling was run on factor scores to corroborate interpretations of source factors based on a literature review. For each season, a 5-factor solution explained 86-88% of variability in constituent concentrations. Indoor sources (i.e. cooking, smoking) explained greater variability than did outdoor sources in these industrial communities. A smoking factor was identified in each season, predicted by number of cigarettes smoked. Cooking factors were also identified in each season, explained by frequency of stove cooking and stovetop frying. Significant contributions from outdoor sources including coal and motor vehicles were also identified. Higher coal and secondary-related elemental concentrations were detected during summer than winter. Our findings suggest that source contributions to indoor concentrations can be identified and should be examined in relation to health effects. © 2016 The Authors.


Tunno B.J.,University of Pittsburgh | Shields K.N.,University of Pittsburgh | Cambal L.,University of Pittsburgh | Tripathy S.,University of Pittsburgh | And 3 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

Impacts of industrial emissions on outdoor air pollution in nearby communities are well-documented. Fewer studies, however, have explored impacts on indoor air quality in these communities. Because persons in northern climates spend a majority of their time indoors, understanding indoor exposures, and the role of outdoor air pollution in shaping such exposures, is a priority issue. Braddock and Clairton, Pennsylvania, industrial communities near Pittsburgh, are home to an active steel mill and coke works, respectively, and the population experiences elevated rates of childhood asthma. Twenty-one homes were selected for 1-week indoor sampling for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon (BC) during summer 2011 and winter 2012. Multivariate linear regression models were used to examine contributions from both outdoor concentrations and indoor sources. In the models, an outdoor infiltration component explained 10 to 39% of variability in indoor air pollution for PM2.5, and 33 to 42% for BC. For both PM2.5 models and the summer BC model, smoking was a stronger predictor than outdoor pollution, as greater pollutant concentration increases were identified. For winter BC, the model was explained by outdoor pollution and an open windows modifier. In both seasons, indoor concentrations for both PM2.5 and BC were consistently higher than residence-specific outdoor concentration estimates. Mean indoor PM2.5 was higher, on average, during summer (25.8±22.7μg/m3) than winter (18.9±13.2μg/m3). Contrary to the study's hypothesis, outdoor concentrations accounted for only little to moderate variability (10 to 42%) in indoor concentrations; a much greater proportion of PM2.5 was explained by cigarette smoking. Outdoor infiltration was a stronger predictor for BC compared to PM2.5, especially in winter. Our results suggest that, even in industrial communities of high outdoor pollution concentrations, indoor activities - particularly cigarette smoking - may play a larger role in shaping indoor exposures. © 2015.

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