Objectives Previous studies suggest that 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) exposure may be associated with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) but findings remain inconclusive. There is a need for mechanistic studies to evaluate the biologic plausibility of this association. In this cross-sectional study we investigated changes in plasma levels of two soluble markers of B cell activation, sCD27 and sCD30 and IL1RA, which have been found to be predictive of lymphoma, among workers from a Dutch historical cohort occupationally exposed to chlorophenoxy herbicides and contaminants including TCDD.
Methods Eighty-five workers who had been exposed to either high (n = 47) or low (n = 38) TCDD levels more than 30 years before serum collection were included in the current investigation. Plasma level of the sCD27, sCD30, and IL1RA was measured by ELISA. Current plasma levels of TCDD (TCDDCurrent) were determined by high-resolution gas chromatography/isotope dilution high resolution mass spectrometry. TCDD blood levels at the time of last exposure (TCDDmax) were estimated using a one-compartment first order kinetic model.
Results Dose-response analyses showed no significant association between blood levels of sCD27, sCD30 and IL1RA and current and estimated past maximum TCDD levels although there was an indication of decreased levels of all markers with increasing TCDD level. Analyses excluding subjects with chronic diseases resulted in a significant decrease in IL1RA with increasing levels of TCDD.
Conclusions No significant dose-response relationship was observed between the measured markers and TCDD level in our study. However, there was a suggestion that sCD27, sCD30 and IL1-RA tended to decrease with increasing TCDD levels. This later observation is consistent with the earlier observation on decreasing cytokine levels with increasing exposures.
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