The specific aim of this study is to investigate the dose-response relationships between the frequency of t(14;18) translocations in peripheral blood lymphocytes and body burdens of TCDD, other dioxin congeners, and dioxin total toxic equivalent (TEQ) in a population of workers with occupational exposure to dioxin. Dioxin exposure has been associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in previous epidemiologic investigations. The t(14;18) translocation is the most frequent chromosomal translocation in human lymphoid malignancies. It is assumed to be an early event occurring in a pre-B stage cell which is a necessary, but not sufficient, step in the carcinogenesis pathway for follicular lymphoma. The overall frequency of t(14;18) cells in an individual gives an indication of the number of cells at risk for this additional DNA damage, and t(14;18) translocation has been proposed as a biomarker of environmental carcinogen exposure for NHL. We observed a significant dose-response relationship between current blood levels of TCDD and frequency of t(14;18) translocations in the population of individuals who had been environmentally exposed to 2,3,7,8-TCDD in Seveso, Italy in 1976. The current study will compare the frequency of t(14;18) translocations in 200 former TCP and 2,4,5-T workers and 200 former 2,4-D workers from the Khimprom chemical plant in Ufa, Russia to a referent population of 200 unexposed workers and retirees from the city of Beloretsk, Russia. The dioxin-exposed workers will be recruited from among workers who are currently participating in a study of reproductive outcomes among Khimprom workers. The referent population will be randomly selected from the population of residents of Beloretsk, Russia (minimal dioxin exposure) who are enrolled in the Territorial Insurance Fund. Referents will be frequency matched to the exposed on age, gender, ethnicity, employment status, and smoking. We will administer a health questionnaire, dermatologic examination and measure dioxin levels (congener- specific and TEQ) in blood and t(14;18) translocations in peripheral blood lymphocytes. We will back extrapolate peak dioxin levels using occupational histories and the best fitting pharmacokinetic models for TCDD and other congeners. We will investigate the dose-response relationship between t(14;18) translocation-positive cells and current blood TCDD, back-extrapolated blood TCDD, other dioxin congeners, and total dioxin TEQ. We will investigate the effect of increasing blood TCDD on BCL2 and KLF4 expression and how these effects are associated with increased frequency of t(14;18) translocations. We will also establish a repository of DNA and RNA from study participants for future molecular and gene expression profiling studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Research Project (R01)
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Safety and Occupational Health Study Section (SOH)
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Karr, Joan
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University of Illinois at Chicago
Schools of Public Health
United States
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