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Occupational exposure to formaldehyde and alterations in lymphocyte subsets.

Hosgood, H Dean; Zhang, Luoping; Tang, Xiaojiang; Vermeulen, Roel; Hao, Zhenyue; Shen, Min; Qiu, Chuangyi; Ge, Yichen; Hua, Ming; Ji, Zhiying; Li, Senhua; Xiong, Jun; Reiss, Boris; Liu, Songwang; Xin, Kerry X; Azuma, Mariko; Xie, Yuxuan; Freeman, Laura Beane; Ruan, Xiaolin; Guo, Weihong; Galvan, Noe; Blair, Aaron; Li, Laiyu; Huang, Hanlin; Smith, Martyn T; Rothman, Nathaniel; Lan, Qing.
Am J Ind Med; 56(2): 252-7, 2013 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22767408


Formaldehyde is used in many occupational settings, most notably in manufacturing, health care, and embalming. Formaldehyde has been classified as a human carcinogen, but its mechanism of action remains uncertain.


We carried out a cross-sectional study of 43 formaldehyde-exposed workers and 51 unexposed age and sex-matched controls in Guangdong, China to study formaldehyde's early biologic effects. To follow up our previous report that the total lymphocyte count was decreased in formaldehyde-exposed workers compared with controls, we evaluated each major lymphocyte subset (i.e., CD4(+) T cells, CD8(+) T cells, natural killer [NK] cells, and B cells) and T cell lymphocyte subset (CD4(+) naïve and memory T cells, CD8(+) naïve and memory T cells, and regulatory T cells). Linear regression of each subset was used to test for differences between exposed workers and controls, adjusting for potential confounders.


Total NK cell and T cell counts were about 24% (P = 0.037) and 16% (P = 0.0042) lower, respectively, among exposed workers. Among certain T cell subsets, decreased counts among exposed workers were observed for CD8(+) T cells (P = 0.026), CD8(+) effector memory T cells (P = 0.018), and regulatory T cells (CD4(+) FoxP3(+) : P = 0.04; CD25(+) FoxP3(+) : P = 0.008).


Formaldehyde-exposed workers experienced decreased counts of NK cells, regulatory T cells, and CD8(+) effector memory T cells; however, due to the small sample size; these findings need to be confirmed in larger studies.
Selo DaSilva