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Relationship Between Amyloid β Protein and Melatonin Metabolite in a Study of Electric Utility Workers

Noonan, Curtis W. PhD; Reif, John S. DVM, M.Sc; Burch, James B. PhD; Ichinose, Travers Y. MS; Yost, Michael G. PhD; Magnusson, Kathy DVM, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2002 - Volume 44 - Issue 8 - p 769-775
Original Articles

This study assessed the relationship between occupational magnetic field exposure, the urinary melatonin metabolite 6-hydroxymelatonin sulfate (6-OHMS), and concentrations of blood-borne soluble amyloid β (Aβ), a protein associated with the hallmark lesions of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Blood and urine samples were obtained from male electric utility workers (n = 60) to quantify two lengths of the protein in plasma, Aβ(amino acids 1–40) and Aβ(1–42), and the urinary concentrations of 6-OHMS. Average Aβ levels were positively associated with categories of magnetic field exposure, but this relationship was weak and did not achieve statistical significance. The melatonin metabolite was inversely correlated with Aβ(1–42) and the ratio of Aβ(1–42) to Aβ(1–40). This observation is consistent with recent in vitro data and provides a plausible mechanism for the association between magnetic field exposure and AD that has been observed in some studies.

From the Department of Environmental Health, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (Dr Noonan, Dr Reif, Dr Burch, Dr Ichinose); the Department of Environmental Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (Dr Yost); and the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (Dr Magnusson).

Address correspondence to: Curtis Noonan, PhD, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Health Studies, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop E-31, Atlanta, GA 30333; cnoonan@cdc.gov

Copyright © by American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Copyright © 2002 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine