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Association of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Gene Polymorphism With the Neurobehavioral Function and Autonomic Nervous System Function Changes Induced by Benzo[a]Pyrene Exposure in Coke Oven Workers

Zhang, Hongmei MD, PhD; Nie, Jisheng MD, PhD; Li, Xin MD; Niu, Qiao MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 3 - p 265–271
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318278272f
Original Articles

Objective: To analyze the association of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) gene polymorphism and the neurotoxicity induced by benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) in coke oven workers.

Methods: Subjects, 214 coke oven workers and 81 controls, were detected for neurobehavioral function and autonomic nervous system (ANS) function. Airborne B[a]P concentration, urinary 1-hydroxypyrene level, and AhR gene polymorphisms were determined and analyzed for their association with B[a]P neurotoxicity.

Results: Neurobehavioral function and ANS function were significantly decreased and dependent on B[a]P dose. The AhR GG, GA, and AA genotypes in G1661A fitted the Hardy-Weinberg equation, whereas C1549T and G1708A gene mutants were not detected. Indices indicating neurotoxicity showed no significant difference among individuals with AA, GG, or GA genotype except for the confusion-bewilderment (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: The AhR gene polymorphism is not thought to correlate with B[a]P neurotoxicity among coke oven workers.

From the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health (Drs Zhang, Nie, and Niu), Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, People's Republic of China; and Center of Disease Control and Prevention (Dr Li), Taiyuan Iron and Steel Company, Taiyuan, People's Republic of China.

Address correspondence to: Qiao Niu, PhD, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Shanxi Medical University, 56 Xin Jian Nan Lu, Taiyuan 030001, China (

This study was supported by grants 30471437 and 81001258 from the Natural Science Foundation of China, and grant 20051093 from the Natural Science Foundation of Shanxi Province and Shanxi Provincial Foundation for Leaders of Disciplines in Science, China (2011).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine