The Relationship between Cytokine Profile and Hypertension among the Mercury-Exposed Residents of Temirtau Region in Central Kazakhstan
Background: Mercury is a common environmental contaminant and it is also harmful to human health. Among reported toxicities, its harmful effect on hypertension is poorly documented. In Kazakhstan, Temirtau city has been reported to have a high level of mercury contamination from an acetaldehyde production factory. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the association between serum profile of cytokines and the development of hypertension among the exposed citizens.
Methods: We selected 81 individuals for study, out of them, 41 exposed ones suffered hypertension and 40 – unexposed healthy controls in villages Chkalovo, Samarkand, Gagarinskoye, Tegiszhol, Rostovka in 2016. Mercury content in urine was studied by inversion voltammetry. Cytokine levels of IL-2, IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α were determined by ELISA.
Results: Mercury-exposed citizens, especially those with hypertension, had significantly higher concentrations of inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-2, IL-6 and anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 as compared to the unexposed population. The dependence of the mercury level in urine on IL-2 content was also detected. Therefore, chronic low doses of exposure to mercury were associated with an increase in serum levels of immune markers and with the increased risk of hypertension.
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