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Variability in aflatoxin-albumin adduct levels and effects of hepatitis B and C virus infection and glutathione S-transferase M1 and T1 genotype.

  • Ahsan, H
  • Wang, L Y
  • Chen, C J
  • Tsai, W Y
  • Santella, R M
Published Article
Environmental health perspectives
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2001
PMID: 11564620


Exposure to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), an important cofactor in the etiology of hepatocellular carcinoma in Taiwan, is influenced by dietary and other factors. The present study examined the intraindividual variability in AFB1-albumin adducts, the most reliable long-term biomarker of AFB1 exposure, and whether the baseline or follow-up adduct levels and the intraindividual variability in adduct levels are modified by endogenous and environmental factors. The study measured AFB1-albumin adduct levels among 264 healthy male residents of three townships (Hu-Hsi, Ma-Kung, and Pai-Hsa) of Penghu Islets, Taiwan, at two different time points with a median interval of 1.68 years (range 1.00-3.17 years). There was a generalized reduction in the adduct levels, with the median values being 22.1 pmol/mg (range 5.0-355.8 pmol/mg) at time 1 and 14.3 pmol/mg (range 5.0-205.2 pmol/mg) at time 2. This intraindividual variability in adduct levels was inversely associated with the age of subjects and the time interval between the two blood draws. The variability in adduct levels was lower among subjects in Hu-Hsi and Pai-Hsa townships as compared to those in Ma-Kung. No significant association was observed for the intraindividual variability in AFB1-albumin adducts with regard to the season when blood was drawn. There was also no significant association between intraindividual variability and hepatitis B surface antigen, anti-hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV), glutathione S-transferase (GST) M1, or GSTT1 status. In conclusion, we found substantial intraindividual variability in the AFB1 exposure (as determined by AFB1-albumin adducts) in Taiwan, which was probably more likely related to dietary or other environmental influences rather than to endogenous factors (e.g., hepatitis B/C viral infection or GST M1/T1 genetic status).

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