Vol 30, No 4 (2023)

Cover Page

Full Issue


Danio rerio as a model for studying reproductive risks associated with human exposure to polychlorinated biphenils: a systematic review

Kotsur D.A., Sorokina T.Y., Aksenov A.S., Chashchin V.P.


This review presents the findings of a comprehensive investigation that involved a systematic search, critical analysis, and synthesis of scientific evidence regarding the impact of a broad range of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), on the reproductive functions, postembryonic survival, and morphofunctional development of offspring in the aquarium fish species Danio rerio, commonly known as Zebrafish. These fish are extensively utilized in experimental studies to simulate carcinogenic, mutagenic, and general toxic effects.

The literature search was conducted using Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, and eLIBRARY.RU databases following the PRISMA 2020 recommendations. A total of 613 articles were identified, out of which 14 were selected for detailed analysis. Among them, 11 focused on assessing the impact of PCB exposure on the reproductive system of Danio rerio. Additionally, 8 articles reported on the results of studying the effects of parental exposure to PCBs on the viability and postembryonic development of their offspring. The adverse effects of PCBs, either alone or in combination with other POPs, have been studied to a lesser extent in male Danio rerio compared to females. Furthermore, the transmission of morphological and functional disorders to subsequent generations resulting from separate parental exposure to PCBs in both sexes, as well as the dose-response relationship, have not been adequately assessed based on the published works. Moreover, developmental disorders in offspring have mostly been studied for the first generation following parental exposure to mixtures of POPs and PCBs. The lack of such information hinders a proper evaluation of the transgenerational risk inheritance phenomenon, specifically regarding the transmission of morphological and functional disorders associated with progenitor exposure to PCBs and other environmental endocrine-disrupting pollutants.

The findings of this analysis can be used for planning experimental quantitative assessments, predicting, and preventing impairments to human reproductive health, and safeguarding the well-being of future generations.

Ekologiya cheloveka (Human Ecology). 2023;30(4):245-258
pages 245-258 views


Adaptation of functional systems in different generations of Caucasians in the North-East of Russia

Averyanova I.V., Maksimov A.L.


BACKGROUND: A substantial body of research has focused on adaptation of the new residents of the European and Asian Far North. However, these publications fail to address the changes occurring in successive generations of native Caucasians who migrated to the regions with harsh climatic conditions.

AIM: To study functional adaptations exhibited by individuals born in the Magadan Region to various generations of Caucasians permanently living in the area.

METHODS: A total of 1632 male volunteers, all students aged 18±1.1 years, and of Caucasian ethnicity, participated in this study. These individuals were either migrants or residents of Russia's North-East, born within the first to third generations. We investigated anthropometric characteristics, cardiohemodynamic parameters, and gas exchange to understand the adaptive readjustments that take place within the body's functional systems.

RESULTS: Migrants and first-generation residents in the Magadan region experience constant stress and inadequate functioning of their cardiohemodynamic and energy exchange systems under extreme conditions. However, the third-generation subjects exhibited optimal performance of the cardiovascular system. Remarkably, the third-generation residents demonstrate an increased systolic volume at lower arterial pressure and lower total peripheral resistance. Furthermore, they had elevated proportion of the high frequency component and total power of the heart rhythm spectrum. This represents a new level of changed influence on the heart rhythm, as seen in the altered balance of its statistical and spectral wave characteristics. Moreover, the adaptability of the cardiovascular system to the harsh conditions of the North is reflected not only in the physiological indicators of the body but also in the integral structure of their correlations. This includes the magnitude and sign of the correlation coefficients and their significance.

CONCLUSIONS: Our main findings suggest that adaptive changes in cardiohemodynamic and gas exchange exhibited by the migrants and several generations of residents of the Far North-East of Russia are directed to minimization of the total energy expenditure in functional systems. Additionally, the parasympathetic contribution increases fostering a novel interaction between the components of autonomic nervous regulation reflected by both qualitative and quantitative alterations in the structure and patterns of correlation clusters. These findings contribute to our understanding of the physiological mechanisms behind the morphofunctional readjustments of Caucasian men in the process of adaptation to the harsh climatic conditions of the Russian North-East.

Ekologiya cheloveka (Human Ecology). 2023;30(4):259-273
pages 259-273 views

Gender differences in sensitization to formaldehyde among urban adolescents in relation to parental chemical exposure

Masnavieva L.B., Efimova N.V., Kudaeva I.V., Zhurba O.M.


BACKGROUND: The burden of sensitization and allergies increases every year. The development of allergopathology can be influenced by various external factors, including the exposure of parents to chemical compounds with the subsequent impact on the child's health.

AIM: to identify gender differences in sensitization to formaldehyde among adolescents of industrial cities in relation to parental chemical exposure.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on a sample of 800 adolescents who were exposed to varying levels of formaldehyde inhalation. We assessed the serum levels of total immunoglobulin E (IgE) and the concentration of formaldehyde in urine among 340 participants who met the inclusion criteria. Additionally, the sensitization to formaldehyde was evaluated using the leukocytes migration inhibition test (LMIT) with this compound. Furthermore, the personalized hazard indices (HQfa) of formaldehyde exposure were calculated.

RESULTS: Urine formaldehyde concentration exceeded the reference values in 89.7% of the study participants. Elevated concentrations of IgE were more common among boys (35.4% vs. 21.9%). The highest concentrations of IgE [70.0 (4.0–138.9) mU/ml] were observed in boys with HQfa ≥1 with the history of parental chemical exposure. It was 3.8 times as high as in girls [18.5 (1.8–53.4) mU/ml]. The proportion of boys with altered LMIT and HQfa <1 was greater in the group of adolescents with exposed parents (66.7%) compared to 13.3% among their counterparts with unexposed parents. The proportion of LMIT alterations in girls with HQfa ≥1 was 66.7% with exposed parents which is 3 times higher as high as among girls with unexposed parents (22.8%). The relative risk of sensitization to formaldehyde in boys with HQfa ≥1, whose parents had no pre-conceptional industrial contact with chemical compounds, was 3 times as high as in girls [OR (CI) = 3.01 (1.32–6.88)] under the same chemical load.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of formaldehyde sensitization was greater among adolescent boys compared to girls. Pre-gestational parental chemical exposure was not associated with sensitization levels in regression analysis. This finding highlights the importance of considering variations in adolescent body sensitization to pollutants when developing diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic strategies with the further going aim to reduce the burden of allergopathology and contribute to better health of the population.

Ekologiya cheloveka (Human Ecology). 2023;30(4):275-285
pages 275-285 views

Impact of heat waves and cold spells on mortality in cities located in the Russian Arctic macroregion

Shaposhnikov D.A., Revich B.A.


BACKGROUND: Climate warming in Russia is most pronounced in the Arctic, where it is accompanied by an increase in the frequency and duration of heat waves. This emerging risk factor for the health of the population in major cities has not yet received adequate scientific attention. To effectively plan for adaptation to these phenomena, it is crucial to understand their specific impacts in regions with different climate types. Therefore, comprehensive analysis of the associations between climatic factors and health is needed for informed decision-making and strategic adaptation planning.

AIM: To assess the impact of heat waves and cold spells on excess age-specific mortality within the urban populations of the Arctic macroregion. Furthermore, we analyzed the potential differences in the studied outcomes across climate types, ranging from marine to continental.

METHODS: We analyzed the daily counts of deaths in Arkhangelsk, Magadan, Murmansk, and Yakutsk from 1999 through 2019. Poisson generalized linear regression models were employed to determine the relative mortality risks during heat waves and cold spells. All models accounted for potential lagged effects, seasonal and weekly patterns, and long-term mortality trends. Pearson’s chi-squared tests were used to study the differences between the effects of heat and cold, as well as site-specific and age-specific variations in mortality.

RESULTS: Effects of the studied climatic phenomena were more pronounced in continental — than in marine climate. The age group 65+ years was more susceptible to the effects of extreme heat and cold than the middle-age group. Cold spells had a greater impact on the health of the residents of Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, and Magadan than heat waves, while the opposite was observed in Yakutsk. Cerebrovascular mortality during heath waves was 1.69 (95% CI: 1.34–2.13) times as high as during periods with normal temperature in the age-group 65+ in Yakutsk while cold spells were associated with 1.54 (95% CI: 1.18–2.01) greater risk of death from respiratory causes in the same age-group in Arkhangelsk.

CONCLUSION: Our findings can be utilized by public health authorities to effectively prevent further fatalities among subarctic populations during heatwaves and cold spells.

Ekologiya cheloveka (Human Ecology). 2023;30(4):287-300
pages 287-300 views

Building [dis]trust in COVID discourses

Galkin K.A., Parfenova O.A.


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented measures implemented by authorities worldwide, which in turn have contributed to a lack of trust among citizens and the proliferation of conspiracy theories. Currently, there exists a limited body of research dedicated to the examination of radical COVID-19 dissidents and the broader concept of COVID-19 dissidence. Insufficient attention has been given to the discourse generated by regular users of social media platforms regarding the pandemic. We believe that studying the comments made by ordinary social media users is crucial in identifying and analyzing the prevailing discourses surrounding the biopolitical measures implemented by authorities.

AIM: To examine the construction of trust and distrust in the measures implemented by authorities during the ongoing pandemic. The primary research question that guides this investigation is: How do users of social networks form trust or distrust in biopolitics during the pandemic?

METHODS: The data used for this analysis consisted of publications from a one-year period, focusing on different anti-COVID measures such as vaccination, mask mandates, distance learning, and other restrictions. These publications were sourced from an official public website belonging to the authorities of St. Petersburg. The AntConc software was used for the analysis. By applying the concept of biopolitics, we examined the responses of social media users and their interactions with the governing bodies.

RESULTS: We identified three distinct discourses: disagreement, resistance, and agreement. Among these, disagreement and resistance were the most prevalent. These discourses stem from a deep-rooted sense of distrust, doubt, and unwillingness among users to comply with the proposed measures. It was within the realms of these two discourses that users engaged in the most active communication with various authorities. However, this communication followed a predictable pattern, where authorities responded to inquiries by providing standard references to regulations governing specific restrictions and vaccination. This approach failed to foster trust and only served to amplify user discontent. On the other hand, the discourse of agreement revolved around expressing solidarity with the implemented measures. Some users effectively communicated the benefits of vaccination, maintaining social distance, and wearing masks to convince others.

CONCLUSION: [Dis]trust in matters related to physicality and health influences an individual's decision-making process. People contemplate whether to wear a mask, get vaccinated, or even devise strategies to evade measures they perceive as ineffective or potentially harmful. The prevailing lack of commitment towards vaccination, widespread disregard for mask mandates, and the resistance against QR codes suggest that this disagreement and resistance extend beyond mere discourse and manifest in actual practices. To further explore this phenomenon, a comparison of these discursive practices with real-world actions is warranted.

Ekologiya cheloveka (Human Ecology). 2023;30(4):301-311
pages 301-311 views

Intracellular level of HIF-1α as an indicator of the delayed impact of COVID-19 on peripheral blood lymphocytes metabolism

Zubatkina O.V., Dobrodeeva L.K., Kruglov S.D.


BACKGROUND: COVID-19 infection triggers metabolic alterations that are crucial for both the replication of SARS-CoV-2 and the regulation of the immune response. HIF-1α, which is one of the effectors in the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signal transmission pathway, promotes the reprogramming of metabolism by enhancing aerobic glycolysis.

AIM: To assess whether the intracellular level of HIF-1α can reflect changes in the metabolism of peripheral blood lymphocytes after a COVID-19 infection.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The sample consisted of 59 volunteers. Thirty eight of them had no history of COVID-19 while 21 reported having COVID-19 infection 2–8 months prior to the study. Serum concentrations of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were assessed in both groups. Absolute content of lymphocytes was measured in whole blood, and the concentration of HIF-1α was determined in the lymphocyte lysate by enzyme immunoassay. All data were analyzed using IBM SPSS software (v. 26). Means and standard deviations were calculated for all numeric variables. Normality of the distributions were assessed using Kolmogorov–Smirnov test. Differences between the groups were studied by unpaired Student's t-tests. The differences at p <0.05 were considered statistically significant. Receiver operative characteristic curve was constructed to assess the prognostic value of HIF-1α.

RESULTS: Volunteers with a history of COVID-19 infection had significantly lower concentrations of HIF-1α in peripheral blood lymphocytes compared to their counterparts with no history of COVID-19. Intracellular concentration of HIF-1α was significantly associated with the likelihood of changes in lymphocyte metabolism. HIF-1α concentration of 1.25 ng/106 cells was the most optimal cut-off value.

CONCLUSION: The intracellular level of HIF-1α can serve as an indicator of the potential delayed impact of COVID-19 on the metabolic activity of peripheral lymphocytes. Our research findings hold significant value in monitoring and assessing metabolic alterations in individuals recovering from COVID-19.

Ekologiya cheloveka (Human Ecology). 2023;30(4):313-320
pages 313-320 views

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