The aim was to evaluate the associations of environmental phenol and paraben concentrations with the oxidative microenvironment in adipose tissue. This study was conducted in a subsample (n = 144) of the GraMo cohort (Southern Spain). Concentrations of 9 phenols and 7 parabens, and levels of oxidative stress biomarkers were quantified in adipose tissue. Associations were estimated using multivariable linear regression analyses adjusted for potential confounders.
Benzophenone-3 (BP-3) concentration was borderline associated with enhanced glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity [exp(β) = 1.20, p = 0.060] and decreased levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) [exp(β) = 0.55, p = 0.070]. Concentrations of bisphenol A (BPA) and methylparaben (MeP) were associated to lower glutathione reductase (GRd) activity [exp(β) = 0.83, exp(β) = 0.72, respectively], and BPA was borderline associated to increased levels of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) [exp(β) = 1.73, p-value = 0.062]. MeP was inversely associated to both hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) and superoxide dismustase (SOD) activity, as well as to the levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) [0.75 < exp(β) < 0.79].
Our results suggest that some specific non-persistent pollutants may be associated with a disruption of the activity of relevant antioxidant enzymes, in addition to the depletion of the glutathione stock. They might act as a tissue-specific source of free radicals, contributing to the oxidative microenvironment in the adipose tissue.