High-Resolution Metabolomic Assessment of Pesticide Exposure in Central Valley, California

Qi Yan, Kimberly C. Paul, Douglas I. Walker, Melissa A. Furlong, Irish Del Rosario, Yu Yu, Keren Zhang, Myles G. Cockburn, Dean P. Jones, Beate R. Ritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Pesticides are widely used in the agricultural Central Valley region of California. Historically, this has included organophosphates (OPs), organochlorines (OCs), and pyrethroids (PYRs). This study aimed to identify perturbations of the serum metabolome in response to each class of pesticide and mutual associations between groups of metabolites and multiple pesticides. We conducted high-resolution metabolomic profiling of serum samples from 176 older adults living in the California Central Valley using liquid chromatography with high-resolution mass spectrometry. We estimated chronic pesticide exposure (from 1974 to year of blood draw) to OPs, OCs, and PYRs from ambient sources at homes and workplaces with a geographic information system (GIS)-based model. Based on partial least-squares regression and pathway enrichment analysis, we identified metabolites and metabolic pathways associated with one or multiple pesticide classes, including mitochondrial energy metabolism, fatty acid and lipid metabolism, and amino acid metabolism. Utilizing an integrative network approach, we found that the fatty acid β-oxidation pathway is a common pathway shared across all three pesticide classes. The disruptions of the serum metabolome suggested that chronic pesticide exposure might result in oxidative stress, inflammatory reactions, and mitochondrial dysfunction, all of which have been previously implicated in a wide variety of diseases. Overall, our findings provided a comprehensive view of the molecular mechanisms of chronic pesticide toxicity, and, for the first time, our approach informs exposome research by moving from macrolevel population exposures to microlevel biologic responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1337-1347
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Research in Toxicology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 17 May 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'High-Resolution Metabolomic Assessment of Pesticide Exposure in Central Valley, California'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this