Prenatal Ambient Air Pollution, Placental Mitochondrial DNA Content, and Birth Weight in the INMA (Spain) and ENVIRONAGE (Belgium) Birth Cohorts
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › Research › peer-review
BACKGROUND: Mitochondria are sensitive to environmental toxicants due to their lack of repair capacity. Changes in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content may represent a biologically relevant intermediate outcome in mechanisms linking air pollution and fetal growth restriction.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether placental mtDNA content is a possible mediator of the association between prenatal NO2 exposure and birth weight.
METHODS: We used data from two independent European cohorts: INMA (n=376; Spain) and ENVIRONAGE (n=550; Belgium). Relative placental mtDNA content was determined as the ratio of two mitochondrial genes (MT-ND1 and MTF3212/R3319) to two control genes (RPLP0 and ACTB). Effect estimates for individual cohorts and the pooled dataset were calculated using multiple linear regression and mixed models. We also performed a mediation analysis.
RESULTS: Pooled estimates indicated that a 10µg/m(3) increment in average NO2 exposure during pregnancy was associated with a 4.9% decrease in placental mtDNA content (95% confidence interval (CI): -9.3, -0.3%). and a 48g decrease (95% CI: -87, -9g) in birth weight. However, the association with birth weight was significant for INMA (-66g; 95% CI: -111, -23g) but not for ENVIRONAGE (-20g; 95% CI: -101, 62g). Placental mtDNA content was associated with significantly higher mean birth weight (pooled analysis, IQR increase: 140g; 95% CI: 43, 237g). Mediation analysis estimates, which were derived for the INMA cohort only, suggested that 10% (95% CI: 6.6, 13.0g) of the association between prenatal NO2 and birth weight was mediated by changes in placental mtDNA content.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that mtDNA content can be one of the potential mediators of the association between prenatal air pollution exposure and birth weight.
|Journal||Environmental Health Perspectives|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - May 2016|