Main content area

Association of prenatal exposure to arsenic with newborn telomere length: Results from a birth cohort study

Song, Lulu, Liu, Bingqing, Zhang, Lina, Wu, Mingyang, Wang, Lulin, Cao, Zhongqiang, Zhang, Bin, Li, Yuanyuan, Wang, Youjie, Xu, Shunqing
Environmental research 2019 v.175 pp. 442-448
arsenic, atomic absorption spectrometry, blood, cohort studies, creatinine, females, geometry, longevity, maternal exposure, models, mothers, neonates, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, telomeres, urine, China
The telomere length at birth has important implications for telomere dynamics over the lifespan; however, few studies have explored the relationship between prenatal arsenic exposure and newborn telomere length (TL). We investigated whether newborn TL is related to prenatal arsenic exposure.We used data from a birth cohort study of 762 mother-newborn pairs conducted between November 2013 and March 2015 in Wuhan, China. We measured relative cord blood TL using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Arsenic concentrations were measured in spot urine samples collected during three trimesters using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We applied multiple informant models to explore the relationships between prenatal urinary arsenic concentrations and cord blood TL.The geometric means of urinary arsenic concentrations were 21.7 μg/g creatinine, 27.3 μg/g creatinine, and 27.1 μg/g creatinine in the first, second, and third trimesters, respectively. After adjustment for potential confounders, a doubling of maternal urinary arsenic concentration during the third trimester was related to a 5.75% (95% CI: 1.70%, 9.95%) increase in cord blood TL, particularly in female infants. Similarly, mothers in the highest quartile of urinary arsenic during the third trimester had an 11.45% (95% CI: 1.91%, 21.88%) longer cord blood TL than those in the lowest quartile. However, no significant association was found between maternal urinary arsenic concentration and cord blood TL during the first and second trimesters.Our findings suggested that maternal arsenic exposure during the third trimester was positively associated with newborn TL. The elongation of newborn telomeres due to prenatal arsenic exposure may offer new insights into the mechanisms underlying arsenic-related disorders.