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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biotechnology - Obstetrics - Pediatrics and Child Health - Public Health and Epidemiology

Paraoxonase 1 Polymorphism and Prenatal Pesticide Exposure Associated with Adverse Cardiovascular Risk Profiles at School Age
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Author: Helle R. Andersen et al.

by Helle R. Andersen, Christine Wohlfahrt-Veje, Christine Dalgård, Lene Christiansen, Katharina M. Main, Christine Nellemann, Katsuyuki Murata, Tina K. Jensen, Niels E. Skakkebæk, Philippe Grandjean

Background

Prenatal environmental factors might influence the risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. The HDL-associated enzyme paraoxonase 1 (PON1) has anti-oxidative functions that may protect against atherosclerosis. It also hydrolyzes many substrates, including organophosphate pesticides. A common polymorphism, PON1 Q192R, affects both properties, but a potential interaction between PON1 genotype and pesticide exposure on cardiovascular risk factors has not been investigated. We explored if the PON1 Q192R genotype affects cardiovascular risk factors in school-age children prenatally exposed to pesticides.

Methods

Pregnant greenhouse-workers were categorized as high, medium, or not exposed to pesticides. Their children underwent a standardized examination at age 6-to-11 years, where blood pressure, skin folds, and other anthropometric parameters were measured. PON1-genotype was determined for 141 children (88 pesticide exposed and 53 unexposed). Serum was analyzed for insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP3), insulin and leptin. Body fat percentage was calculated from skin fold thicknesses. BMI results were converted to age and sex specific Z-scores.

Results

Prenatally pesticide exposed children carrying the PON1 192R-allele had higher abdominal circumference, body fat content, BMI Z-scores, blood pressure, and serum concentrations of leptin and IGF-I at school age than unexposed children. The effects were related to the prenatal exposure level. For children with the PON1 192QQ genotype, none of the variables was affected by prenatal pesticide exposure.

Conclusion

Our results indicate a gene-environment interaction between prenatal pesticide exposure and the PON1 gene. Only exposed children with the R-allele developed adverse cardiovascular risk profiles thought to be associated with the R-allele.

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