Effects of prenatal perfluoroalkyl acid exposure on cord bloodIGF2/H19methylation and ponderal index: The Hokkaido Study

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Prenatal exposure to perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) influences fetal growth and long-term health. However, whether PFAAs affect offspring DNA methylation patterns to influence health outcomes is yet to be evaluated. Here, we assessed effect of prenatal PFAA exposure on cord blood insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2), H19, and long interspersed element 1 (LINE1) methylation and its associations with birth size. Mother-child pairs (N = 177) from the Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children's Health were included in the study. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) levels in maternal serum were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. IGF2, H19, and LINE1 methylation in cord blood DNA was determined by pyrosequencing. After full adjustment in multiple linear regression models, IGF2 methylation showed a significant negative association with log-unit increase in PFOA (partial regression coefficient = -0.73; 95% confidence interval: -1.44 to - 0.02). Mediation analysis suggested that reduced IGF2 methylation explained ˜21% of the observed association between PFOA exposure and reduced ponderal index of the infant at birth. These results indicated that the effects of prenatal PFOA exposure could be mediated through DNA methylation. Further study will be required to determine the potential for long-term adverse health effects of reduced IGF2 methylation induced by PFOA exposure.

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