Placental DNA methylation related to both infant toenail mercury and adverse neurobehavioral outcomes

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From: Environmental Health Perspectives(Vol. 123, Issue 7)
Publisher: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Document Type: Report
Length: 6,117 words
Lexile Measure: 1440L

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Abstract :

Background: Prenatal mercury (Hg) exposure is associated with adverse child neurobehavioral outcomes. Because Hg can interfere with placental functioning and cross the placenta to target the fetal brain, prenatal Hg exposure can inhibit fetal growth and development directly and indirectly. OBJECTIVES: We examined potential associations between prenatal Hg exposure assessed through infant toenail Hg, placental DNA methylation changes, and newborn neurobehavioral outcomes. METHODS: The methylation status of 485,000 CpG loci was interrogated in 192 placental samples using Illumina's Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadArray. Hg concentrations were analyzed in toenail clippings from a subset of 41 infants; neurobehavior was assessed using the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scales (NNNS) in an independent subset of151 infants. RESULTS: We identified 339 loci with an average methylation difference 0.125 between any two toenail Hg tertiles. Variation among these loci was subsequently found to be associated with a highrisk neurodevelopmental profile (omnibus p-value = 0.007) characterized by the NNNS. Ten loci hadp CONCLUSIONS: EMID2 hypomethylation may represent a novel mechanism linking in utero Hg exposure and adverse infant neurobehavioral outcomes.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A422328588