Associations of maternal and umbilical cord hormone concentrations with maternal, gestational and neonatal factors (United States).
ABSTRACT Risks of some cancers in adults have been associated with several pregnancy factors, including greater maternal age and birth weight. For hormone-related cancers, these effects are hypothesized to be mediated through higher in utero estrogen concentrations. In addition, racial differences in pregnancy hormone levels have been suggested as being responsible for differences in testicular and prostate cancer risk by race. However, data on hormonal levels related to these characteristics of pregnancy are sparse, particularly those from studies of the fetal circulation.
Estrogen and androgen concentrations were measured in maternal and umbilical cord sera from 86 normal, singleton pregnancies.
Birth size measures (weight, length and head circumference) were positively correlated with maternal estriol (r = 0.25-0.36) and with cord DHEAS concentrations (r = 0.24-0.41), but not with estrogens in cord sera. Maternal age was inversely correlated with maternal DHEAS, androstenedione and testosterone concentrations (r = -0.30, -0.25 and -0.30, respectively), but uncorrelated with estrogens in either the maternal or cord circulation. Black mothers had higher androstenedione and testosterone concentrations than white mothers, however, there were no racial differences in any of the androgens in cord sera. Cord testosterone concentrations were higher in mothers of male fetuses, while both maternal and cord concentrations of estriol were lower in these pregnancies.
These data demonstrate associations between hormone concentrations and pregnancy factors associated with offspring's cancer risk, however, the hormones involved and their patterns of association differ by whether the maternal or fetal circulation was sampled. Hormone concentrations in the fetal circulation in this study are not consistent with the hypothesis that greater estrogen concentrations in high birth weight babies mediate the positive association with breast cancer risk observed in epidemiologic studies, or with the hypothesis that higher testosterone exposure in the in utero environment of black males explains their higher subsequent prostate cancer risk.
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ABSTRACT: Accurately measuring hormone exposure during prenatal life presents a methodological challenge and there is currently no "gold standard" approach. Ideally, circulating fetal hormone levels would be measured at repeated time points during pregnancy. However, it is not currently possible to obtain fetal blood samples without significant risk to the fetus, and therefore surrogate markers of fetal hormone levels must be utilized. Umbilical cord blood can be readily obtained at birth and largely reflects fetal circulation in late gestation. This review examines the accuracy and biological interpretation of the measurement of androgens and estrogens in cord blood. The use of cord blood hormones to understand and investigate human development is then discussed.Frontiers in Endocrinology 01/2014; 5:64.
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ABSTRACT: Background:Prenatal estrogen exposure is thought to contribute to later life diseases such as breast cancer. However, few studies have directly measured prenatal estrogens and most have relied on proposed "markers" of estrogen exposure. We used a large population-based birth cohort to directly measure the relationship between prenatal estrogens and perinatal characteristics, including putative markers of estrogen exposure. Methods:Total estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), estriol (E3) and estetrol (E4) were assayed by LC-MS/MS from archived mixed arterial and venous serum from 860 umbilical cord blood samples. Results:Values for all estrogens were strongly intercorrelated. Cord estrogen concentrations did not differ between males and females. Levels of all estrogens were reduced in twins and concentrations increased with gestational age. Neither E1 nor E2 were correlated with birth weight, but E3 and E4 levels correlated weakly, while onset of labor was associated with higher estrogen concentrations. E1 and E2 concentrations were not associated with preeclampsia in the current pregnancy, but E3 and E4 concentrations were lower in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia and antepartum hemorrhage. Conclusions:Umbilical cord estrogen concentrations vary with gestational age, mode of delivery, pregnancy complications and twinning, but not with infant sex. Putative markers of prenatal estrogen exposure, preeclampsia and birth weight, did not correlate with direct fetal measures of the most potent estrogen (E2) but were associated with weaker estrogens (E3 and E4). Twins had lower concentrations of all estrogens.Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 03/2014; · 4.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Human biologists have documented variability in reproductive maturation, fertility, and cancer risk related to developmental conditions. Yet no previous studies have directly examined the impact of prenatal and postnatal energetic environments on sex steroids in infancy, a critical period for hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis development. Thus, we examined the impact of maternal characteristics, birth size, and feeding practices on fecal sex steroid production in a longitudinal sample of 31 American infants followed from 2 weeks to 12 months of age. Maternal characteristics and birth size were collected at study enrollment, infant diet was assessed through weekly 24-h food diaries, and anthropometrics were measured weekly. Fecal estradiol and testosterone levels were assessed weekly using validated microassay RIA techniques. Mixed models were used to test for associations between maternal and birth characteristics, feeding practices, and sex steroids across the first year of life. Formal mediation analysis examined whether the relationship between infant feeding and hormone levels was mediated by infant size. Maternal and birth characteristics had persistent effects on fecal sex steroid levels, with taller maternal height and larger birth size associated with lower estradiol levels in girls and higher testosterone levels in boys. Infant diet was also associated with sex steroid levels independently of infant size. Formula feeding was associated with higher estradiol levels in boys and girls and with higher testosterone in girls. These results suggest that markers of early energy availability influence sex hormone levels with potential long-term consequences for reproductive development and function. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Human Biology 08/2013; · 2.34 Impact Factor