Biomonitoring for exposure to multiple trace elements via analysis of urine from participants in the Study of Metals and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (SMART)

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY, USA.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring (Impact Factor: 2.09). 07/2011; 13(9):2413-9. DOI: 10.1039/c1em10341e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Humans are exposed to concentrations of multiple trace elements through a variety of background sources; many are suspected reproductive toxicants. Prior to investigating associations between trace elements and human reproductive health, potential biomarkers of exposure should be characterized by sources of variability in the population at risk. Factors influencing elemental exposure should also be identified to ensure their consideration as potential confounding variables. The principal aim of this study is to characterize sources of variability for 19 trace elements measured in urine specimens collected from 55 women and 36 male partners completing a 1st cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Urine specimens were analyzed using a biomonitoring method based on inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Randomly selected urine specimens (∼6%) were analyzed in duplicate, and these data were used to characterize sources of variability. Nine trace elements including As, Ba, Cd, Cs, Co, Cu, Mn, Mo, and Zn, were quantified in most specimens, indicating their utility in future epidemiologic studies of trace elements exposure and IVF outcomes. With few exceptions, normalizing urine using the traditional creatinine-correction procedure, or an alternative approach based on a linear regression model, increased residual variability only slightly. Sex and race appear to be important factors to consider in epidemiologic studies conducted in this population. Urine concentrations for most elements are similar to those reported in the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); however, differences in others may indicate regional trends or a unique exposure history for this infertile study population.

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    ABSTRACT: Evidence suggests that trace exposures to select elements may increase the risk for adverse birth outcomes. To investigate further, we used multiple regression to assess associations between preconception parental exposures to Pb, Cd, and total Hg in blood, and 21 elements in urine, with n=235 singleton birth outcomes, adjusted for confounders and partner's exposure. Earlier gestational age at delivery (GA) was associated with higher tertiles of urine maternal W (-1.22 days) and paternal U (-1.07 days), but GA was later for higher tertiles of maternal (+1.11 days) and paternal (+1.30 days) blood Hg. Additional analysis indicated shorter GA associated with higher paternal urine Ba, W, and U, and with higher maternal blood Pb for boys, but GA was longer in association with higher maternal urine Cr. Birth weight (BW) was lower for higher tertiles of paternal urine Cs (-237.85g), U (-187.34g), and Zn (-209.08g), and for higher continuous Cr (P=0.021). In contrast, BW was higher for higher tertiles of paternal urine As (+194.71g) and counterintuitively for maternal blood Cd (+178.52g). Birth length (BL) was shorter for higher tertiles of urine maternal W (-1.22cm) and paternal U (-1.10cm). Yet, higher tertiles of maternal (+1.11cm) and paternal (+1.30) blood Hg were associated with longer BL. Head circumference at delivery was lower for higher tertiles of paternal urine U (-0.83cm), and for higher continuous Mo in boys (-0.57cm). Overall, associations were most consistently indicated for GA and measures of birth size with urine W and U, and paternal exposures were more frequently associated than maternal. Though limited by several factors, ours is the largest multi-element investigation of prospective couple-level trace exposures and birth outcomes to date; the novel observations for W and U merit further investigation. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Environmental Research 02/2015; 138C:118-129. DOI:10.1016/j.envres.2015.01.008 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Our primary objective was to assess associations between urine cortisol as a biomarker of psychological stress and in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes. A secondary objective was to assess associations between toxic metals and cortisol. Methods Urine and blood specimens were collected from 52 women and 28 male partners completing a first IVF procedure, on the day of oocyte retrieval. Urine cortisol was measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) were determined in blood and Cd in urine by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Results No associations were indicated for cortisol with IVF outcomes in multivariable regression models adjusted for covariates. However, we detected positive linear associations for cortisol and urine Cd (beta=9.96, 95% CI 1.52, 21.44) and blood Hg (beta=1.44, 95% CI 0.31, 3.18). An exploratory stratified analysis suggested a potential inverse association between urine cortisol and oocyte fertilization among women with low, but not high blood Hg. Conclusion While limited, these preliminary data suggest that psychological stress may not play a major role in IVF outcomes, which therefore could be one less concern for couples and their clinicians. Our data also raise the possibility for toxic metals to modify associations between cortisol and IVF outcomes among women. However, these preliminary results require corroboration in an experimental animal model and confirmation in a larger, more definitive observational study.
    Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 10/2014; 31(12). DOI:10.1007/s10815-014-0359-0 · 1.82 Impact Factor
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