Seiko Sasaki

Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

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Publications (42)139.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Sexually dimorphic brain development and behavior are known to be influenced by sex hormones exposure in prenatal periods. On the other hand, second-to forth digit ratio (2D/4D) has been used as an indirect method to investigate the putative effects of prenatal exposure to androgen. In the present study, we herein investigated the relationship between gender-role play behavior and the second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D/4D), which has been used as an indirect method to investigate the putative effects of prenatal exposure to androgens, in school-aged children. Among 4981 children who became 8 years old by November 2014 and were contactable for this survey by The Hokkaido Study of Environment and Children's Health, 1631 (32.7%), who had data for 2D/4D and Pre-school Activities Inventory (PSAI) as well as data for the survey at baseline, were available for analysis. Parents sent reports of PSAI on the sex-typical characteristics, preferred toys, and play activities of children, and black and white photocopies of the left and right hand palms via mail. PSAI consisted of 12 masculine items and 12 feminine items, and a composite score was created by subtracting the feminine score from the masculine score, with higher scores representing masculine-typical behavior. While composite scores in PSAI were significantly higher in boys than in girls, 2D/4D was significantly lower in boys than in girls. Although the presence or absence of brothers or sisters affected the composite, masculine, and feminine scored of PSAI, a multivariate regression model revealed that 2D/4D negatively correlated with the composite scores of PSAI in boys, whereas no correlation was found in girls. Although 2D/4D negatively correlated with the masculine score in boys and girls, no correlation was observed between 2D/4D and the feminine score. In conclusion, although social factors, such as the existence of brother or sisters, affect dimorphic brain development and behavior in childhood, the present study revealed that the prenatal hormonal environment was an important factor influencing masculine-typical dimorphic brain development and behavior in school-aged children.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are ubiquitous and persistent pollutants widely detected in blood samples of animals and humans across the globe. Although animal studies have shown the potential neurotoxicity of PFCs, there are few epidemiological studies regarding neurological effects of PFCs in humans, and those studies have had inconclusive results. In this study, we conducted a hospital-based prospective birth cohort study between 2002 and 2005 (n=514) to examine the associations between prenatal perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) exposures and the neurodevelopment of infants at 6 (n=173) and 18 (n=133) months of age. Using the second edition of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID II), the Mental and Psychomotor Developmental Indices (MDI and PDI, respectively) were assessed. PFOS and PFOA were measured in maternal serum samples by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. After controlling for confounders, prenatal PFOA concentrations were associated with the MDI of female (but not male) infants at 6months of age (β=-0.296; 95% confidence interval (CI): -11.96, -0.682). Furthermore, females born to mothers with prenatal concentrations of PFOA in the fourth quartile had MDI scores -5.05 (95% CI: -10.66 to 0.55) lower than females born to mothers with concentrations of PFOA in the first quartile (p for trend=0.045). However, PFOA concentrations were not significantly associated with neurodevelopmental indices at 18months of age. In addition, we did not observe any significant association between PFOS concentrations and neurodevelopmental outcomes in early infancy. In conclusion, our results suggest that prenatal PFOA exposure may affect female mental scales of neurodevelopment at 6months of age. Further studies with larger sample sizes and longer observation periods are required to clarify sex difference of the neurodevelopmental effects.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Science of The Total Environment
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    ABSTRACT: Persistent organic pollutants and mercury are known environmental chemicals that have been found to be ubiquitous in not only the environment but also in humans, including women of reproductive age. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between personal lifestyle characteristics and environmental chemical levels during the perinatal period in the general Japanese population. This study targeted 322 pregnant women enrolled in the Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children's Health. Each participant completed a self-administered questionnaire and a food-frequency questionnaire to obtain relevant information on parental demographic, behavioral, dietary, and socioeconomic characteristics. In total, 58 non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls, 17 dibenzo-p-dioxins and -dibenzofuran, and 12 dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls congeners, perfluorooctane sulfonate, perfluorooctanoic acid, and mercury were measured in maternal samples taken during the perinatal period. Linear regression models were constructed against potential related factors for each chemical concentration. Most concentrations of environmental chemicals were correlated with the presence of other environmental chemicals, especially in the case of non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls and, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and -dibezofurans and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls which had similar exposure sources and persistence in the body. Maternal smoking and alcohol habits, fish and beef intake and household income were significantly associated with concentrations of environmental chemicals. These results suggest that different lifestyle patterns relate to varying exposure to environmental chemicals. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Chemosphere
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    ABSTRACT: The adverse effects of in utero exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or methylmercury (MeHg), and the beneficial effects of nutrients from maternal fish intake might have opposing influences on fetal growth. In this study, we assessed the effects of in utero exposure to PCBs and MeHg on birth size in the Japanese population, which is known to have a high frequency of fish consumption. The concentrations of PCBs and polyunsaturated fatty acids in maternal blood, and the total mercury in hair (as a biomarker of MeHg exposure) were measured during pregnancy and at delivery. Maternal intakes of fish (subtypes: fatty and lean) and shellfishes were calculated from a food frequency questionnaire administered at delivery. Newborn anthropometric measurement data were obtained from birth records. The associations between chemical exposures and birth size were analyzed by using multiple regression analysis with adjustment for confounding factors among 367 mother-newborn pairs. The birth weight was 3073±37g (mean±SD). The incidence of babies small for gestational age (SGA) by weight was 4.9%. The median concentrations of total PCBs and hair mercury were 108ng/g lipid and 1.41μg/g, respectively. There was no overall association between mercury concentrations and birth weight, birth length, chest circumference, and head circumference. We observed that the risk of SGA by weight decreased with increasing mercury concentration in regression analyses with adjustment for polyunsaturated fatty acids. Our results suggest that the beneficial effect of essential nutrition may mask the adverse effects of MeHg on birth size. The concentrations of PCBs had no association with birth size. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Science of The Total Environment
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    ABSTRACT: Fatty acids (FAs) are essential for fetal growth. Exposure to perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) may disrupt FA homeostasis, but there is no epidemiological data regarding associations of PFCs and FA concentrations. We estimated associations between perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)/perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) concentrations and maternal levels of FAs and triglyceride (TG) and birth size of the offspring. 306 mother-child pairs were analyzed in this birth cohort between 2002 and 2005 in Japan. The prenatal PFOS and PFOA levels were measured in maternal serum samples by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Maternal blood levels of 9 FAs and TG were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and TG-IE kits, respectively. Information of infants' birth size were obtained from participant medical records. The median PFOS and PFOA levels were 5.6 and 1.4 ng/mL, respectively. In the fully adjusted model, including maternal age, parity, annual household income, blood sampling period, alcohol consumption and smoking during pregnancy, PFOS, not PFOA, had a negative association with the levels of palmitic, palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, α-linolenic, and arachidonic acids (p <0.005) and TG (p value=0.016). Females weighed 186.6 g less in mothers whose PFOS levels were in the fourth quartile compared to the first quartile (95% CI: -363.4, -9.8). We observed no significant association between maternal levels of PFOS and birth weight of male infants. Our data suggest an inverse association between PFOS exposure and polyunsaturated FA levels in pregnant women. We also found a negative association between maternal PFOS levels and female birth weight.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Environmental Health Perspectives
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    ABSTRACT: Prenatal sex hormones can induce abnormalities in the reproductive system and adversely impact on genital development. We investigated whether sex hormones in cord blood influenced the ratio of the second to fourth digit lengths (2D/4D) in school-aged children. Of the 514 children who participated in a prospective cohort study on birth in Sapporo between 2002 and 2005, the following sex hormone levels were measured in 294 stored cord blood samples (135 boys and 159 girls); testosterone (T), estradiol (E), progesterone, LH, FSH, inhibin B, and insulin-like factor 3 (INSL3). A total of 350 children, who were of school age and could be contacted for this survey, were then requested via mail to send black-and-white photocopies of the palms of both the left and right hands. 2D/4D was calculated in 190 children (88 boys and 102 girls) using photocopies and derived from participants with the characteristics of older mothers, a higher annual household income, higher educational level, and fewer smokers among family members. 2D/4D was significantly lower in males than in females (p<0.01). In the 294 stored cord blood samples, T, T/E, LH, FSH, Inhibin B, and INSL3 levels were significantly higher in samples collected from males than those from females. A multivariate regression model revealed that 2D/4D negatively correlated with INSL3 in males and was significantly higher in males with <0.32 ng/mL of INSL3 (p<0.01). No correlations were observed between other hormones and 2D/4D. In conclusion, 2D/4D in school-aged children, which was significantly lower in males than in females, was affected by prenatal Leydig cell function.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: The hypolipidemic effects of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) exposure in humans have not been investigated. And the influences of maternal prenatal DEHP exposure on birth outcomes are not well-known. We aimed to estimate prenatal DEHP exposure in maternal blood, and evaluate its relationships to maternal blood triglyceride (TG) and fatty acid (FA) levels and to birth outcomes. We studied 318 mother-newborn pairs residing in Sapporo, Japan. Blood was taken one time during pregnancy for each mother. Maternal and infant characteristics were obtained from medical records and questionnaire survey. We measured DEHP metabolite, mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), along with TG and 9 FAs using maternal blood, and analyzed associations of MEHP level with maternal blood TG/FA levels and infant birth dimensions. Maternal blood TG and palmitoleic/oleic acid levels were higher, but stearic/docosahexaenoic acids and MEHP were lower during late pregnancy. Maternal blood MEHP levels inversely correlated with TG and palmitic/palmitoleic/oleic/linoleic/α-linolenic acids. After adjustment for confounders, we found that a tenfold increase in blood MEHP levels correlated with a decrease in TG of 25.1 mg/dl [95 % confidence interval (CI) 4.8-45.3 mg/dl], and similar relations in palmitic (β = -581.8; 95 % CI -906.5, -257.0), oleic (β = -304.2; 95 % CI -518.0, -90.5), linoleic (β = -348.6; 95 % CI -510.6, -186.6), and α-linolenic (β = -6.3; 95 % CI -9.5, -3.0) acids. However, we observed no correlations between maternal blood MEHP levels and infant birth weight, length, chest circumference, or head circumference. Ambient DEHP exposure during pregnancy inversely correlated with maternal blood TG and 4 FA levels, but not birth outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate selected fatty acid (FA) profiles in maternal whole blood during normal pregnancy and to evaluate their associations with term birth dimensions. We characterized nine major maternal blood FAs representing four FA families during the second and third trimester of pregnancy, and explored their associations with birth weight, length, and chest or head circumferences by multivariate regression models, using data from 318 mother-newborn pairs of the Hokkaido Study. The absolute and/or relative contents of maternal blood docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid were lowest at 35–41 gestational weeks during pregnancy, as was the essential FA status index. Different from palmitic and stearic acids, palmitoleic and oleic acid contents were higher at 35–41 gestational weeks than those at 23–31 gestational weeks. Three FA components were identified through principal component analysis, and were used in association analysis. Component 3, which was positively and significantly loaded by eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), was associated with chest circumference [β=0.281, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.006, 0.556] at 35–41 gestational weeks (P=0.046). No significant associations were observed for Component 1 and 2 loaded by FAs except EPA. Maternal blood EPA content may have an important influence on infant chest circumference.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Perinatal Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Prenatal di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) exposure can produce reproductive toxicity in animal models. Only limited data exist from human studies on maternal DEHP exposure and its effects on infants. We aimed to examine the associations between DEHP exposure in utero and reproductive hormone levels in cord blood. Between 2002 and 2005, 514 pregnant women agreed to participate in the Hokkaido Study Sapporo Cohort. Maternal blood samples were taken from 23-35 weeks of gestation and the concentration of the primary metabolite of DEHP, mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (MEHP), was measured. Concentrations of infant reproductive hormones including estradiol (E2), total testosterone (T), and progesterone (P4), inhibin B, insulin-like factor 3 (INSL3), steroid hormone binding globulin, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone were measured from cord blood. Two hundred and two samples with both MEHP and hormones' data were included in statistical analysis. The participants completed a self-administered questionnaire regarding information on maternal characteristics. Gestational age, birth weight and infant sex were obtained from birth records. In an adjusted linear regression analysis fit to all study participants, maternal MEHP levels were found to be associated with reduced levels of T/E2, P4, and inhibin B. For the stratified analyses for sex, inverse associations between maternal MEHP levels T/E2, P4, inhibin B, and INSL3 were statistically significant for males only. In addition, the MEHP quartile model showed a significant p-value trend for P4, inhibin B, and INSL3 decrease in males. Since inhibin B and INSL3 are major secretory products of Sertoli and Leydig cell, respectively, the results of this study suggest that DEHP exposure in utero may have adverse effects on both Sertoli and Leydig cell development in males, which agrees with the results obtained from animal studies. Comprehensive studies investigating phthalates' exposure in humans, as well as their long-term effects on reproductive development are needed.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent organic pollutants that are detected in humans worldwide. Laboratory animal studies have shown that PFAAs are associated with immunotoxic effects. However, epidemiological studies investigating the role of PFAAs, in particular PFAAs with longer chains than perfluorooctanoic acid, are scarce. We investigated associations between prenatal exposure to PFAAs, including long-chain compounds, and infant allergic diseases at 12 and 24months in a large study population. The participants included mothers and their infants who enrolled in the Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children's Health 2003-2009. Eleven PFAAs were measured in maternal plasma taken at 28-32weeks of gestation using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry. Characteristics of participants and information on infant allergic diseases were obtained from self-administered questionnaires and medical records. At 24months, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) (first vs. fourth quartiles) for eczema in association with higher maternal perfluorotridecanoic acid (PFTrDA) levels was 0.62 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.45, 0.86). After stratification by gender, the adjusted ORs in female infants from mothers with higher maternal perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA) and PFTrDA levels were also statistically significant (PFUnDA: OR=0.50; 95% CI, 0.30, 0.81; PFTrDA: OR=0.39; 95% CI, 0.23, 0.64). Our findings suggest that lower prenatal exposure to PFTrDA may decrease the risk of developing eczema in early childhood, only in female infants.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Environment international
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent organic pollutants that are detected in humans worldwide. Laboratory animal studies have shown that PFAAs are associated with immunotoxic effects. However, epidemiological studies investigating the role of PFAAs, in particular PFAAs with longer chains than perfluorooctanoic acid, are scarce. We investigated associations between prenatal exposure to PFAAs, including long-chain compounds, and infant allergic diseases at 12 and 24 months in a large study population. The participants included mothers and their infants who enrolled in the Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children's Health 2003–2009. Eleven PFAAs were measured in maternal plasma taken at 28–32 weeks of gestation using ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry. Characteristics of participants and information on infant allergic diseases were obtained from self-administered questionnaires and medical records. At 24 months, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) (first vs. fourth quartiles) for eczema in association with higher maternal perfluorotridecanoic acid (PFTrDA) levels was 0.62 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.45, 0.86). After stratification by gender, the adjusted ORs in female infants from mothers with higher maternal perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA) and PFTrDA levels were also statistically significant (PFUnDA: OR = 0.50; 95% CI, 0.30, 0.81; PFTrDA: OR = 0.39; 95% CI, 0.23, 0.64). Our findings suggest that lower prenatal exposure to PFTrDA may decrease the risk of developing eczema in early childhood, only in female infants.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014
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    ABSTRACT: The Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children’s Health is an ongoing cohort study that began in 2002. The study consists of two prospective birth cohorts, the Sapporo cohort (n = 514) and the Hokkaido large-scale cohort (n = 20,940). The primary goals of this study are to first examine the potential negative effects of perinatal environmental chemical exposures on birth outcomes, including congenital malformations and growth retardation; second, to evaluate the development of allergies, infectious diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders and perform longitudinal observations of the children’s physical development to clarify the causal relationship between these outcomes and environmental chemicals; third, to identify individuals genetically susceptible to environmental chemicals; finally, to identify the additive effects of various environmental factors in our daily life, such as secondhand smoke exposure or low folate intake during early pregnancy. In this paper, we introduce our recent progress in the Hokkaido study with a cohort profile updated in 2013. For the last ten years, we followed pregnant women and their offspring, measuring various environmental chemicals, i.e., PCB, OH-PCB and dioxins, PFCs (Perfluorinated Compounds), Organochlorine pesticides, Phthalates, bisphenol A and mercury. We discovered that the concentration of toxic equivalents (TEQ) of dioxin and other specific congeners of PCDF or PCDD have effects on birth weight, infants’ neurodevelopment and immune function. There were significant gender differences in these effects; our results suggest that male infants have more susceptibility to those chemical exposures than female infants. Interestingly, we found maternal genetic polymorphisms in AHR, CYP1A1 or GSTs that significantly modified the dioxin concentrations in maternal blood, suggesting different dioxin accumulations in the bodies of individuals with these genotypes, which would lead to different dioxin exposure levels. These genetic susceptibility factors influenced the body size of children born from mothers that either smoked or were passively exposed to tobacco smoke. Further studies investigating the correlation between epigenetics, the effects of intrauterine exposure to environmental chemicals and developmental factors related to health and disease are warranted.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are persistent organic pollutants that are used in a wide range of consumer products. Recent epidemiological studies have shown that prenatal exposure to toxic levels of PFAAs in the environment may adversely affect fetal growth and humoral immune response in infants and children. Here we have characterized levels of prenatal exposure to PFAA between 2003 and 2011 in Hokkaido, Japan, by measuring PFAA concentrations in plasma samples from pregnant women. The study population comprised 150 women who enrolled in a prospective birth cohort study conducted in Hokkaido. Eleven PFAAs were measured in maternal plasma samples using simultaneous analysis by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry. At the end of the study, in 2011, age- and parity-adjusted mean concentrations of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA), perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnDA), perfluorododecanoic acid (PFDoDA), perfluorotridecanoic acid (PFTrDA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) were 1.35ng/mL, 1.26ng/mL, 0.66ng/mL, 1.29ng/mL, 0.25ng/mL, 0.33ng/mL, 0.28ng/mL, and 3.86ng/mL, respectively. Whereas PFOS and PFOA concentrations declined 8.4%/y and 3.1%/y, respectively, PFNA and PFDA levels increased 4.7%/y and 2.4%/y, respectively, between 2003 and 2011. PFUnDA, PFDoDA, and PFTrDA were detected in the vast majority of maternal samples, but no significant temporal trend was apparent. Future studies must involve a larger population of pregnant women and their children to determine the effects of prenatal exposure to PFAA on health outcomes in infants and children.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Environment international
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the association between antenatal depression and infant development after controlling for confounding factors. A hospital-based prospective cohort study (Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children's Health) was conducted between July 2002 and October 2005 in Sapporo, Japan. Of 309 mothers who delivered at Sapporo Toho Hospital during the study period and who agreed with the clinical assessment of depression, 154 mother-infant pairs were eligible for analysis. Antenatal depression was assessed between the second and third trimesters using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and infant development was assessed at 6 months by the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (BSID-II). Data on potential confounders, including socioeconomic status, birth complications, postnatal depression and child care environment, were obtained from medical records and self-administered questionnaires. Univariable and multivariable analyses were conducted in which the EPDS score was entered as an independent variable and the BSID-II scores as a dependent variable, adjusting for confounders. Although the antenatal EPDS score tended to be related to the BSID-II score in the univariable analysis, this correlation was lost in the multivariable analysis. However, based on a series of linear regression analyses, antenatal depression was found to be significantly related to shorter gestational age (β = -0.25, 95 % confidence interval (CI) [-1.20, -0.17]), and shorter gestational age was significantly related to a lower BSID-II (mental development) score (β = 0.23, 95 % CI [0.00, 0.00]). Gestational age is an important confounder in the association between maternal antenatal depression and infant development. A delay in infant development may be related to a shorter gestational period caused by maternal depression during pregnancy.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Dioxins are metabolized by cytochrome P450, family 1 (CYP1) via the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). We determined whether different blood dioxin concentrations are associated with polymorphisms in AHR (dbSNP ID: rs2066853), AHR repressor (AHRR; rs2292596), CYP1 subfamily A polypeptide 1 (CYP1A1; rs4646903 and rs1048963), CYP1 subfamily A polypeptide 2 (CYP1A2; rs762551), and CYP1 subfamily B polypeptide 1 (CYP1B1; rs1056836) in pregnant Japanese women. These six polymorphisms were detected in 421 healthy pregnant Japanese women. Differences in dioxin exposure concentrations in maternal blood among the genotypes were investigated. Comparisons among the GG, GA, and AA genotypes of AHR showed a significant difference (genotype model: P=0.016 for the mono-ortho polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations and toxicity equivalence quantities [TEQs]). Second, we found a significant association with the dominant genotype model ([TT+TC] vs. CC: P=0.048 for the polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin TEQs; P=0.035 for polychlorinated dibenzofuran TEQs) of CYP1A1 (rs4646903). No significant differences were found among blood dioxin concentrations and polymorphisms in AHRR, CYP1A1 (rs1048963), CYP1A2, and CYP1B1. Thus, polymorphisms in AHR and CYP1A1 (rs4646903) were associated with maternal dioxin concentrations. However, differences in blood dioxin concentrations were relatively low.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Toxicology Letters
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to document the exposure levels of pregnant women in Hokkaido to persistent organochlorine (POC) pesticides and the relationship between the body burdens of these pesticides and the study population's characteristics, such as age, pre-pregnancy body weight and calendar year in which blood was collected. From 2002 to 2005, whole blood samples were obtained from 186 pregnant women (aged 17 to 47 years) from the population of 514 women registered with the Sapporo Toho hospital cohort of the Hokkaido Study. Blood samples were analyzed by GC/NCIMS and GC/HRMS to quantify 29 POC pesticides. The subjects' demographic details were obtained from medical records and self-administered questionnaires. The Jonckheere-Terpstra test was used to determine relevant trends in the chemical concentrations of these pesticides and their relationship to the subjects' demographic details. Twenty-one of the 29 targeted compounds (including pesticides that have never been used in Japan, such as Mirex, Parlar-26 and Parlar-50) were detected in whole blood samples, and their log-transformed concentrations were found to significantly correlate with each other. The concentrations of p,p'-DDD, o,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDE, Parlar-26 and Parlar-50 declined from 2002 to 2005 (p<0.05). The pesticide concentrations appeared to have stronger associations with past conception than with parity, with most pesticide concentrations declining in a manner that appeared inversely related to past conceptions (p<0.05). Maternal age was positively associated with the following pesticide concentrations: p,p'-DDE, chlordanes group, cis-heptachlorepoxide, β-HCH and mirex. Maternal pre-pregnancy body weight was positively associated with the concentrations of dieldrin, HCB, β-HCH, Parlar-26 and Parlar-50, and appeared to be more strongly related to the body burdens of POC pesticides when compared with BMI associations. Further studies are required to evaluate the effects of POC pesticides on human health with regard to reproductive outcomes and child development.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Science of The Total Environment
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    ABSTRACT: Background Intracellular folate hemostasis depends on the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene. Because 5,10-MTHFR 677TT homozygosity and tobacco smoking are associated with low folate status, we tested the hypothesis that smoking in mothers with 5,10-MTHFR C677T or A1298C polymorphisms would be independently associated with lower birth weight among their offspring. Methods We assessed 1784 native Japanese mother-child pairs drawn from the ongoing birth cohort of The Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children’s Health. Data (demographic information, hospital birth records, and biological specimens) were extracted from recruitments that took place during the period from February 2003 to March 2006. Maternal serum folate were assayed by chemiluminescent immunoassay, and genotyping of 5,10-MTHFR C677T/A1298C polymorphisms was done using a TaqMan allelic discrimination assay. Results The prevalence of folate deficiency (<6.8 nmol/L) was 0.3%. The 5,10-MTHFR 677CT genotype was independently associated with an increase of 36.40 g (95% CI: 2.60 to 70.30, P = 0.035) in mean infant birth weight and an increase of 90.70 g (95% CI: 6.00 to 175.50, P = 0.036) among male infants of nonsmokers. Female infants of 677TT homozygous passive smokers were 99.00 g (95% CI: −190.26 to −7.56, P = 0.034) lighter. The birth weight of the offspring of smokers with 5,10-MTHFR 1298AA homozygosity was lower by 107.00 g (95% CI: −180.00 to −33.90, P = 0.004). Conclusions The results suggest that, in this population, maternal 5,10-MTHFR C677T polymorphism, but not the 5,10-MTHFR A1298C variant, is independently associated with improvement in infant birth weight, especially among nonsmokers. However, 5,10-MTHFR 1298AA might be associated with folate impairment and could interact with tobacco smoke to further decrease birth weight.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2012
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    ABSTRACT: Intracellular folate hemostasis depends on the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene. Because 5,10-MTHFR 677TT homozygosity and tobacco smoking are associated with low folate status, we tested the hypothesis that smoking in mothers with 5,10-MTHFR C677T or A1298C polymorphisms would be independently associated with lower birth weight among their offspring. We assessed 1784 native Japanese mother-child pairs drawn from the ongoing birth cohort of The Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children's Health. Data (demographic information, hospital birth records, and biological specimens) were extracted from recruitments that took place during the period from February 2003 to March 2006. Maternal serum folate were assayed by chemiluminescent immunoassay, and genotyping of 5,10-MTHFR C677T/A1298C polymorphisms was done using a TaqMan allelic discrimination assay. The prevalence of folate deficiency (<6.8 nmol/L) was 0.3%. The 5,10-MTHFR 677CT genotype was independently associated with an increase of 36.40 g (95% CI: 2.60 to 70.30, P = 0.035) in mean infant birth weight and an increase of 90.70 g (95% CI: 6.00 to 175.50, P = 0.036) among male infants of nonsmokers. Female infants of 677TT homozygous passive smokers were 99.00 g (95% CI: -190.26 to -7.56, P = 0.034) lighter. The birth weight of the offspring of smokers with 5,10-MTHFR 1298AA homozygosity was lower by 107.00 g (95% CI: -180.00 to -33.90, P = 0.004). The results suggest that, in this population, maternal 5,10-MTHFR C677T polymorphism, but not the 5,10-MTHFR A1298C variant, is independently associated with improvement in infant birth weight, especially among nonsmokers. However, 5,10-MTHFR 1298AA might be associated with folate impairment and could interact with tobacco smoke to further decrease birth weight.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Journal of Epidemiology
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown effects of prenatal exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) on infants in the general environmental levels. Laboratory animal studies have shown that exposure to PFOS and PFOA is associated with immunotoxic effects. To investigate the relationship between maternal PFOS and PFOA levels and infant allergies and infectious diseases during the first 18 months of life. Cord blood immunoglobulin (Ig) E levels were also evaluated. We conducted a prospective cohort study of pregnant women from 2002 to 2005 in Sapporo, Japan. Maternal PFOS and PFOA levels were measured in relation to cord blood IgE concentrations (n=231) and infant allergies and infectious diseases (n=343). Characteristics of mothers and their infants were obtained from self-administered questionnaires and medical records. Development of infant allergies and infectious diseases was determined from self-administered questionnaires at 18 months of age. Concentrations of PFOS and PFOA in maternal serum and concentrations of IgE in umbilical cord serum at birth were measured. Cord blood IgE levels decreased significantly with high maternal PFOA concentration among female infants. However, there were no significant associations among maternal PFOS and PFOA levels and food allergy, eczema, wheezing, or otitis media in the 18 month-old infants (adjusted for confounders). Although cord blood IgE level decreased significantly with high maternal PFOA levels among female infants, no relationship was found between maternal PFOS and PFOA levels and infant allergies and infectious diseases at age in 18 months.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · Environmental Research
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Intracellular folate hemostasis depends on the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene. Because 5,10-MTHFR 677TT homozygosity and tobacco smoking are associated with low folate status, we tested the hypothesis that smoking in mothers with 5,10-MTHFR C677T or A1298C polymorphisms would be independently associated with lower birth weight among their offspring. Methods: We assessed 1784 native Japanese mother-child pairs drawn from the ongoing birth cohort of The Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children’s Health. Data (demographic information, hospital birth records, and biological specimens) were extracted from recruitments that took place during the period from February 2003 to March 2006. Maternal serum folate were assayed by chemiluminescent immunoassay, and genotyping of 5,10-MTHFR C677T/A1298C polymorphisms was done using a TaqMan allelic discrimination assay. Results: The prevalence of folate deficiency (<6.8 nmol/L) was 0.3%. The 5,10-MTHFR 677CT genotype was independently associated with an increase of 36.40 g (95% CI: 2.60 to 70.30, P = 0.035) in mean infant birth weight and an increase of 90.70 g (95% CI: 6.00 to 175.50, P = 0.036) among male infants of nonsmokers. Female infants of 677TT homozygous passive smokers were 99.00 g (95% CI: −190.26 to −7.56, P = 0.034) lighter. The birth weight of the offspring of smokers with 5,10-MTHFR 1298AA homozygosity was lower by 107.00 g (95% CI: −180.00 to −33.90, P = 0.004). Conclusions: The results suggest that, in this population, maternal 5,10-MTHFR C677T polymorphism, but not the 5,10-MTHFR A1298C variant, is independently associated with improvement in infant birth weight, especially among nonsmokers. However, 5,10-MTHFR 1298AA might be associated with folate impairment and could interact with tobacco smoke to further decrease birth weight.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012