Grant Abstract: Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease

Grant Number: 5P30ES017885-08
PI Name: Loch-Caruso
Project Title: Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease

Abstract: The Michigan Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease (M-LEEaD) Core Center (P30), funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), is based at the University of Michigan and is organized around the theme of critical windows of susceptibility to environmental exposures as important determinants of disease, including the prenatal, infant, adolescent, reproductive age and aging periods of life. Its mission is to accelerate research that defines impacts of environmental exposures during vulnerable stages of life, and to translate those findings to improve medical and public health interventions. The goal of this administrative supplement to M-LEEaD is to conduct epidemiological research to evaluate whether prenatal intake of anti-oxidant vitamins (from supplements and food) and prenatal air pollution exposure, both singly and jointly, are associated with preterm birth and reproductive tract inflammation in a cohort of 935 pregnant women based in Mexico City. Previous work has suggested that exposure to air pollution during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of preterm birth, and that antioxidant vitamins may reduce risk. Both these modifiable exposures may operate through the inflammatory pathway, and thus understanding their separate and joint effects in a real-life setting may offer important insights for preventive intervention. All analyses will be conducted using secondary data from an NIEHS funded epidemiologic study, the Pregnancy Research on Inflammation, Nutrition, and City Environments: Systematic Analyses (PRINCESA) cohort. We have quantified participants’ exposure during pregnancy to an air pollutant, particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5), known to cause systemic oxidative stress when inhaled and one that occurs at high levels, with strong seasonal variation, in Mexico City. We have collected dietary and supplement intake data from participants at several periods during pregnancy using food frequency questionnaires and 24 hour recalls. Further, we have quantified levels of key pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1a, IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-a) in the reproductive tract using repeated measures of cervico-vaginal exudates from PRINCESA participants. Additionally, we can adjust for potential confounding by a range of other demographic and clinical variables among these women (e.g. maternal age, marital status). We expect to obtain results describing 1) confounder-adjusted associations between trimester-specific PM2.5 exposure and overall dietary anti-oxidant intake and preterm birth, singly and jointly; and 2) adjusted associations between these exposures (singly and jointly) and a profile of higher reproductive tract inflammation as indicated by the aforementioned cytokines. If awarded, this supplement will increase the impact of the M-LEEaD center by augmenting the research being conducted on critical windows of susceptibility and by providing new information on the role of anti-oxidant vitamin intake, via both diet and supplements, in inflammation and preterm birth among women exposed to high levels of air pollution.

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