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Bibliography Tag: pregnancy

Rueda-Ruzafa et al., 2019

Rueda-Ruzafa, L., Cruz, F., Roman, P., & Cardona, D.; “Gut microbiota and neurological effects of glyphosate;” NeuroToxicology, 2019, 75, 1-8; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuro.2019.08.006.


There are currently various concerns regarding certain environmental toxins and the possible impact they can have on developmental diseases. Glyphosate (Gly) is the most utilised herbicide in agriculture, although its widespread use is generating controversy in the scientific world because of its probable carcinogenic effect on human cells. Gly performs as an inhibitor of 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phospate synthase (EPSP synthase), not only in plants, but also in bacteria. An inhibiting effect on EPSP synthase from intestinal microbiota has been reported, affecting mainly beneficial bacteria. To the contrary, Clostridium spp. and Salmonella strains are shown to be resistant to Gly. Consequently, researchers have suggested that Gly can cause dysbiosis, a phenomenon which is characterised by an imbalance between beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms. The overgrowth of bacteria such as clostridia generates high levels of noxious metabolites in the brain, which can contribute to the development of neurological deviations. This work reviews the impact of Gly-induced intestinal dysbiosis on the central nervous system, focusing on emotional, neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. A wide variety of factors were investigated in relation to brain-related changes, including highlighting genetic abnormalities, pregnancy-associated problems, diet, infections, vaccines and heavy metals. However, more studies are required to determine the implication of the most internationally used herbicide, Gly, in behavioural disorders. FULL TEXT

Andersen et al., 2008

Andersen, H. R., Schmidt, I. M., Grandjean, P., Jensen, T. K., Budtz-Jorgensen, E., Kjaerstad, M. B., Baelum, J., Nielsen, J. B., Skakkebaek, N. E., & Main, K. M.; “Impaired reproductive development in sons of women occupationally exposed to pesticides during pregnancy;” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2008, 116(4), 566-572; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.10790.


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this prospective study was to investigate whether occupational pesticide exposure during pregnancy causes adverse effects on the reproductive development in the male infants.

DESIGN AND MEASUREMENTS: Pregnant women employed in greenhouses in Denmark were consecutively recruited, and 113 mother-son pairs were included. The mothers were categorized as occupationally exposed (91 sons) or unexposed (22 sons) to pesticides during pregnancy. Testicular position and volume, penile length, and position of urethral opening were determined at 3 months of age using standardized techniques. Concentrations of reproductive hormones in serum from the boys were analyzed.

RESULTS: The prevalence of cryptorchidism at 3 months of age was 6.2% [95% confidence interval (CI), 3.0-12.4]. This prevalence was considerably higher than among Danish boys born in the Copenhagen area (1.9%; 95% CI, 1.2-3.0) examined by the same procedure. Boys of pesticide-exposed mothers showed decreased penile length, testicular volume, serum concentrations of testosterone, and inhibin B. Serum concentrations of sex hormone-binding globulin, follicle-stimulating hormone, and the luteinizing hormone: testosterone ratio were increased compared with boys of nonexposed mothers. For individual parameters, only the decreased penile length was statistically significant (p = 0.04). However, all observed effects were in the anticipated direction, and a joint multivariate test showed that this finding had a p-value of 0.012.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest an adverse effect of maternal occupational pesticide exposure on reproductive development in the sons despite current greenhouse safeguards and special measures to protect pregnant women.


Haas et al., 2015

Haas, D. M., Parker, C. B., Wing, D. A., Parry, S., Grobman, W. A., Mercer, B. M., Simhan, H. N., Hoffman, M. K., Silver, R. M., Wadhwa, P., Iams, J. D., Koch, M. A., Caritis, S. N., Wapner, R. J., Esplin, M. S., Elovitz, M. A., Foroud, T., Peaceman, A. M., Saade, G. R., Willinger, M., Reddy, U. M., & NuMo, M. b study; “A description of the methods of the Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: monitoring mothers-to-be (nuMoM2b);” American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2015, 212(4), 539 e531-539 e524; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2015.01.019.


OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of the “Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: monitoring mothers-to-be” is to determine maternal characteristics, which include genetic, physiologic response to pregnancy, and environmental factors that predict adverse pregnancy outcomes.

STUDY DESIGN: Nulliparous women in the first trimester of pregnancy were recruited into an observational cohort study. Participants were seen at 3 study visits during pregnancy and again at delivery. We collected data from in-clinic interviews, take-home surveys, clinical measurements, ultrasound studies, and chart abstractions. Maternal biospecimens (serum, plasma, urine, cervicovaginal fluid) at antepartum study visits and delivery specimens (placenta, umbilical cord, cord blood) were collected, processed, and stored. The primary outcome of the study was defined as pregnancy ending at <37+0 weeks’ gestation. Key study hypotheses involve adverse pregnancy outcomes of spontaneous preterm birth, preeclampsia, and fetal growth restriction.

RESULTS: We recruited 10,037 women to the study. Basic characteristics of the cohort at screening are reported.

CONCLUSION: The “Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: monitoring mothers-to-be” cohort study methods and procedures can help investigators when they plan future projects.


Hantsoo et al., 2019

Hantsoo, L., Jasarevic, E., Criniti, S., McGeehan, B., Tanes, C., Sammel, M. D., Elovitz, M. A., Compher, C., Wu, G., & Epperson, C. N.; “Childhood adversity impact on gut microbiota and inflammatory response to stress during pregnancy;” Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 2019, 75, 240-250; DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2018.11.005.


BACKGROUND: Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as abuse or chronic stress, program an exaggerated adult inflammatory response to stress. Emerging rodent research suggests that the gut microbiome may be a key mediator in the association between early life stress and dysregulated glucocorticoid-immune response. However, ACE impact on inflammatory response to stress, or on the gut microbiome, have not been studied in human pregnancy, when inflammation increases risk of poor outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess the relationships among ACE, the gut microbiome, and cytokine response to stress in pregnant women.

METHODS: Physically and psychiatrically healthy adult pregnant women completed the Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (ACE-Q) and gave a single stool sample between 20 and 26weeks gestation. Stool DNA was isolated and 16S sequencing was performed. Three 24-hour food recalls were administered to assess dietary nutrient intake. A subset of women completed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) at 22-34weeks gestation; plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), and cortisol were measured at four timepoints pre and post stressor, and area under the curve (AUC) was calculated.

RESULTS: Forty-eight women completed the ACE-Q and provided stool; 19 women completed the TSST. Women reporting 2 or more ACEs (high ACE) had greater differential abundance of gut Prevotella than low ACE participants (q=5.7×10^-13). Abundance of several gut taxa were significantly associated with cortisol, IL-6, TNF-alpha and CRP AUCs regardless of ACE status. IL-6 response to stress was buffered among high ACE women with high intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (p=0.03) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (p=0.05).

DISCUSSION: Our findings suggest that multiple childhood adversities are associated with changes in gut microbiota composition during pregnancy, and such changes may contribute to altered inflammatory and glucocorticoid response to stress. While preliminary, this is the first study to demonstrate an association between gut microbiota and acute glucocorticoid-immune response to stress in a clinical sample. Finally, exploratory analyses suggested that high ACE women with high dietary intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) had a dampened inflammatory response to acute stress, suggesting potentially protective effects of omega-3s in this high-risk population. Given the adverse effects of inflammation on pregnancy and the developing fetus, mechanisms by which childhood adversity influence the gut-brain axis and potential protective factors such as diet should be further explored.


Scholze et al., 2020

Scholze, M., Taxvig, C., Kortenkamp, A., Boberg, J., Christiansen, S., Svingen, T., Lauschke, K., Frandsen, H., Ermler, S., Hermann, S. S., Pedersen, M., Lykkeberg, A. K., Axelstad, M., & Vinggaard, A. M.; “Quantitative in Vitro to in Vivo Extrapolation (QIVIVE) for Predicting Reduced Anogenital Distance Produced by Anti-Androgenic Pesticides in a Rodent Model for Male Reproductive Disorders;” Environ Health Perspect, 2020, 128(11), 117005; DOI: 10.1289/EHP6774.


BACKGROUND: Many pesticides can antagonize the androgen receptor (AR) or inhibit androgen synthesis in vitro but their potential to cause reproductive toxicity related to disruption of androgen action during fetal life is difficult to predict. Currently no approaches for using in vitro data to anticipate such in vivo effects exist. Prioritization schemes that limit unnecessary in vivo testing are urgently needed.

OBJECTIVES: The aim was to develop a quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (QIVIVE) approach for predicting in vivo anti-androgenicity arising from gestational exposures and manifesting as a shortened anogenital distance (AGD) in male rats.

METHODS: We built a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBK) model to simulate concentrations of chemicals in the fetus resulting from maternal dosing. The predicted fetal levels were compared with analytically determined concentrations, and these were judged against in vitro active concentrations for AR antagonism and androgen synthesis suppression.

RESULTS: We first evaluated our model by using in vitro and in vivo anti-androgenic data for procymidone, vinclozolin, and linuron. Our PBK model described the measured fetal concentrations of parent compounds and metabolites quite accurately (within a factor of five). We applied the model to nine current-use pesticides, all with in vitro evidence for anti-androgenicity but missing in vivo data. Seven pesticides (fludioxonil, cyprodinil, dimethomorph, imazalil, quinoxyfen, fenhexamid, o-phenylphenol) were predicted to produce a shortened AGD in male pups, whereas two (lambda-cyhalothrin, pyrimethanil) were anticipated to be inactive. We tested these expectations for fludioxonil, cyprodinil, and dimethomorph and observed shortened AGD in male pups after gestational exposure. The measured fetal concentrations agreed well with PBK-modeled predictions.

DISCUSSION: Our QIVIVE model newly identified fludioxonil, cyprodinil, and dimethomorph as in vivo anti-androgens. With the examples investigated, our approach shows great promise for predicting in vivo anti-androgenicity (i.e., AGD shortening) for chemicals with in vitro activity and for minimizing unnecessary in vivo testing.  FULL TEXT

Saldana et al., 2007

Saldana, T. M., Basso, O., Hoppin, J. A., Baird, D. D., Knott, C., Blair, A., Alavanja, M. C., & Sandler, D. P.; “Pesticide exposure and self-reported gestational diabetes mellitus in the Agricultural Health Study;” Diabetes Care, 2007, 30(3), 529-534; DOI: 10.2337/dc06-1832.


OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between pesticide use during pregnancy and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) among wives of licensed pesticide applicators.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Using data from the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), we estimated the association between self-reported pesticide-related activities during the first trimester of the most recent pregnancy and GDM among 11,273 women whose pregnancy occurred within 25 years of enrollment.

RESULTS: A total of 506 (4.5%) women reported having had GDM. Women who reported agricultural pesticide exposure (mixing or applying pesticides to crops or repairing pesticide application equipment) during pregnancy were more likely to report GDM (odds ratio [OR] 2.2 [95% CI 1.5-3.3]). We saw no association between residential pesticide exposure (applying pesticides in the home and garden during pregnancy) and GDM (1.0 [0.8-1.3]). Among women who reported agricultural exposure during pregnancy, risk of GDM was associated with ever-use of four herbicides (2,4,5-T; 2,4,5-TP; atrazine; or butylate) and three insecticides (diazinon, phorate, or carbofuran).

CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that activities involving exposure to agricultural pesticides during the first trimester of pregnancy may increase the risk of GDM.


Chiu, 2017

Chiu, Y. H.,”Pesticide Residues in Fruits and Vegetables: Assessment and Their Associations With Reproductive Health Outcomes;” Dissertation at Harvard Universiry, (Doctor of Science in Nutrition and Epidemiology); 2017.


According to the Dietary Guideline, consumption of fruits and vegetables (FVs) are recommended throughout the lifespan, including during pregnancy. FVs, on the other hand, can serve as a vehicle of exposure to pesticide residues. In the US, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Food Quality Protection Act. While majority of the produce sampled through the US Department of Agriculture had residues below the EPA limits, there is a growing concern whether chronic exposure to these pesticide residues may have adverse health effects, especially among susceptible populations such as pregnant women. Yet, such research is scarce. This dissertation focuses on the assessment of pesticide residues in FVs and evaluates their associations with pregnancy outcomes.

We previously have developed the Pesticide Residue Burden Score (PRBS) based on selfreported diet and national surveillance data on food pesticide residues to characterize dietary exposure over the past year. In Chapter 1, we evaluated the association of the PRBS with urinary pesticide metabolites in the Environment and Reproductive Health (EARTH) Study. We found intake of high pesticide residues FVs was positively associated with urinary concentrations of pesticide biomarkers, suggesting that PRBS can characterize dietary exposure to select pesticides.

In Chapter 2, we assessed the relation between preconception intake of high and low FVs and assisted reproductive technology outcomes in EARTH study. We found that intake of high pesticide residues FVs was associated with lower probability of clinical pregnancy and live birth, while intake of low pesticide residue FVs had the opposite relations among women undergoing infertility treatment. This is the first report of such relation in humans.

In Chapter 3, we examine the association between maternal intake of high and low pesticide residue FVs with birth outcomes in a pre-birth cohort. We found that maternal intake of high pesticide residue FVs during the first trimester was associated with higher risks of small-for-gestational-age among white women, while these exposures was associated with large-for-gestational-age among nonwhite women.

In conclusion, this work demonstrated the usefulness of PRBS in assessing pesticide residue intake through FVs. Using this method, these studies suggest exposure to pesticide residues may adversely affect pregnancy and birth outcomes.


Ait-Bali et al., 2020

Ait-Bali, Y., Ba-M’hamed, S., Gambarotta, G., Sassoe-Pognetto, M., Giustetto, M., & Bennis, M.; “Pre- and postnatal exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide causes behavioral and cognitive impairments in adult mice: evidence of cortical ad hippocampal dysfunction;” Archives of Toxicology, 2020; DOI: 10.1007/s00204-020-02677-7.


Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) are the most widely used pesticides worldwide. Despite considerable progress in describing the neurotoxic potential of GBH, the harmful effects on brain cytoarchitecture and behavior are still unclear. Here, we addressed the developmental impact of GBH by exposing female mice to 250 or 500 mg/kg doses of GBH during both pregnancy and lactation and then examined the downstream effects at the behavioral, neurochemical and molecular levels. We show that pre- and neonatal exposure to GBH impairs fertility and reproduction parameters as well as maternal behavior of exposed mothers. In offspring, GBH was responsible for a global delay in innate reflexes and a deficit in motor development. At the adult age, exposed animals showed a decrease of locomotor activity, sociability, learning and short- and long-term memory associated with alterations of cholinergic and dopaminergic systems. Furthermore, GBH-activated microglia and astrocytes, sign of neuroinflammation event in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. At the molecular level, a down-regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and an up-regulation of tyrosine-related kinase receptor (TrkB), NR1 subunit of NMDA receptor as well as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) were found in the brain of GBH-exposed mice. The present work demonstrates that GBH induces numerous behavioral and cognitive abnormalities closely associated with significant histological, neurochemical and molecular impairments. It also raises fundamental concerns about the ability of current safety testing to assess risks of pesticide exposure during developmental periods of central nervous system. FULL TEXT

Guerrero Schimpf et al., 2017

Guerrero Schimpf, M., Milesi, M. M., Ingaramo, P. I., Luque, E. H., & Varayoud, J.; “Neonatal exposure to a glyphosate based herbicide alters the development of the rat uterus;” Toxicology, 2017, 376, 2-14; DOI: 10.1016/j.tox.2016.06.004.


Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) are extensively used to control weeds on both cropland and non-cropland areas. No reports are available regarding the effects of GBHs exposure on uterine development. We evaluated if neonatal exposure to a GBH affects uterine morphology, proliferation and expression of proteins that regulate uterine organogenetic differentiation in rats. Female Wistar pups received saline solution (control, C) or a commercial formulation of glyphosate (GBH, 2mg/kg) by sc injection every 48h from postnatal day (PND) 1 to PND7. Rats were sacrificed on PND8 (neonatal period) and PND21 (prepubertal period) to evaluate acute and short-term effects, respectively. The uterine morphology was evaluated in hematoxylin and eosin stained sections. The epithelial and stromal immunophenotypes were established by assessing the expression of luminal epithelial protein (cytokeratin 8; CK8), basal epithelial proteins (p63 and pan cytokeratin CK1, 5, 10 and 14); and vimentin by immunohistochemistry (IHC). To investigate changes on proteins that regulate uterine organogenetic differentiation we evaluated the expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha), progesterone receptor (PR), Hoxa10 and Wnt7a by IHC. The GBH-exposed uteri showed morphological changes, characterized by an increase in the incidence of luminal epithelial hyperplasia (LEH) and an increase in the stromal and myometrial thickness. The epithelial cells showed a positive immunostaining for CK8, while the stromal cells for vimentin. GBH treatment increased cell proliferation in the luminal and stromal compartment on PND8, without changes on PND21. GBH treatment also altered the expression of proteins involved in uterine organogenetic differentiation. PR and Hoxa10 were deregulated both immediately and two weeks after the exposure. ERalpha was induced in the stromal compartment on PND8, and was downregulated in the luminal epithelial cells of gyphosate-exposed animals on PND21. GBH treatment also increased the expression of Wnt7a in the stromal and glandular epithelial cells on PND21. Neonatal exposure to GBH disrupts the postnatal uterine development at the neonatal and prepubertal period. All these changes may alter the functional differentiation of the uterus, affecting the female fertility and/or promoting the development of neoplasias. FULL TEXT

Castorina et al., 2010

Castorina, R., Bradman, A., Fenster, L., Barr, D. B., Bravo, R., Vedar, M. G., Harnly, M. E., McKone, T. E., Eisen, E. A., & Eskenazi, B.; “Comparison of current-use pesticide and other toxicant urinary metabolite levels among pregnant women in the CHAMACOS cohort and NHANES;” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2010, 118(6), 856-863; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.0901568.



We measured 34 metabolites of current-use pesticides and other precursor compounds in urine samples collected twice during pregnancy from 538 women living in the Salinas Valley of California, a highly agricultural area (1999-2001). Precursors of these metabolites included fungicides, carbamate, organochlorine, organophosphorus (OP), and pyrethroid insecticides, and triazine and chloroacetanilide herbicides. We also measured ethylenethiourea, a metabolite of the ethylene-bisdithiocarbamate fungicides. Repeat measurements of the compounds presented here have not been reported in pregnant women previously. To understand the impact of the women’s regional environment on these findings, we compared metabolite concentrations from the CHAMACOS (Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas) cohort with U.S. national reference data for 342 pregnant women sampled by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2002).


The eight metabolites detected in > 50% of samples [2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP); 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP); 1- and 2-naphthol; ortho-phenylphenol (ORTH); para-nitrophenol (PNP); 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP); and 3,4,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy)] may be related to home or agricultural pesticide use in the Salinas Valley, household products, and other sources of chlorinated phenols. More than 78% of women in this study had detectable levels of at least one of the OP pesticide-specific metabolites that we measured, and > 30% had two or more. The 95th percentile values of six of the most commonly detected (> 50%) compounds were significantly higher among the CHAMACOS women after controlling for age, race, socioeconomic status, and smoking [(2,4-DCP; 2,5-DCP; ORTH; PNP; 2,4,6-TCP; and TCPy); quantile regression p < 0.05].


Findings suggest that the CHAMACOS cohort has an additional burden of precursor pesticide exposure compared with the national sample, possibly from living and/or working in an agricultural area. FULL TEXT

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