Air Pollution Exposure and Markers of Placental Growth and Function: The Generation R Study

Edith Hooven, FH Pierik, Y (Yvonne) de Kluizenaar, Bert Hofman, SW van Ratingen, PYJ Zandveld, Henk Russcher, Jan Lindemans, HME Miedema, Eric Steegers, Vincent Jaddoe

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BACKGROUND: Air pollution exposure during pregnancy might affect placental growth and function, perhaps leading to pregnancy complications. OBJECTIVE: We prospectively evaluated the associations of maternal air pollution exposure with markers of placental growth and function among 7,801 pregnant women in the Netherlands. METHODS: We estimated levels of particulate matter <= 10 mu m in aerodynamic diameter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at the home address for different periods during pregnancy using dispersion modeling techniques. Pro- and anti-angiogenic factors [placental growth factor (PIGF) and soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFlt-1), respectively] were measured in first- and second-trimester maternal blood and in fetal cord blood samples at delivery. Pulsatility index of the uterine and umbilical art RESULTS: Higher PM10 and NO2 exposure levels were associated with lower second-trimester maternal sFlt-1 and PIGF levels. PM10 and NO2 exposures averaged over total pregnancy were associated with higher sFlt-1 and lower PIGF levels in fetal cord blood, consistent with an anti-angiogenic state. PM10 and NO2 exposures were not consistently associated with second- or third-trimester placental resistance indices. NO2 exposure was associated with third-trimester notching (odds ratio 1.33; 95% CI: 0.9 CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that maternal air pollution exposure may influence markers of placental growth and function. Future studies are needed to confirm these findings and explore the maternal and fetal consequences.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1753-1759
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Research programs

  • EMC MM-01-25-01
  • EMC MM-04-54-08-A
  • EMC NIHES-01-64-01
  • EMC NIHES-01-64-02

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