Maternal iron metabolism gene variants modify umbilical cord blood lead levels by gene-environment interaction: a birth cohort study
Hatley, Earl L
Ettinger, Adrienne S
Wright, Robert O
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CitationKarwowski, Mateusz P, Allan C Just, David C Bellinger, Rebecca Jim, Earl L Hatley, Adrienne S Ettinger, Howard Hu, and Robert O Wright. 2014. “Maternal iron metabolism gene variants modify umbilical cord blood lead levels by gene-environment interaction: a birth cohort study.” Environmental Health 13 (1): 77. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-13-77. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-13-77.
AbstractBackground: Given the relationship between iron metabolism and lead toxicokinetics, we hypothesized that polymorphisms in iron metabolism genes might modify maternal-fetal lead transfer. The objective of this study was to determine whether maternal and/or infant transferrin (TF) and hemochromatosis (HFE) gene missense variants modify the association between maternal blood lead (MBL) and umbilical cord blood lead (UCBL). Methods: We studied 476 mother-infant pairs whose archived blood specimens were genotyped for TF P570S, HFE H63D and HFE C282Y. MBL and UCBL were collected within 12 hours of delivery. Linear regression models were used to examine the association between log-transformed MBL and UCBL, examine for confounding and collinearity, and explore gene-environment interactions. Results: The geometric mean MBL was 0.61 μg/dL (range 0.03, 3.2) and UCBL 0.42 (<0.02, 3.9). Gene variants were common with carrier frequencies ranging from 12-31%; all were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. In an adjusted linear regression model, log MBL was associated with log UCBL (β = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.82, 1.03; p < 0.01) such that a 1% increase in MBL was associated with a 0.92% increase in UCBL among infants born to wild-type mothers. In infants born to C282Y variants, however, a 1% increase in MBL is predicted to increase UCBL 0.65% (βMain Effect = −0.002, 95% CI: −0.09, −0.09; p = 0.97; βInteraction = −0.27, 95% CI: −0.52, −0.01; p = 0.04), representing a 35% lower placental lead transfer among women with MBL 5 μg/dL. Conclusions: Maternal HFE C282Y gene variant status is associated with greater reductions in placental transfer of lead as MBL increases. The inclusion of gene-environment interaction in risk assessment models may improve efforts to safeguard vulnerable populations. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1476-069X-13-77) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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