Sevelsted A, Gürdeniz G, Rago D, Pedersen CT, Lasky-Su JA, Checa A, Zhang P, Wheelock CE, Normann SS, Kristensen DM, Rasmussen MA, Schullehner J, Sdougkou K, Martin JW, Stokholm J, Bønnelykke K, Bisgaard H, Chawes B
EBioMedicine 83 (-) 104236 [2022-09-00; online 2022-08-26]
Perfluoroalkyl substances PFOS and PFOA are persistent and bioaccumulative exogenous chemicals in the human body with a range of suspected negative health effects. It is hypothesised that exposure during prenatal and early postnatal life might have particularly detrimental effects on intrauterine and childhood growth. In a Danish longitudinal mother-child cohort we investigate effect of PFOS and PFOA in pregnancy and infancy on intrauterine and childhood growth and anthropometry. COPSAC2010 is an ongoing population based mother-child cohort of 738 pregnant women and their children followed from 24 week gestation with longitudinal deep clinical phenotyping until age 10 years. In this observational cohort sub study plasma PFOS and PFOA concentrations were semi-quantified by untargeted metabolomics in the mothers at week 24 and 1 week postpartum and in the children at ages 6 and 18 months and calibrated using a targeted pipeline. We examined associations to intrauterine and childhood growth and anthropometry, including interactions with child sex. Untargeted and targeted blood metabolomics profiles were integrated to investigate underlying mechanisms. Pregnancy plasma PFOA concentrations were associated with lower birth size -0.19 [-0.33; -0.05] BMI z-score per 1-ng/mL and increased childhood height (z-scored) at age 6: 0.18 [0.05; 0.31], but there was no association between childs' own infancy plasma PFOA concentration and height. Pregnancy plasma PFOS concentrations were also associated with lower birth BMI (-0.04 [-0.08; -0.01]), but in childhood pregnancy plasma PFOS concentration interacted with child sex on BMI and fat percentage at 6 years with negative associations in girls and positive in boys. The effect of maternal plasma PFOS concentration on lower girl BMI was borderline mediated through increasing child plasma lactosyl-ceramide levels (p-mediation=0.08). Similarly the effect of maternal plasma PFOS concentration on higher boy fat percentage was borderline mediated through increasing child plasma lactosyl-ceramide levels (p-mediation=0.07). Infancy concentrations of plasma PFOS associated with lower height in childhood, -0.06 z-score at age 6 [-0.19; -0.03]. Higher PFOS and PFOA plasma concentrations during pregnancy had detrimental effects on fetal growth. The effects on childhood growth were not similar as PFOA increased child height, opposite of PFOS in multipollutant models suggesting a differing fetal programming effect. Sex specific growth effects were borderline mediated through an altered lactosyl-ceramide metabolism, proposing a possible mechanism of PFOS that has long-lasting health consequences in this observational study. All funding received by COPSAC are listed on www.copsac.com. The Lundbeck Foundation (Grant no R16-A1694); The Novo Nordic Foundation (Grant nos NNF20OC0061029, NNF170C0025014, NNF180C0031764) The Ministry of Health (Grant no 903516); Danish Council for Strategic Research (Grant no 0603-00280B) and The Capital Region Research Foundation have provided core support to the COPSAC research center. Effort from JALS is supported by R01HL123915, R01HL141826, and R01HL155742 from NIH/NHLBI. CEW was supported by the Swedish Heart Lung Foundation (HLF 20180290, HLF 20200693). BC has received funding for this project from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 946228). The funding agencies did not have any role in design and conduct of the study; collection, management, and interpretation of the data; or preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.