Gliga AR, Engström K, Kippler M, Skröder H, Ahmed S, Vahter M, Raqib R, Broberg K
Arch. Toxicol. 92 (8) 2487-2500 [2018-08-00; online 2018-06-08]
Exposure to inorganic arsenic (As), a carcinogen and epigenetic toxicant, has been associated with lower circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and impaired growth in children of pre-school age. The aim of this study was to assess the potential impact of exposure to As on IGF1 and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) as well as DNA methylation changes in 9-year-old children. To this end, we studied 9-year-old children from a longitudinal mother-child cohort in rural Bangladesh (n = 551). Prenatal and concurrent exposure to As was assessed via concentrations in maternal urine at gestational week 8 and in child urine at 9 years, measured by HPLC-HG-ICPMS. Plasma IGF1 and IGFBP3 concentrations were quantified with immunoassays. DNA methylation was measured in blood mononuclear cells at 9 years in a sub-sample (n = 113) using the Infinium HumanMethylation450K BeadChip. In multivariable-adjusted linear regression models, prenatal As (natural log-transformed), but not children's concurrent urinary As, was positively associated with IGFBP3 concentrations (β = 76, 95% CI 19, 133). As concentrations were not associated with IGF1. DNA methylation analysis revealed CpGs associated with both prenatal As and IGFBP3. Mediation analysis suggested that methylation of 12 CpG sites for all children was mediator of effect for the association between prenatal As and IGFBP3. We also found differentially methylated regions, generally hypermethylated, that were associated with both prenatal As and IGFBP3. In all, our study revealed that prenatal exposure to As was positively associated with IGFBP3 concentrations in children at 9 years, independent of IGF1, and this association may, at least in part, be epigenetically mediated.