New findings on association between prenatal phthalate exposure and placenta published in Environmental Health Perspectives

September 3, 2021

Findings on the association between prenatal phthalate exposure and the placental transcriptome at birth were published in Environmental Health Perspectives. The study examined concentrations of 16 phthalates in urine collected from 760 pregnant participants during the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. Several phthalates were associated with higher or lower placental gene expression in 38 genes. The study also identified changes in gene expression that were significant only in males or only in female infants, indicating that phthalates may impact placental function differently between the two sexes. The study also examined what biological pathways were related to these changes in gene expression, and 27 specific pathways were found that were changed in relation to phthalate exposure. These pathways involved key molecular building blocks important for the developing infant. ECHO PATHWAYS investigator Dr. Alison G. Paquette was first author and MPI Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana was last author.