Maternal diet during pregnancy and micronuclei frequency in peripheral blood T lymphocytes in mothers and newborns (Rhea cohort, Crete)
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The study assessed whether diet and adherence to cancer prevention guidelines during pregnancy were associated with micronucleus (MN) frequency in mothers and newborns. MN is biomarkers of early genetic effects that have been associated with cancer risk in adults.
A total of 188 mothers and 200 newborns from the Rhea cohort (Greece) were included in the study. At early-mid pregnancy, we conducted personal interviews and a validated food frequency questionnaire was completed. With this information, we constructed a score reflecting adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research cancer prevention guidelines on diet, physical activity and body fatness. At delivery, maternal and/or cord blood was collected to measure DNA and hemoglobin adducts of dietary origin and frequencies of MN in binucleated and mononucleated T lymphocytes (MNBN and MNMONO).
In mothers, higher levels of red meat consumption were associated with increased MNBN frequency [2nd tertile IRR = 1.34 (1.00, 1.80), 3rd tertile IRR = 1.33 (0.96, 1.85)] and MNMONO frequency [2nd tertile IRR = 1.53 (0.84, 2.77), 3rd tertile IRR = 2.69 (1.44, 5.05)]. The opposite trend was observed for MNBN in newborns [2nd tertile IRR = 0.64 (0.44, 0.94), 3rd tertile IRR = 0.68 (0.46, 1.01)], and no association was observed with MNMONO. Increased MN frequency in pregnant women with high red meat consumption is consistent with previous knowledge.
Our results also suggest exposure to genotoxics during pregnancy might affect differently mothers and newborns. The predictive value of MN as biomarker for childhood cancer, rather than adulthood, remains unclear. With few exceptions, the association between maternal carcinogenic exposures during pregnancy and childhood cancer or early biologic effect biomarkers remains poorly understood.
KeywordsMaternal nutrition Cancer Genotoxicity Diet Epidemiology
We thank all of the participants of the Rhea study and the interviewers, statisticians and the hospital personnel for their cooperation and contribution to this study. We want to thank Dan Segerbäck and Per Rydberg for cooperation and contribution to the DNA and Hb adduct analyses. The Rhea cohort was funded by the following European projects NewGeneris (FP-6-FOOD-CT-2005-016320), ESCAPE (FP7-2007-211250), HiWATE (FP-6-FOOD-CT-2006-036224), Envirogenomarkers (FP7-2008-ENV-220.127.116.11), CHICOS (FP7-2009-GA 241604), and ENRIECO (FP7-2008-GA 226285). COG holds a Sara Borrell postdoctoral fellowship awarded from the Carlos III National Institute of Health (CD13/00072). MP held a Juan de la Cierva postdoctoral fellowship awarded from the Spanish Ministry of Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (JCI-2011-09479). DFM received support from the Italian Ministry of Health, 5x1000 Grant-2011.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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