BMI-specific inflammatory response to phthalate exposure in early pregnancy: findings from the TMCHESC study

  • Impact factors: 5.8
  • Publication: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH
  • Author:Jin Shihao, Cui Shanshan, Huang Xiaoqing, Li Zhi, Han Yu, Cui Tingkai, Su Yuanyuan, Xiong Wenjuan, Zhang Xin
  • DOI citation-doi:10.1007/s11356-023-30922-w
  • Date:2023-11-20

Studies that have evaluated associations between phthalate metabolites and inflammation have reported inconsistent results among pregnant women, and it is unclear how body mass index (BMI) affects such relationships. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine the association between urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations and the levels of inflammatory biomarkers in the general circulation among 394 pregnant women selected from the Tianjin Maternal and Child Health Education and Service Cohort (TMCHESC) and to determine the role that BMI plays in the relationship. The concentrations of eight inflammatory biomarkers and three phthalate metabolites were measured in serum and urine samples, respectively. Multivariable linear modeling was conducted to examine the association between each phthalate and inflammatory biomarker while controlling for potential confounding factors in BMI-stratified subgroups. Restricted cubic splines were also utilised to explore potential non-linear relationships. In the high-BMI group, positive associations were observed between the levels of mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP) and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) ( β  = 0.192; 95% CI: 0.033, 0.351), monoethyl phthalate (MEP), and C-reaction protein (CRP) ( β  = 0.129; 95% CI 0.024, 0.233), and mono-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) ( β  = 0.146; 95% CI 0.016, 0.277). Restricted cubic spline models also revealed non-linear associations between the levels of MBP and interleukins 10 and 17A (IL-10 and IL-17A) and between MEP and interleukin 8 (IL-8) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in pregnant women. These results suggest that phthalate exposure plays a potential role in promoting inflammation in the high-BMI group. While the precise mechanisms underlying the proinflammatory effects of phthalates are not fully understood, these findings suggest that BMI may play a role.

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