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Placental and Cord Blood Telomere Length in Relation to Maternal Nutritional Status

Authors
  • Vahter, Marie1
  • Broberg, Karin1
  • Harari, Florencia1, 2
  • 1 Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden , (Sweden)
  • 2 Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital and University of Gothenburg, Sweden , (Sweden)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Nutrition
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Jul 17, 2020
Volume
150
Issue
10
Pages
2646–2655
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxaa198
PMID: 32678440
PMCID: PMC7549303
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • AcademicSubjects/MED00060
  • AcademicSubjects/SCI00960
License
Unknown

Abstract

Background The uterine environment may be important for the chromosomal telomere length (TL) at birth, which, in turn, influences disease susceptibility throughout life. However, little is known about the importance of specific nutritional factors. Objectives We assessed the impact of multiple maternal nutritional factors on TL in placenta and cord blood. Methods In a population-based mother–child cohort in northwestern Argentina, we measured maternal weight, BMI, body fat percentage (BFP), and several nutrients [selenium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, iodine, vitamin B-12, folate, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D3)], hemoglobin, and homocysteine in maternal whole blood, serum, plasma, or urine during pregnancy (mean gestational week 27). We measured the relative TL (rTL) in placenta ( n  = 99) and cord blood ( n  = 98) at delivery by real-time PCR. Associations were evaluated by multivariable-adjusted linear regression. Results The women's prepregnancy BMI (kg/m2; mean ± SD: 23.7 ± 4.1), body weight (55.4 ± 9.9 kg), and BFP (29.9 ± 5.5%), but not height (153 ± 5.3 cm), were inversely associated with placental rTL ( P  < 0.01 for all), with ∼0.5 SD shorter rTL for an IQR increase in prepregnancy body weight, BMI, or BFP. Also, impedance-based BFP, but not lean body mass, in the third trimester was associated with shorter placental rTL. In addition, serum vitamin B-12 (232 ± 96 pmol/L) in pregnancy ( P  = 0.038), but not folate or homocysteine, was associated with shorter placental rTL (0.2 SD for an IQR increase). In contrast, plasma 25(OH)D3 (46 ± 15 nmol/L) was positively associated with placental rTL ( P  < 0.01), which increased by 0.4 SD for an IQR increase in 25(OH)D3. No clear associations of the studied maternal nutritional factors were found with cord blood rTL. Conclusions Maternal BMI, BFP, and vitamin B-12 were inversely associated, whereas 25(OH)D3 was positively associated, with placental TL. No association was observed with cord blood TL. Future studies should elucidate the role of placental TL for child health.

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