Associations of Prenatal Exposure to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances with the Neonatal Birth Size and Hormones in the Growth Hormone/Insulin-Like Growth Factor Axis

By Dan Luo, Weixiang Wu, Yanan Pan, Bibai Du, Mingjie Shen, and Lixi Zeng
Environ Sci Technol
August 17, 2021
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c02670

Toxicological data suggest a significant developmental toxicity of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs); however, evidence in humans remains inconclusive. Furthermore, the effects of prenatal exposure to PFASs on hormones in the growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis of newborns remain largely unclear. We aimed to investigate the associations of prenatal exposure to PFASs with the neonatal birth size, GH, IGF-1, and IGF-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3). The concentrations of 22 PFASs were measured in the plasma of 224 pregnant women collected within 3 days before delivery (39.3 weeks) in Guangzhou, China, and the anthropometric data were gathered from medical records. Paired cord blood was collected at delivery to determine GH, IGF-1, and IGFBP-3 levels. Multivariable linear regression models revealed the inverse associations of several long-chain PFASs with birth weight and ponderal index as well as the significant associations of perfluorobutanoic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) with IGFBP-3 levels. The Bayesian kernel machine regression confirmed the association of perfluorooctane sulfonate with birth weight and ponderal index and of PFOA with IGFBP-3 and identified an inverse joint effect of exposure to a mixture of multiple PFASs on birth weight. The findings provide the first comprehensive evidence on the individual and joint effects of multiple PFASs on the neonatal birth size and hormones in the GH/IGF axis, which requires further confirmation.

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