Cadmium, zinc, and copper from placental tissue and blood samples at the first trimester (n = 64) and at term (n = 152) were analyzed; the welfare of newborns and placental 7-ethoxycoumarin O-deethylase (ECOD) activities in vitro were determined. The study material was collected from Finland, Estonia, and Russia. The results demonstrate that Cd starts to accumulate in the placenta during the first trimester and that Zn and Cu contents were significantly higher at the first trimester than at term. Among nonsmokers a negative correlation was found between placental Cu content and birth weight of neonates. Among smokers a positive correlation between placental Zn content and birth weight and ECOD activity was found. The birth weights correlated inversely with the length of time the mothers smoked. The highest Cd concentrations were detected in the samples collected from St. Petersburg. The data demonstrate an inverse accumulation of Zn and Cd throughout the pregnancy in the placenta and maternal blood samples. Zn may act as a positive marker or even an enzymatic enhancement for the human placental vital functions. Smoking, parity, age, and especially the place of residence affect the Cd, Zn, and Cu contents and ratios in placenta and mother's blood.
The effects of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and vitamin D on the serum concentrations of three bone biochemical markers and their associations with bone mineral density (BMD) were studied in a population-based 1-yr follow-up study. A total of 72 healthy postmenopausal women were randomized into 4 treatment groups: HRT group (sequential combination of 2 mg estradiol valerate and 1 mg cyproterone acetate), D group (vitamin D3, 300 IU/day), HRT+D group (both of the above), and placebo group (calcium lactate, 500 mg/day). Serum concentrations of osteocalcin (OC) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) were measured as biochemical markers of bone formation, and serum type I collagen carboxy-terminal telopeptide was measured as a marker of bone resorption at baseline and after 6 and 12 months of treatment. To investigate the associations of these markers with BMD, lumbar (L2-L4) and femoral neck BMDs were determined by dual x-ray absorptiometry at baseline and after 2.5 yr of treatment. In both hormone groups, the serum concentrations of the three bone metabolic markers had decreased after 12 months. Those of OC decreased by 29.2% (P = 0.017) in the HRT group and by 37.3% (P = 0.004) in the HRT+D group, and BAP concentrations decreased by 34.4% (P
Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were analyzed in 167 random human milk samples from urban and rural areas in Finland. Dietary habits and background information on each mother and child were gathered by questionnaire. Body mass indexes (BMI) before pregnancy and delivery in the rural area were 5-10% higher than in the urban area, but fat content of mother's milk was about 10% higher in the urban area. The mean weights of children (+/- standard deviation) were similar in the rural and urban areas among primiparae, 3,500 +/- 597 g and 3,505 +/- 454 g, respectively, although dioxin international toxic equivalents (I-TEQs) were significantly higher in the urban area. The mother's level of education did not affect the weight of the child, but concentrations of PCDDs/PCDFs (I-TEQ, 2,3,4,7,8-Cl5 dibenzofuran,1,2, 3,7,8-Cl5 dibenzodioxin) and PCBs [sum of PCBs (sumPCB), PCB-TEQ, and most PCB congeners] increased with advanced education. This is considered to be due to differences in the mother's consumption of fish. The birth weight, especially of boys, slightly decreased with increasing concentrations of I-TEQ, 2,3,4,7,8-Cl5 dibenzofuran, 1,2,3, 7,8-Cl5 dibenzodioxin, and 2,3,7,8-Cl4 dibenzodioxin; however, when the analysis was restricted to primiparae, there was no statistically significant correlation between birth weight and the concentrations of PCDDs/PCDFs. No correlation was found between the weight of the child and PCBs, PCB-TEQs, or individual PCB congeners in the whole material or among primiparae, or among boys or girls. The concentrations of PCDDs/PCDFs and PCBs inhuman milk were modeled for primiparae by weighing fish consumption, age of mother, milk fat content, and BMI before pregnancy. The linear regression resulted in values of R = 0.67 and 0.30 for the modeled dioxin I-TEQs in the urban and rural areas, respectively, and the corresponding values for sumPCBs of R = 0.60 and 0.11. The increase of PCDD/PCDF body burden was calculated to be on average 0.58 pg I-TEQ/g milk fat/year in the urban area and 0.39 pg I-TEQ/g milk fat/year in the rural area.
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Cites: J Pediatr. 1986 Aug;109(2):335-413090217
Cites: Environ Health Perspect. 1994 Jan;102 Suppl 1:173-858187706
Population-based epidemiological studies on osteoporosis are few. Our study evaluated the effects of menopause and certain putative behavioural risk factors on bone mineral density (BMD). Spinal and femoral neck BMD were measured with dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) from 1600 perimenopausal women aged 48-59 years (mean 53.2 years) with no diseases or medications known to affect bone metabolism. These women were a selected sample of the Kuopio Osteoporosis Risk Factor and Prevention Study population (n = 14,220). There was a wide variation of BMD among perimenopausal women. Menopause had a major effect on BMD. Postmenopausal women had significantly lower BMD in both spine (-6.2%) and femoral neck (-3.9%) as compared with premenopausal women. Multiple regression analysis showed that weight, menopausal status, age, and grip strength were significant independent predictors of both spinal and femoral BMD. Additionally, physical activity was found to be a significant predictor of femoral BMD, and alcohol consumption was a significant predictor of spinal BMD. However, current anthropometric and lifestyle factors explained only 18.7-25.4% of the variability of BMD. Therefore, the estimation of the risk factor status at menopause is not an adequate substitute for bone densitometry. However, our results may in part help clinicians to identify the risk groups at which to direct bone density measurements.
We assessed the determinants of onset of hypertension in a large, prospective population-based study of perimenopausal women from the Kuopio Osteoporosis Risk Factor and Prevention (OSTPRE) study. The data collection started in 1989, when a baseline postal inquiry was sent to all women aged 47-56 years (n=14 220) residing in the Kuopio Province in Eastern Finland. Names, social security numbers and addresses were obtained from the Population Register Centre of Finland. A total of 11 798 women responded at baseline and at 5-year follow-up in 1994. After the exclusion of 1777 women with prevalent hypertension at baseline and women with missing height or weight information, the study population consisted of 9485 without established hypertension at baseline. New cases of established hypertension during the follow-up (n=908) were ascertained with the Registry of Specially Refunded Drugs of the Finnish Social Insurance Institution (SII). According to the National Health Insurance, the SII granted 90% reimbursement for drug costs in defined chronic illnesses necessitating continuous medication, like arterial hypertension. Weight and weight gain both raised the risk by 5% per kg (P
Human first-trimester placentas were screened for the expression of xenobiotic-metabolizing cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes. mRNAs of CYP1A1, CYP1A2, CYP2C, CYP2D6, CYP2E1, CYP2F1, CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP3A7, and CYP4B1 were identified by reverse transcriptase-polymearse chain reaction (RT-PCR) in at least some of the six placental samples studied. CYP2A and CYP2B message were absent in all samples. The level of all of these CYP mRNAs was lower compared to the corresponding levels in liver or lung. the catalytic activity marker (7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase) was inducible in the placentas by maternal cigarette smoking. Thus, the regulatory system of placental CYP1A1, mediated by the Ah-receptor, appears to be developed as early as the first trimester of pregnancy. Three immunoreactive bands from placental microsomes were detected by an antihuman CYP3A4 antibody, but no functional activity of CYP3A enzymes could be detected. These results show that placental tissue during the first trimester of pregnancy has the potential of expressing several CYP genes, and forms a basis for subsequent analysis of these forms at the protein and functional level.
The possibility of an association of early pregnancy loss (EPL) with residential exposure to ELF magnetic fields was investigated in a case-control study. Eighty-nine cases and 102 controls were obtained from the data of an earlier study aimed at investigating the occurrence of EPL in a group of women attempting to get pregnant. Magnetic-field exposure was characterized by measurements in residences. Strong magnetic fields were measured more often in case than in control residences. In an analysis based on fields measured at the front door, a cutoff score of 0.5 A/m (0.63 microT) resulted in an odds ratio of 5.1 (95% confidence interval 1.0-25). The results should be interpreted cautiously due to the small number of highly exposed subjects and other limitations of the data.
Congenital nephrotic syndrome of the Finnish type [CNF] is an autosomal recessive disorder leading to death in early childhood, if treated conservatively without early renal transplantation. Prenatal screening at midtrimester is feasible by measuring maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein [MSAFP], elevated amniotic fluid [AF] AFP being the only diagnostic test in population screening. We studied whether concentrations of other pregnancy-related markers offer any ancillary procedure for screening.
In a prospective case-control study, the concentrations of maternal serum human chorionic gonadotropin [hCG], unconjugated estriol [uE3], human placental lactogen [hPL] and placental protein 14 [pp14] were measured in samples from six singleton pregnancies associated with fetal CNF and from 18 matched controls at 15 weeks of gestation.
In the CNF group, mean hCG and pp 14 concentrations were slightly elevated, whereas uE3 and hPL concentrations were within the lower normal range. None of these differences were statistically significant and the distribution of these values was too wide to use them for screening.
Low unconjugated E3 and elevated hCG concentrations were expected, since newborns with CNF are growth-retarded and have large placentas. The extent of these alterations was not sufficient to identify high risk pregnancies. Substantial differences in the maternal serum concentrations of hPL and pp 14 were not observed. Hence, MSAFP screening at midtrimester is the strategy of choice for prenatal detection of CNF.
We investigated the postpartum mental health of 139 mothers, 4-8 weeks after delivery and 2 years later. The sample consisted of mothers who attended a maternity center for a routine health check-up 1-2 months after delivery. The occurrence of mental disorders was assessed using a 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). The occurrence of mental disorders (> 2 on the GHQ) was 28.1% in the initial check-up and 19.4% 2 years later. Mental health improved in 27 mothers (19%) but remained impaired (i.e. cases) in 12 (9%). Mental health was normal in 85 mothers (61%) during both examinations. Factors predicting chronicity of mental disorder on univariate analysis were poor financial situation, poor social support, problems with a partner and life events perceived as stressful during follow-up. Those with continuing mental-health problems had more psychiatric problems than the others before pregnancy. Most (92%) of these subjects had not become pregnant again. Using a logistic-regression analysis, independent factors predicting chronicity of mental-health problems were the high Zung score (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.16-1.65) and a deterioration in relationship with a partner during pregnancy (OR 29, 95% CI 1.83-460). On the other hand, a low Zung score (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.14-1.44) after delivery predicted recovery from mental disorder. A postpartum mental disorder usually resolves spontaneously. However, mental symptoms sometimes persist. The postpartum mental-health of mothers should be assessed, and treatment provided, if necessary.
Expression of the Ah receptor-regulated cytochrome P4501B1 (CYP1B1) gene was studied in human adult and fetal tissues and cells in culture by reverse transcriptase-coupled polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In adults, CYP1B1 mRNA was detected in liver, lymphocytes, cells of bronchoalveolar lavage samples and uterine endometrium, but not in lung. The level of expression was very low in adult liver and only three out of six fetal livers expressed CYP1B1. Extrahepatic fetal tissues, especially brains and kidneys, expressed high levels of CYP1B1. CYP1B1 mRNA was constitutively detected at a low level in first trimester and full-term placental samples. A competitive RT-PCR assay was developed to assess the regulation of CYP1B1. CYP1B1 mRNA was not induced in placenta by maternal cigarette smoking. Inducibility of CYP1B1 in cells in culture by the Ah receptor ligand 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin was studied in primary fibroblasts and chorion carcinoma cell line JEG-3 having different CYP1A1 induction properties. Inducibility of CYP1B1 was found to be regulated independently from CYP1A1. In JEG-3 cells CYP1A1 mRNA was induced up to 9000-fold, while the expression of CYP1B1 was not affected. Expression of Ah receptor and Ah receptor nuclear translocator (regulators of the CYP1 family) was determined in human placenta and in the JEG-3 cell line. Expression of these transcription factors was found neither to be co-regulated nor affected by Ah receptor ligands. This study provides evidence that in addition to the Ah receptor complex, other cell-specific factors modulate the response of CYP1B1 and CYP1A1 to Ah receptor ligands.