Background: Lead (Pb) exposure is a global health hazard causing a wide range of adverse health outcomes. Yet, the mechanisms of Pb toxicology remain incompletely understood, especially during pregnancy. To uncover biological pathways impacted by Pb exposure, this study investigated serum metabolomic profiles during the third trimester of pregnancy that are associated with blood Pb and bone Pb. Methods: We used data and specimens from 99 women enrolled in the Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment, and Social Stressors birth cohort in Mexico City. Maternal Pb exposure was measured in whole blood samples from the third trimester of pregnancy and in the tibia and patella bones at 1 month postpartum. Third-trimester serum samples underwent metabolomic analysis; metabolites were identified based on matching to an in-house analytical standard library. A metabolome-wide association study was performed using multiple linear regression models. Class- and pathway-based enrichment analyses were also conducted. Results: The median (interquartile range) blood Pb concentration was 2.9 (2.6) µg/dL. Median bone Pb, measured in the tibia and patella, were 2.5 (7.3) µg/g and 3.6 (9.5) µg/g, respectively. Of 215 total metabolites identified in serum, 31 were associated with blood Pb (p < 0.05). Class enrichment analysis identified significant overrepresentation of metabolites classified as fatty acids and conjugates, amino acids and peptides, and purines. Tibia and patella Pb were associated with 14 and 8 metabolites, respectively (p < 0.05). Comparing results from bone and blood Pb, glycochenodeoxycholic acid, glycocholic acid, and 1-arachidonoylglycerol were positively associated with blood Pb and tibia Pb, and 7-methylguanine was negatively associated with blood Pb and patella Pb. One metabolite, 5-aminopentanoic acid, was negatively associated with all three Pb measures. Conclusions: This study identified serum metabolites in pregnant women associated with Pb measured in blood and bone. These findings provide insights on the metabolic profile around Pb exposure in pregnancy and information to guide mechanistic studies of toxicological effects for mothers and children.
|Journal||Environmental Health: A Global Access Science Source|
|State||Published - Dec 2021|
- Bone pb
- Fatty acids
- Pb exposure