Prenatal ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure impacts infant development and alters placental mitochondrial DNA abundance. We investigated whether the timing of PM2.5 exposure predicts placental mitochondrial mutational load using NextGen sequencing in 283 multi-ethnic mother-infant dyads. We observed increased PM2.5 exposure, particularly during mid- to late-pregnancy and among genes coding for NADH dehydrogenase and subunits of ATP synthase, was associated with a greater amount of nonsynonymous mutations. The strongest associations were observed for participants of African ancestry. Further work is needed to tease out the role of mitochondrial genetics and its impact on offspring development and emerging disease disparities.
- Air pollution