Metabolic Diseases Linked to Early Life Pollutant Exposures

Elucidating the role of adipocytokines and insulin-like growth factors in the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases linked to early life environmental pollutant exposures

Principal Investigator: Damaskini Valvi, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.

Developmental exposure to persistent organic pollutants is associated with increased risks for obesity and related metabolic diseases in later life. In vitro and in vivo evidence suggests that these effects may be mediated through hormone alterations, including perturbations in adipocytokine expression and/or in the Growth Hormone/Insulin-like Growth Factor -1 (GH/IGF-1) axis that play a critical role in growth and metabolism since the very first years of life. However, the potential role of these hormones in the pollutant-related pathogenesis of metabolic abnormalities is underexplored in prospective birth cohorts. Therefore, this study examines the associations of prenatal and postnatal exposures to environmental pollutants with repeated measures of serum adipocytokines and GH/IGF-1 axis factors from birth through early puberty in children from a Faroese birth cohort with wide exposure ranges to persistent organic pollutants due to frequent fish consumption.

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Valvi D, Christiani DC, Coull B, Højlund K, Nielsen F, Audouze K, Su L, Weihe P, Grandjean P. Gene-environment interactions in the associations of PFAS exposure with insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function in a Faroese cohort followed from birth to adulthood. Environ Res. 2023 Jun 1;226:115600. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.115600. Epub 2023 Mar 1. PMID: 36868448; PMCID: PMC10101920.

Goodrich JA, Walker DI, He J, Lin X, Baumert BO, Hu X, Alderete TL, Chen Z, Valvi D, Fuentes ZC, Rock S, Wang H, Berhane K, Gilliland FD, Goran MI, Jones DP, Conti DV, Chatzi L. Metabolic Signatures of Youth Exposure to Mixtures of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: A Multi-Cohort Study. Environ Health Perspect. 2023 Feb;131(2):27005. doi: 10.1289/EHP11372. Epub 2023 Feb 22. PMID: 36821578; PMCID: PMC9945578.

Kupsco A, Lee JJ, Prada D, Valvi D, Hu L, Petersen MS, Coull BA, Weihe P, Grandjean P, Baccarelli AA. Marine pollutant exposures and human milk extracellular vesicle-microRNAs in a mother-infant cohort from the Faroe Islands. Environ Int. 2022 Jan;158:106986. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2021.106986. Epub 2021 Nov 20. PMID: 34991248; PMCID: PMC8742869.

Valvi D, Højlund K, Coull BA, Nielsen F, Weihe P, Grandjean P. Life-course Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances in Relation to Markers of Glucose Homeostasis in Early Adulthood. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021 Jul 13;106(8):2495-2504. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab267. PMID: 33890111; PMCID: PMC8277200.