Differential DNA methylation in newborns with maternal exposure to heavy metals from an e-waste recycling area

Zhijun Zeng, Xia Huo, Yu Zhang, Machteld N. Hylkema, Yousheng Wu, Xijin Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study explored the effects of maternal exposure to e-waste environmental heavy metals on neonatal DNA methylation patterns. Neonatal umbilical cord blood (UCB) samples were collected from participants that resided in an e-waste recycling area, Guiyu and a nearby non-e-waste area, Haojiang in China. The concentrations of UCB lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), manganese (Mn) and chromium (Cr) were measured by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. Epigenome-wide DNA methylation at 473, 844 CpG sites (CpGs) were assessed by Illumina 450 K BeadChip. The differential methylation of CpG sites from the microarray were further validated by bisulfite pyrosequencing. Bioinformatics analysis showed that 125 CpGs mapped to 79 genes were differential methylation in the e-waste exposed group with higher concentrations of heavy metals in neonatal UCB. These genes mainly involve in multiple biological processes including calcium ion binding, cell adhesion, embryonic morphogenesis, as well as in signaling pathways related to NFkB activation, adherens junction, TGF beta and apoptosis. Among them, BAI1 and CTNNA2 (involving in neuron differentiation and development) were further verified to be hyper- and hypo-methylated, respectively, which were associated with maternal Pb exposure. These results suggest that maternal exposure to e-waste environmental heavy metals (particularly lead) during pregnancy are associated with peripheral blood differential DNA methylation in newborns, specifically the genes involving in brain neuron development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-545
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume171
Early online date6-Jan-2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2019

Keywords

  • E-waste
  • Heavy metals
  • Maternal exposure
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • BLOOD LEAD LEVELS
  • BIRTH-WEIGHT
  • ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE
  • CADMIUM EXPOSURE
  • MANGANESE
  • CHILDREN
  • CHROMIUM
  • HEALTH
  • GUIYU
  • TOWN

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