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Principal Investigator: Braun, Joseph M
Institute Receiving Award Brown University
Location Providence, RI
Grant Number R01ES032836
Funding Organization National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Award Funding Period 25 Sep 2021 to 31 Jul 2025
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Project Abstract Exposure to environmental chemical mixtures may increase the risk of cardiometabolic disease. Of particular concern are prenatal exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of chemicals used as processing aids for oil/water repellant textiles, fluoropolymer manufacturing, food packaging, cleaning products, and firefighting foams. PFAS exposure is ubiquitous, deriving from contaminated food and drinking water. Over 6 million people in the US have PFAS contaminated drinking water, and many more have low-level exposure. Animal and human studies show that prenatal PFAS exposure may increase the risk of obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hypertension – components of the cardiometabolic syndrome that markedly increase the risk of adulthood cardiovascular diseases. However, few studies have investigated the health effects of PFAS mixtures, and the biological pathways underlying these effects are poorly understood. Guided by our preliminary studies and the hypothesis that biological pathways represented in the serum metabolome are sensitive to early life PFAS mixture exposure and predictive of later life cardiometabolic health, we will use non-targeted high-resolution metabolomics to quantify the associations between prenatal PFAS mixtures, the metabolome, and cardiometabolic disease. Building upon two established and ongoing prospective cohorts of pregnant women and their children from Canada (MIREC Study, n=500) and Cincinnati, Ohio (HOME Study, n=250), we will measure >25,000 features of the serum metabolome at delivery and ages 3-5, and 7-12 years. We will link these data to previously collected or to be measured prenatal PFAS biomarkers and cardiometabolic outcomes at age 7-12 years. We will use sophisticated biostatistical techniques to reduce the dimensionality of these data and discover metabolomic signatures associated with both prenatal PFAS mixtures and cardiometabolic outcomes in MIREC, replicating our findings using HOME. Specifically, we will: 1) characterize trajectories of the serum metabolome in the first 12 years of life; 2) identify features of serum metabolome trajectories in the first 12 years of life that predict adolescent cardiometabolic disease; 3) determine if metabolome features mediate the association of prenatal exposure to PFAS mixtures with adolescent cardiometabolic disease; and 4) determine the chemical identity of metabolome features discovered in Aim 3. This interdisciplinary proposal that includes epidemiologists, clinicians, biostatisticians, and chemists will efficiently leverage two ongoing cohort studies to address these timely aims. Ultimately, the proposed studies will have substantial impact by improving our knowledge of the health effects of PFAS, identifying novel metabolic alterations associated with PFAS mixtures and adolescent health, and improving our understanding of biological pathways affecting cardiometabolic disease. These results are critical to ongoing evaluations of PFAS toxicity and may help identify exposed populations at risk of cardiometabolic disease and potentially ameliorate the effects of PFAS exposure.
Science Code(s)/Area of Science(s) Primary: 41 - Cardiovascular System
Secondary: 03 - Carcinogenesis/Cell Transformation
Publications See publications associated with this Grant.
Program Officer Bonnie Joubert
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