Superfund Research Program
Postnatal Complications and Interventions Against Halogenated Organics During Pregnancy
Final Progress Reports
The goal of this research is to elucidate the potential long-term health complications and mechanisms of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) toxicity during the critical periods of in utero and early postnatal life. The researchers have found that exposure to PCBs during pregnancy and nursing significantly and negatively impacts offspring body composition and glucose homeostasis. Meanwhile, exposures during the nursing period only affect offspring short-term glucose tolerance but not offspring lean mass. In addition, the research team investigated whether a nutritional intervention, as well as maternal exercise during pregnancy, improves the detrimental health outcomes in the offspring. Trainees are drafting these results into multiple manuscripts. In addition, they have begun to look at the protection offered by exercise against obesity during pregnancy and found improved body composition and glucose homeostasis in exercising dams (Carter, 2015). Further, they have investigated the combined effects of exercise and protein supplementation as a combination therapy against high fat diet induced obesity in female mice (Platt, 2016). The research team is currently studying mice that lack a stress response transcription factor in order to find potential programming mechanisms. Exciting new data using a mouse model suggest that maternal exercise during pregnancy and nursing improve offspring disease risk associated with perinatal PCB exposure. The results are too new to have been published but provide a wealth of data with clinical implications.