Background: Mitochondria are sensitive to environmental toxicants due to the limited repair capacity. Exposure to benzotriazoles (BTRs) and benzothiazoles (BTHs) may contribute to adverse health outcomes through oxidative stress, which may interfere with mitochondrial function. However, the mitochondrial effects of exposure to BTs (BTRs and BTHs) have not yet been elucidated, particularly in human investigations. Objectives: We examined the associations between trimester-specific urinary BTRs and BTHs concentrations and cord blood mitochondrial DNA copy number (mtDNAcn) in a prospective birth cohort. Methods: The present study included 742 mother-infant pairs who participated in a birth cohort between 2014 and 2015 in Wuhan and had data on urinary concentrations of BTRs and BTHs and mtDNAcn in cord blood. Concentrations of BTs were repeatedly measured in maternal urine samples at different trimesters using high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Relative mtDNAcn in umbilical cord blood was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Generalized estimating equations were used to evaluate the associations between BTs exposure across gestation and mtDNAcn in cord blood. Results: In the present study, we observed a positive association between urinary 2-methylthio-benzothiazole (2-MeS-BTH) concentrations in the first trimester and cord blood mtDNAcn, with marginal significance [percent changes (%Δ) = 3.97, 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.05, 8.16, p = 0.05], while urinary 2-amino-benzothiazole concentrations in the third trimester were significantly negatively associated with cord blood mtDNAcn (%Δ = −5.89, 95% CI: −10.32, −1.24). Similar patterns of associations were demonstrated between urinary 1-H-benzotriazole (1-H-BTR) and xylyltriazole concentrations in the third trimester and cord blood mtDNAcn (%Δ = −4.18 to −3.23). In sex-specific analysis, we identified that maternal urinary 1-H-BTR in the first trimester and 2-MeS-BTH in the third trimester were positively associated with cord blood mtDNAcn among male infants but not female (P for interaction = 0.05 for 1-H-BTR, P for interaction = 0.05 for 2-MeS-BTH, respectively). Conclusions: We found evidence that prenatal exposure to BTRs and BTHs were associated with cord blood mtDNAcn alternation, and these associations were modified by infant gender. Further investigations are needed to corroborate these findings.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Mitochondrial DNA copy number
- Prenatal exposure
- Repeated measurement