Air pollution exposure during pregnancy and immune system dysregulation has been linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental consequences. However, little is known about how air pollution during pregnancy affects maternal immunological function. In the Early Markers for Autism (EMA) practice, the researchers sought to determine wanted to see if there was a link between mid-gestational circulating levels of maternal cytokines/chemokines and previous month air pollution exposure across neurodevelopmental groups and if cytokines/chemokines mediate the association between air pollution exposures and the risk of ASD and intellectual disability (ID). The EMA investigation connected archived mother serum samples obtained during weeks 15–19 of pregnancy for standard prenatal screening, birth records, and Department of Developmental Services (DDS) records in a population-based, nested case-control analysis. For a study, the researchers comprised children with ASD without intellectual impairment (ASD without ID;n=199), ASD with intellectual disability (ASD with ID; n=180), ID without ASD (ID; n=164), and children from the general population (GP; n=414) who did not receive DDS services. Luminex multiplex analysis technology measured 22 cytokines/chemokines in serum samples. The maternal residence address given during the prenatal screening visit was used to assign air pollution exposure for the month before maternal serum collection using data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality System. The relationship between the previous month’s air pollution exposure and mid-gestational maternal cytokine and chemokine levels was significant, while the magnitude was small (from -0.16 to 0.13). Adjusted for confounders, ten pairs of mid-pregnancy immune markers and preceding month air pollutants were strongly linked within one of the child neurodevelopmental groups (P<0.001). There was no link between mid-pregnancy air pollution and any neurodevelopmental outcome. Even after controlling for air pollution exposure, IL-6 was still linked to ASD with ID. According to the survey, maternal immune activation is linked to the risk of neurodevelopmental problems. Furthermore, prenatal air pollution exposure is linked to minor but potentially biologically significant changes in maternal immune system function throughout pregnancy. More research is needed to better understand how prenatal air pollution influences the trajectory of maternal immune activation during pregnancy if windows of increased sensitivity can be identified, and how these factors affect child neurodevelopment.

 

Link:link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s11689-020-09343-0