A study finds adverse effects of prenatal exposure to fine particulate matter in rats, including pregnancy complications and metabolic effects. Air pollution is a worldwide public health concern. Previous studies of exposure of pregnant rats to fine particulate matter found impairments to metabolic and immune systems of offspring, but the effects of air pollution on organ formation in utero remain unclear. Guoyao Wu, Mario J. Molina, Renyi Zhang, and colleagues exposed pregnant rats to high levels of ultrafine ammonium sulfate aerosols and tracked the development of the pups. During pregnancy, air pollution decreased fetal survival rates and shortened gestation and resulted in smaller body weight, brains, hearts, intestines, and other organs at birth, compared with rats born without maternal air pollution exposure. Some organs, including the spleen, thymus, and kidneys, were enlarged in pollution-exposed rats, and the exposed rats exhibited disturbed lipid and glucose metabolism and decreased aorta relaxation during adulthood. According to the authors, the findings suggest the need for strategies to reduce prenatal particulate matter exposure.
Article #19-02925: "Adverse organogenesis and predisposed long-term metabolic syndrome from prenatal exposure to fine particulate matter," by Guoyao Wu et al.
MEDIA CONTACT: Mario J. Molina, University of California, San Diego, CA; tel: 858-534-1696; e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences