Research press release


Nature Communications

Public health: Black carbon particles observed in the placenta



今回の研究で、Tim Nawrotたちは、黒色炭素粒子が妊婦の胎盤の胎児側に到達することを示す証拠を得た。高分解能撮像によって、5例の早産と23例の満期産において採取された胎盤から黒色炭素粒子が検出されたのだ。そして、住宅に用いられる黒色炭素粒子に妊娠中に曝露した母親のうち、曝露濃度が高い(1立方メートル当たり2.42マイクログラム)10人の母親の場合の方が、低い(1立方メートル当たり0.63マイクログラム)10人の母親の場合よりも胎盤中の黒色炭素粒子が高濃度だった。


この論文との関連で、Clinical Epigeneticsに掲載されるNawrotたちのReviewでは、大気汚染によって引き起こされる胎盤の分子的変化(エピジェネティックな変化を含む)の概要が説明されている。

Black carbon particles have been found on the fetal side of the placenta of women exposed to air pollution during pregnancy, finds an observational study involving 28 women published this week in Nature Communications. Further research is needed to determine whether the particles are able to reach the fetus.

Black carbon particles are released every day into the ambient air, in large part from the combustion of fossil fuels. Such particles are understood to have detrimental effects on pregnancy outcome; for example, they are correlated with pre-term births or low birth weights. Understanding how these particles affect pregnancy - through direct effects on the fetus or indirect effects through the mother - is required to improve pregnancy care in polluted areas.

Tim Nawrot and colleagues provide evidence that black carbon particles can reach the fetal side of the placenta during pregnancy. Using high-resolution imaging, they were able to detect black carbon particles in placentae collected from five pre-term and 23 full-term births. The authors found that ten mothers who had been exposed to high levels of residential black carbon particles (2.42 micrograms per m3) during pregnancy had higher levels of particles in the placenta than ten mothers who had been exposed to low levels of residential black carbon (0.63 micrograms per m3).

Additional research is required to understand whether the accumulation of black carbon particles in placental tissue may be responsible for the adverse effects associated with air pollution exposure during pregnancy.

In an accompanying review article published in the journal Clinical Epigenetics, Tim Nawrot and colleagues provide an overview of molecular alterations in the placenta, including epigenetic changes, caused by air pollution.

doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11654-3

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