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Polymorphisms in gene UGT1A1 modify the association of prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with congenital heart diseases risk.

INTRODUCTION: Prenatal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is a risk factor for the occurrence of congenital heart diseases (CHDs). Genetic susceptibility to PAHs metabolism may modify the exposure-risk relationship. The role of uridine diphosphoglucuronosyl transferase 1A1 ( UGT1A1 ) genetic polymorphisms for modulating the impacts of prenatal PAHs exposure on the risk of CHDs remains to be discovered.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate whether maternal UGT1A1 genetic polymorphisms are associated with fetal susceptibility to CHDs and to assess whether the risk is modified by maternal PAHs exposure.

METHODS: Maternal urinary biomarker of PAHs exposure was determined in 357 pregnant women with CHDs fetuses and 270 controls (pregnant women carrying fetuses without major congenital malformations). Urinary 1-hydroxypyrene-glucuronide (1-OHPG) concentration, a sensitive biomarker for PAHs exposure, was measured using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. Maternal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in UGT1A1 , including rs3755319, rs887829, rs4148323, rs6742078, and rs6717546, were genotyped using an improved multiplex ligation detection reaction (iMLDR) technique. Unconditional logistic regression was performed to determine the impacts of UGT1A1 polymorphisms on the risks of CHDs and their subtypes. Generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction (GMDR) was used to analyze the gene-gene and gene-PAHs exposure interactions.

RESULTS: None of the selected UGT1A1 polymorphisms was independently associated with the risk of CHDs. The interaction between SNP rs4148323 and PAHs exposure was observed to be associated with CHDs ( p < .05). Pregnant women with high-level PAHs exposure and rs4148323 had an increased risk of carrying CHDs fetuses (GA-AA vs. GG: aOR = 2.00, 95% CI = 1.06-3.79). Moreover, the joint effect of rs4148323 and PAHs exposure was found to be significantly associated with risks of septal defects, conotruncal heart defects, and right-sided obstructive malformations.

CONCLUSIONS: Maternal genetic variations of UGT1A1 rs4148323 may modify the association between prenatal PAHs exposure and CHDs risk. This finding needs to be further confirmed in a larger-scale study.

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