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Author Notes:

To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: var1@columbia.edu

Author contributions: V.A.R., F.P.P., R.M.W., T.A.S., and B.S.P. designed research; M.K.H., R.B., X.H., and J.L. performed research; D.B.B. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; R.B., X.H., and J.L. analyzed data; and V.A.R., R.B., T.A.S., and B.S.P. wrote the paper.

We are grateful to the families of northern Manhattan who have so generously contributed their time and effort to the study.

Conflict of interest statement: T.A.S. has provided expert testimony on the health effects of chlorpyrifos on behalf of government entities, corporations, and/or individuals.

Subjects:

Research Funding:

This study was supported by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Grants 5P01ES09600, P50ES015905, and 5R01ES08977, as well as pilot funding through ES009089; US Environmental Protection Agency STAR Grants RD834509, RD832141, and R827027; National Institute of Mental Health Grants MH068318 and K02-74677; and the John and Wendy Neu Family Foundation.

Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Multidisciplinary Sciences
  • Science & Technology - Other Topics
  • MULTIDISCIPLINARY SCIENCES
  • brain structure
  • neurotoxicity
  • NEONATAL CHLORPYRIFOS EXPOSURE
  • MEXICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN
  • INNER-CITY CHILDREN
  • DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROTOXICITY
  • SEROTONERGIC MECHANISMS
  • INSECTICIDE EXPOSURES
  • PREGNANCY
  • COHORT
  • ATTENTION
  • TARGETS

Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide

Tools:

Journal Title:

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Volume:

Volume 109, Number 20

Publisher:

, Pages 7871-7876

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF

Abstract:

Prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphate insecticide, is associated with neurobehavioral deficits in humans and animal models. We investigated associations between CPF exposure and brain morphology using magnetic resonance imaging in 40 children, 5.9-11.2 y, selected from a nonclinical, representative community-based cohort. Twenty high-exposure children (upper tertile of CPF concentrations in umbilical cord blood) were compared with 20 low-exposure children on cortical surface features; all participants had minimal prenatal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. High CPF exposure was associated with enlargement of superior temporal, posterior middle temporal, and inferior postcentral gyri bilaterally, and enlarged superior frontal gyrus, gyrus rectus, cuneus, and precuneus along the mesial wall of the right hemisphere. Group differences were derived from exposure effects on underlying white matter. A significant exposure x IQ interaction was derived from CPF disruption of normal IQ associations with surface measures in low-exposure children. In preliminary analyses, high-exposure children did not show expected sex differences in the right inferior parietal lobule and superior marginal gyrus, and displayed reversal of sex differences in the right mesial superior frontal gyrus, consistent with disruption by CPF of normal behavioral sexual dimorphisms reported in animal models. High-exposure children also showed frontal and parietal cortical thinning, and an inverse dose-response relationship between CPF and cortical thickness. This study reports significant associations of prenatal exposure to a widely used environmental neurotoxicant, at standard use levels, with structural changes in the developing human brain.

Copyright information:

© Rauh et al.

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