Periconceptional environment predicts leukocyte telomere length in a cross-sectional study of 7-9 year old rural Gambian children

K. Maasen, P.T. James, A.M. Prentice, S.E. Moore, C.H. Fall, G.R. Chandak, M. Betts, M.J. Silver*, J.L. Buxton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Early life exposures are important predictors of adult disease risk. Although the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown, telomere maintenance may be involved. This study investigated the relationship between seasonal differences in parental exposures at time of conception and leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in their offspring. LTL was measured in two cohorts of children aged 2yrs (N=487) and 7-9yrs (N=218). The association between date of conception and LTL was examined using Fourier regression models, adjusted for age, sex, leukocyte cell composition, and other potential confounders. We observed an effect of season in the older children in all models [likelihood ratio test (LRT) chi (2)(2)=7.1, p=0.03; fully adjusted model]. LTL was greatest in children conceived in September (in the rainy season), and smallest in those conceived in March (in the dry season), with an effect size (LTL peak-nadir) of 0.60 z-scores. No effect of season was evident in the younger children (LRT chi (2)(2)=0.87, p=0.65). The different results obtained for the two cohorts may reflect a delayed effect of season of conception on postnatal telomere maintenance. Alternatively, they may be explained by unmeasured differences in early life exposures, or the increased telomere attrition rate during infancy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9675
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • association
  • birth
  • dna methylation
  • exposure
  • folate
  • intrauterine growth restriction
  • mortality
  • one-carbon metabolites
  • oxidative stress
  • seasonality
  • MORTALITY
  • OXIDATIVE STRESS
  • DNA METHYLATION
  • ONE-CARBON METABOLITES
  • SEASONALITY
  • INTRAUTERINE GROWTH RESTRICTION
  • BIRTH
  • ASSOCIATION
  • EXPOSURE
  • FOLATE

Cite this