Ambient black carbon particles reach the fetal side of human placenta

Bove H, Bongaerts E, Slenders E, Bijnens EM, Saenen ND, Gyselaers W, Eyken PV, Plusquin M, Roeffaers MBJ, Ameloot M, Nawrot TS. Ambient black carbon particles reach the fetal side of human placenta

Nature Communications 10, Article number: 3866 (2019) 

Fetal development is a critical window of exposure-related susceptibility because the etiology of diseases in adulthood may have a fetal origin and may be attributed to adverse effects of in utero environmental exposures. This causality concept is known as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease or Barker hypothesis1. Ambient outdoor air pollution exposure is such a detrimental environmental factor that has been identified in this context2,3. Various studies have already described associations between prenatal ambient air pollution exposure and impaired birth outcomes4. For instance, combustion-related PM, including BC, is associated with lower birth weight5,6, preterm birth7,8, and intrauterine growth restriction9,10. Up to now, it remains unclear how exactly adverse effects are provoked in the fetus but various potential mechanisms have been proposed including both indirect (e.g., intrauterine inflammation) and/or direct (e.g., particle translocation) manners11,12,13.

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