Association of prenatal exposure to perfluoroalkyl substances with cord blood adipokines and birth size: The Hokkaido Study on environment and children's health

Environ Res. 2017 Jul;156:175-182. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.03.033. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are synthetic chemicals that persist in the environment and in humans. There is a possible association between prenatal PFASs exposure and both neonate adipokines and birth size, yet epidemiological studies are very limited. The objective of this study was to examine associations of prenatal exposure to PFASs with cord blood adipokines and birth size. We conducted birth cohort study, the Hokkaido Study. In this study, 168 mother-child pairs were included. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) in maternal blood were determined by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Cord blood adiponectin and leptin levels were measured by ELISA and RIA, respectively. Birth weight and ponderal index (PI) were obtained from birth record. The median maternal PFOS and PFOA were 5.1 and 1.4ng/mL, respectively. The median total adiponectin and leptin levels were 19.4μg/mL and 6.2ng/mL, respectively. Adjusted linear regression analyses found that PFOS level was positively associated with total adiponectin levels (β=0.12, 95% CI:0.01, 0.22), contrary was negatively associated with PI (β=-2.25, 95% CI: -4.01, -0.50). PFOA level was negatively associated with birth weight (β=-197, 95% CI: -391, -3). Leptin levels were not associated with PFASs levels. PFOS and adiponectin levels showed marginal dose-response relationship and both PFOS and PFOA and birth size showed significant dose-response relationships. Results from this study suggested that prenatal PFASs exposure may alter cord blood adiponectin levels and may decrease birth size.

Keywords: Adiponectin; Birth cohort; Leptin; PFOA; PFOS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / blood*
  • Adiponectin / blood
  • Adult
  • Body Size / drug effects*
  • Environmental Pollutants / blood
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry*
  • Fluorocarbons / blood*
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Japan
  • Leptin / blood
  • Maternal Exposure*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / chemically induced
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology*


  • ADIPOQ protein, human
  • Adipokines
  • Adiponectin
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Fluorocarbons
  • Leptin