Urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations in relation to levels of circulating matrix metalloproteinases in pregnant women

Sci Total Environ. 2018 Feb 1;613-614:1349-1352. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.09.244. Epub 2017 Sep 28.


Phthalate exposure has been shown to be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, human studies informing relevant mechanistic pathways are lacking. Experimental studies have reported that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which are responsible for extracellular protein degradation, may be upregulated in response to phthalate exposure. In this exploratory study we measured urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations, plasma MMP levels, and relevant covariates among 134 pregnant women. There were statistically significant or suggestive positive relationships between several phthalates, particularly between metabolites of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, with MMP-1 and MMP-9 levels. Further research is needed to confirm these results and how they may inform the mechanisms involved between phthalate exposure and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Keywords: Biomarker; Environment; Enzyme; Epidemiology; Exposure; Pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / blood
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / blood
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / blood*
  • Phthalic Acids / metabolism
  • Phthalic Acids / urine*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women


  • Phthalic Acids
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases
  • MMP9 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • MMP1 protein, human
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1