Exposure to antibacterials from mother to child may cause adverse effects in development

August 9, 2017 by Anne M Stark
Research by Lawrence Livermore scientists shows that exposure to antibacterial chemicals common in personal care products such as soap and lotions can transfer from mother to offspring and cause adverse effects. Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have discovered that exposure to environmental levels of triclocarban (TCC), an antibacterial chemical common in personal care products like soaps and lotions as well as in the medical field, can transfer from mother to offspring and interfere with lipid metabolism.

Ultimately, the findings could have implications for human health. The research appears in the Aug. 9 edition of PLOS ONE.

This study represents the first report to quantify the transfer of an environmentally relevant concentration of TCC from mother to . TCC is among the top 10 most commonly detected wastewater contaminants in concentration and frequency.

Lipids are naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, fat-soluble vitamins, monoglycerides, diglycerides, triglycerides and others. The main biological function of lipids is storing energy and signaling, and acting as structural components of cell membranes.

"Our results are significant because of the potential risk of exposure to TCC through contaminated water sources and in the living environment, and the potential adverse effects resulting from this exposure during development," said LLNL biologist Heather Enright, the lead author of the paper. "Early life exposure to TCC has the potential to cause irreversible outcomes due to the fragile nature of and protective mechanisms in developing offspring."

The team studied mice during gestation and lactation to see if, in fact, exposure to TCC would transfer from mother to offspring. Researchers administered TCC laced with carbon-14 to trace how the contaminant distributed in organ systems of female mice and exposed offspring.

Using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), Enright and her colleagues quantified TCC concentrations in offspring and their after . AMS fills a special niche in the biomedical field because it can measure very low concentrations of compounds with extreme accuracy and track bio-distribution and excretion over long periods of time.

"We demonstrated that TCC does effectively transfer from mother to offspring, both trans-placentally and via lactation," Enright said. "Exposure to TCC during development may pose a serious health risk to the developing embryo and fetus, as they are more sensitive to alterations in hormone levels, which may result in changes that often are irreversible."

TCC-related compounds were detected in the tissues of offspring with significantly higher concentrations in the brain, heart and fat. In addition to the transfer from mother to offspring, exposed offspring were heavier in weight than unexposed mice—demonstrating an 11 percent and 8.5 percent increase in body weight for females and males, respectively.

Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used in the study to examine changes in gene expression in liver and adipose tissue in the exposed offspring. The results suggested alterations in genes involved in in exposed female offspring were consistent with the observed increase in fat weights and hepatic triglycerides.

Explore further: Study reveals lung changes in mice exposed to second-hand smoke in utero

Related Stories

Study reveals lung changes in mice exposed to second-hand smoke in utero

June 26, 2017
Mice exposed to second-hand smoke only during gestation undergo abnormal changes to lung structure and function that persist into adulthood, according to research published in the open access journal Respiratory Research. ...

Recent study shows maternal protein restriction in mice alters energy and behavior in male offspring

January 19, 2017
A team of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have found that the adult offspring of mouse dams that consumed a low-protein diet during pregnancy and lactation had an increase in body fat, lower energy expenditure and ...

Nicotine exposure during and after pregnancy can cause hearing problems in children

February 13, 2017
Nicotine exposure, before and after birth, can cause a child to have hearing problems due to abnormal development in the auditory brainstem. This is according to a mouse model study published in The Journal of Physiology.

High-fructose diet during and after pregnancy can cause a fatty liver in offspring

April 27, 2017
A diet high in fructose-containing sugars eaten during pregnancy or while breastfeeding can cause offspring to have a fatty liver, increasing their chances of developing obesity or type 2 diabetes. This is according to a ...

Chemical in antibacterial soap fed to nursing rats harms offspring

June 17, 2013
A mother's exposure to triclocarban, a common antibacterial chemical, while nursing her babies shortens the life of her female offspring, a new study in rats finds. The results were presented Monday at The Endocrine Society's ...

Maternal high-fat diet may increase offspring risk for liver disease

April 24, 2017
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition where fat builds up in the liver, is now the most common chronic liver disease diagnosed in adults and children. Although the disease is linked with obesity, scientists don't ...

Recommended for you

Warning labels can help reduce soda consumption and obesity, new study suggests

December 15, 2017
Labels that warn people about the risks of drinking soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages can lower obesity and overweight prevalence, suggests a new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study.

Office work can be a pain in the neck

December 15, 2017
Neck pain is a common condition among office workers, but regular workplace exercises can prevent and reduce it, a University of Queensland study has found.

Regular takeaways linked to kids' heart disease and diabetes risk factors

December 14, 2017
Kids who regularly eat take-away meals may be boosting their risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Simulation model finds Cure Violence program and targeted policing curb urban violence

December 14, 2017
When communities and police work together to deter urban violence, they can achieve better outcomes with fewer resources than when each works in isolation, a simulation model created by researchers at the UC Davis Violence ...

One in five patients report discrimination in health care

December 14, 2017
Almost one in five older patients with a chronic disease reported experiencing health care discrimination of one type or another in a large national survey that asked about their daily experiences of discrimination between ...

Your pets can't put your aging on 'paws'

December 14, 2017
(HealthDay)—In a finding that's sure to ruffle some fur and feathers, scientists report that having a pet doesn't fend off age-related declines in physical or mental health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.