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637 Prenatal Exposure to Hydroxylated Polychlorinated Biphenyls is Associated with the Quality of the Motor Repertoire in Three-Month-Old Infants
  1. SA Berghuis,
  2. SD Soechitram,
  3. MM Hitzert,
  4. PJJ Sauer,
  5. AF Bos
  1. University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands


Background and Aim Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous environmental toxins, potentially toxic to the developing brain. Hydroxylated PCBs (OH-PCBs) are suggested to be even more toxic because of hydroxylation by the fetus and active transplacental transport of OH-PCBs. Still, little is known about their short-term health effects in humans. We aimed to determine whether prenatal exposure to OH-PCBs is associated with the neurological condition in three-month-old infants, assessed by the quality of the motor repertoire.

Methods In a Dutch observational cohort study, 97 mother-infant pairs participated. Cord blood samples were analyzed for PCB and OH-PCB concentrations. The quality of the motor repertoire was evaluated at 3 months from video-recordings. We determined the quality of General Movements (GMs) and calculated a Motor Optimality Score (MOS) ranging from 5 to 28 (low to high optimality). We explored correlations between PCB/OH-PCB levels and MOS using Spearman’s Rank correlation. Next, we tested whether PCB/OH-PCBs levels differed between infants with ‘low’ (<26) and ‘high’ MOS (≥26).

Results We found no association between PCB/OH-PCB levels and the quality of GMs. Associations existed between several PCB/OH-PCB levels and MOS, including detailed aspects of the motor repertoire. High 4-OH-PCB-107 levels were associated with a low MOS (P=0.013). High PCB-187 levels were associated with reduced midline arm and leg movements (P=0.047 and P=0.043, respectively).

Conclusion Prenatal exposure to higher 4-OH-PCB-107 levels was associated with a non-optimal quality of the motor repertoire in three-month-old infants. This negative effect may be mediated by reduced thyroid hormone concentrations in the brain.

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