Free Radic Biol Med. 2024 Mar;213:222-232. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2024.01.022. Epub 2024 Jan 21.


BACKGROUND: Inflammation and oxidative stress are critical to pregnancy, but most human study has focused on downstream, non-causal indicators. Oxylipins are lipid mediators of inflammation and oxidative stress that act through many biological pathways. Our aim was to characterize predictors of circulating oxylipin concentrations based on maternal characteristics.

METHODS: Our study was conducted among 901 singleton pregnancies in the LIFECODES Fetal Growth Study, a nested case-cohort with recruitment from 2007 to 2018. We measured a targeted panel of oxylipins in early pregnancy plasma and urine samples from several biosynthetic pathways, defined by the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) precursor and enzyme group. We evaluated levels across predictors, including characteristics of participants’ pregnancy, socioeconomic determinants, and obstetric and medical history.

RESULTS: Current pregnancy and sociodemographic characteristics were the most important predictors of circulating oxylipins concentrations. Plasma oxylipins were lower and urinary oxylipins higher for participants with a later gestational age at sampling (13-23 weeks), higher prepregnancy BMI (obesity class I, II, or III), Black or Hispanic race and ethnicity, and lower socioeconomic status (younger age, lower education, and uninsured). For example, compared to those with normal or underweight prepregnancy BMI, participants with class III prepregnancy obesity had 45-46% lower plasma epoxy-eicosatrienoic acids, the anti-inflammatory oxylipins produced from arachidonic acid (AA) by cytochrome P450, and had 81% higher urinary 15-series F2-isoprostanes, an indicator of oxidative stress produced from non-enzymatic AA oxidation. Similarly, in urine, Black participants had 92% higher prostaglandin E2 metabolite, a pro-inflammatory oxylipin, and 41% higher 5-series F2-isoprostane, an oxidative stress indicator.

CONCLUSIONS: In this large pregnancy study, we found that circulating levels of oxylipins were different for participants of lower socioeconomic status or of a systematically marginalized racial and ethnic groups. Given associations differed along biosynthetic pathways, results provide insight into etiologic links between maternal predictors and inflammation and oxidative stress.

PMID:38262546 | PMC:PMC10922808 | DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2024.01.022