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Studies measuring dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) exposure during key windows of susceptibility including the intrauterine period suggest that DDT exposure is associated with breast cancer risk. We hypothesized that prenatal DDT exposure is associated with DNA methylation. Using prospective data from 316 daughters in the Child Health and Development Study, we examined the association between prenatal exposure to DDTs and DNA methylation in blood collected in midlife (mean age: 49 years). To identify differentially methylated regions (DMRs) associated with markers of DDTs (p,p'-DDT and the primary metabolite of p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, and o,p'-DDT, the primary constituents of technical DDT), we measured methylation in 30 genes important to breast cancer. We observed DDT DMRs in three genes, CCDC85A, CYP1A1 and ZFPM2, each of which has been previously implicated in pubertal development and breast cancer susceptibility. These findings suggest prenatal DDT exposure may have life-long consequence through alteration in genes relevant to breast cancer. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Hui-Chen Wu, Barbara A Cohn, Piera M Cirillo, Regina M Santella, Mary Beth Terry. DDT exposure during pregnancy and DNA methylation alterations in female offspring in the Child Health and Development Study. Reproductive toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.). 2020 Mar;92:138-147

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PMID: 30822522

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