Prenatal Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution and the DNA Methylation in Cord Blood Cells: MOCEH Study

Jaehyun Park, Woo Jin Kim, Jeeyoung Kim, Chan Yeong Jeong, Hyesook Park, Yun Chul Hong, Mina Ha, Yangho Kim, Sungho Won, Eunhee Ha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Particulate matter with a diameter of ≤10 µm (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) affect the DNA methylation in the fetus, but epigenetic studies regarding prenatal exposure to air pollution in Asia are lacking. Therefore, this study aimed to assess whether there is any association between the ambient concentrations of PM10 and NO2 and CpG methylation in the cord blood DNA by using a Korean birth cohort. The concentrations of the air pollutants were incorporated into the final LUR model by using the maternal address data. The methylation level was determined using Hu-manMethylationEPIC BeadChip and a linear regression analysis model. A multipollutant model including both PM10 and NO2 and models with single pollutants were used for each trimester exposure. The number of differentially methylated positions was the largest for midpregnancy exposure in both the single pollutant models and the multipollutant regression analysis. Additionally, geneset analysis regarding midpregnancy exposure revealed four gene ontology terms (cellular response to staurosporine, positive regulation of cytoskeleton organization, neurotransmitter transport, and execution phase of apoptosis). In conclusion, these findings show an association between prenatal PM10 and NO2 exposure and DNA methylation in several CpG sites in cord blood cells, especially for midpregnancy exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3292
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Cord blood
  • DNA methylation
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Particulate matter


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