Acetaminophen use during pregnancy and DNA methylation in the placenta of the extremely low gestational age newborn (ELGAN) cohort

Kezia A Addo, Catherine Bulka , Radhika Dhingra, Hudson P Santos Jr, Lisa Smeester, T Michael O’Shea, Rebecca C Fry

Environ Epigenet. 2019 Aug 6;5(2):dvz010.

PubMed Link

Acetaminophen is considered safest antipyretic/analgesic medication for pregnant women, although prenatal exposure associated with early life epigenetic changes and later life health outcomes. We evaluated epigenome-wide CpG methylation in placental tissue in relation to maternal acetaminophen use in pregnancy in cohort of 286 newborns born prior to 28 weeks gestation. More than half of the newborns had acetaminophen exposure in utero. 42 CpGs were identified to be differentially methylated at a false discovery rate < 0.05, with most displaying increased methylation. A significantly associated gene is the prostaglandin receptor (PTGDR), which plays essential role mediating placental blood flow and fetal growth. 6 of the 42 CpGs, were significantly different between male and female placentas; 3 sites associated in the male placenta and 3 associated in the female placenta (P interaction < 0.2). Findings highlight maternal acetaminophen use in pregnancy is associated w/placental epigenome and some are sex dependent.