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Exposure of pregnant women to organophosphate insecticides and child motor inhibition at the age of 10–12 years evaluated by fMRI

Abstract : Background: Organophosphate pesticides (OP) are widely used for both agricultural and domestic purposes. Epidemiological studies suggest neurotoxicity in children after exposure to organophosphates pesticides (OP) at low levels but possible mechanism is still unclear. Objectives: We aimed at investigating the effects of prenatal exposure to OPs on inhibitory control of 10-12 year-old-children assessed by a motor inhibition task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Methods: Ninety-five children from the PELAGIE cohort (Brittany-France, from 2002) underwent a fMRI examination during which inhibition was assessed by a Go/No-Go task. Task performance was assessed by average response latency, commission rate and composite performance score (PS). Whole brain activation was estimated by modeling the hemodynamic response related to inhibition demand and successful inhibition. OP exposure was assessed by measuring six dialkylphosphate (DAP) metabolites in the urine of women in early pregnancy (<19 WG). Concentrations were summed to obtain overall levels of diethylphosphate (DE), dimethylphosphate (DM) and total non-specific metabolites (DAP), standardized to homogenize sampling conditions and categorized into levels of exposure: low (reference), moderate or high. Regression models were adjusted for potential cofounders considered by restriction and statistical criteria. Results: Moderate levels of DAP were associated with a decreased commission rate (β = -6.65%, p = 0.04), indicating improved performance. Increasing levels of DM and DE were associated with decreased brain activity in the left inferior and bilateral superior frontal regions during successful inhibition. We did not observe any differential activation related to inhibitory demands. Discussion: These results suggest that prenatal OPs may be associated with altered pattern of brain activity in regions related to inhibition among children and need to be confirmed by additional studies.
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Contributor : Elise Bannier <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 11:55:40 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 11, 2020 - 3:12:04 AM

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A.C. Binter, E. Bannier, D. Saint-Amour, G. Simon, Christian Barillot, et al.. Exposure of pregnant women to organophosphate insecticides and child motor inhibition at the age of 10–12 years evaluated by fMRI. Environmental Research, Elsevier, 2020, 188, pp.109859. ⟨10.1016/j.envres.2020.109859⟩. ⟨inserm-02932111⟩

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