Background: Nonylphenol (NP) has been proven as an endocrine disrupter and had the ability to interfere with the endocrine system. Though the health effects of NP on pregnant women and their fetuses are sustained, these negative associations related to the mechanisms of regulation for estrogen during pregnancy need to be further clarified. The objective of this study is to explore the association between maternal NP and hormonal levels, such as estradiol, testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and progesterone. Methods: A pregnant women cohort was established in North Taiwan between March and December 2010. Maternal urine and blood samples from the first, second, and third trimesters of gestation were collected. Urinary NP concentration was measured by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with fluorescent detection. A mixed-effects model using a generalised estimating equation (GEE) was applied to assess the associations between maternal NP concentration and plasma hormones throughout the three trimesters. Results: In total, 162 singleton pregnant women completed this study through delivery. The geometric mean of creatinine-adjusted urinary NP concentrations were 4.27, 4.21, and 4.10 μg/g cre. in the first, second, and third trimesters respectively. A natural log-transformation of urinary NP concentrations were significantly associated with LH in the GEE model (β = -0.23 mIU/ml, p<0.01). Conclusion: This perspective cohort study demonstrates that negative association occurs between maternal NP exposure and plasma LH levels. The estrogen-mimic effect of NP might influence the negative feedback on LH during pregnancy.
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