The Mother and Child Environmental Cohort (MACE) study piloted in South Africa in 2010 to 2011, collected genetic, biochemical and clinical data from pregnant females residing in south and north Durban. We evaluated birth outcomes and the influence of GSTM1pos→GSTM1null and theGSTP1 (Ile105Val; AA→AG/GG) polymorphisms on the extent of DNA damage and with biomarkers [glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA)] related to oxidative stress in mothers with different levels of pollutant exposure. There was no significant difference in adverse birth outcomes or genotype distribution between mothers from the exposed and lower exposed areas. Mean GSH and comet tail length did not differ significantly between GSTM1pos and GSTM1null genotypes. When stratified by genotype, mean MDA levels was higher among GSTM1 null mothers compared to the GSTM1pos mothers (p = 0.01). When each of the genotypes was stratified by exposure, mean GSH concentration was significantly higher in north Durban for theGSTM1pos, GSTM1null and GSTP1AG+GG genotypes (p < 0.05), and mean comet tail length was significantly increased in south Durban among participants with the GSTM1pos, GSTM1null, and the GSTP1AG+GG genotypes. The expression of GSTM1 and GSTP1 polymorphic genotypes may lead to varying susceptibility to the adverse effects of pollutants by modifying the response to oxidative stress.
Key words: Glutathione S-transferase Mu 1 (GSTM1), glutathione S-transferase pi gene(GSTP1), oxidative stress, birth cohort, glutathione, gene polymorphism, DNA damage.
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