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McCullough, Lauren E.; Miller, Erline E.; Calderwood, Laura E.; Shivappa, Nitin; Steck, Susan E.; Forman, Michele R.; Mendez, Michelle A.; Maguire, Rachel L.; Fuemmeler, Bernard F.; & Kollins, Scott H., et al. (2017). Maternal Inflammatory Diet and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes: Circulating Cytokines and Genomic Imprinting as Potential Regulators?. Epigenetics, 12(8), 688-697. PMCID: PMC5687326


Excessive inflammation during pregnancy alters homeostatic mechanisms of the developing fetus and has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes. An anti-inflammatory diet could be a promising avenue to combat the pro-inflammatory state of pregnancy, particularly in obese women, but we lack mechanistic data linking this dietary pattern during pregnancy to inflammation and birth outcomes. In an ethnically diverse cohort of 1057 mother-child pairs, we estimated the relationships between dietary inflammatory potential [measured via the energy-adjusted dietary inflammatory index (E-DII)] and birth outcomes overall, as well as by offspring sex and maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). In a subset of women, we also explored associations between E-DII, circulating cytokines (n = 105), and offspring methylation (n = 338) as potential modulators of these relationships using linear regression. Adjusted regression models revealed that women with pro-inflammatory diets had elevated rates of preterm birth among female offspring [beta = -0.22, standard error (SE) = 0.07, P<0.01], but not male offspring (beta=0.09, SE = 0.06, P<0.12) (P interaction = 0.003). Similarly, we observed pro-inflammatory diets were associated with higher rates of caesarean delivery among obese women (beta = 0.17, SE = 0.08, P = 0.03), but not among women with BMI <25 kg/m2 (P interaction = 0.02). We observed consistent inverse associations between maternal inflammatory cytokine concentrations (IL-12, IL-17, IL-4, IL-6, and TNF alpha) and lower methylation at the


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McCullough, Lauren E.
Miller, Erline E.
Calderwood, Laura E.
Shivappa, Nitin
Steck, Susan E.
Forman, Michele R.
Mendez, Michelle A.
Maguire, Rachel L.
Fuemmeler, Bernard F.
Kollins, Scott H.
Bilbo, Staci D.
Huang, Zhiqing
Murtha, Amy P.
Murphy, Susan K.
Hebert, James R.
Hoyo, Cathrine