A positive association between umbilical cord RBC folate and fetal TL at birth supports a potential for fetal reprogramming

Academic Article


  • Telomere length (TL) has been studied extensively in adults; however, limited information exists regarding maternal influences on TL in utero. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between fetal red blood cell (RBC) folate levels, a surrogate measure for maternal folate levels, and TL. We hypothesized that umbilical cord RBC folate concentrations would positively correlate with fetal TL. Data for this analysis were collected as part of a prospective cohort study that recruited pregnant women upon admission into labor and delivery. Cord blood was collected for 96 maternal-fetal dyads, and DNA analysis was performed using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The telomere to single copy gene ratio method was used to determine TL, and RBC folate levels were measured. Statistical analysis was conducted by incorporating a bootstrapping approach into generalized linear modeling-based analyses. Consistent significant positive correlations were observed between RBC folate and TL (telomere to single copy gene ratio) with 9880 of the 10. 000 (98.8%) iterations performed having a P value less than .05. Our study shows a positive association between umbilical cord RBC folate and fetal TL at birth. These findings may provide a pathway of understanding and preventing adult-onset disease and mortality through intrauterine reprogramming.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Nutrition Research  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Louis-Jacques AF; Salihu HM; King LM; Paothong A; Sinkey RG; Pradhan A; Riggs BM; Siegel EM; Salemi JL; Whiteman VE
  • Start Page

  • 703
  • End Page

  • 709
  • Volume

  • 36
  • Issue

  • 7