Influence of glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms on cognitive functioning effects induced by p,p′-DDT among preschoolers

Eva Morales, Jordi Sunyer, Francesc Castro-Giner, Xavier Estivill, Jordi Julvez, Nuria Ribas-Fitó, Maties Torrent, Joan O. Grimalt, Rafael de Cid

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Background: Early-life exposure to p,p'-DDT [2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane] is associated with a decrease in cognitive skills among preschoolers at 4 years of age. We hypothesized that genetic variability in glutathione S-transferase (GST) genes (GSTP1, GSTM1, and GSTT1) could influence the effects of prenatal exposure to p,p'-DDT. Methods: We used data from 326 children assessed in a prospective population-based birth cohort at the age of 4 years. In that study, the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities were administrated by psychologists, organochlorine compounds were measured in cord serum, and genotyping was conducted for the coding variant Ile105Val from GSTP1 and for null alleles from GSTM1 and GSTT1. We used linear regression models to measure the association between organochlorines and neurodevelopmental scores by GST polymorphisms. Results: p,p'-DDT cord serum concentration was inversely associated with general cognitive, memory, quantitative, and verbal skills, as well as executive function and working memory, in children who had any GSTP1 Val-105 allele. GSTP1 polymorphisms and prenatal p,p'-DDT exposure showed a statistically significant interaction for general cognitive skills (p = 0.05), quantitative skills (p = 0.02), executive function (p = 0.01), and working memory (p = 0.02). There were no significant associations between p,p'-DDT and cognitive functioning at 4 years of age according to GSTM1 and GSTT1 polymorphisms. Conclusions: Results indicate that children with GSTP1 Val-105 allele were at higher risk of the adverse cognitive functioning effects of prenatal p,p'-DDT exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1581-1585
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008



  • Children
  • Cognitive functioning
  • Gene-environment interaction
  • Glutathione S-transferase
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Polymorphism
  • p,p′-DDE
  • p,p′-DDT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Morales, E., Sunyer, J., Castro-Giner, F., Estivill, X., Julvez, J., Ribas-Fitó, N., Torrent, M., Grimalt, J. O., & de Cid, R. (2008). Influence of glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms on cognitive functioning effects induced by p,p′-DDT among preschoolers. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(11), 1581-1585.