Project 2: Leryn Reynolds, PhD on Reducing Postnatal Complications from Maternal Exposures

Leryn Reynolds: My name’s Leryn Reynolds, and I’m a postdoctoral fellow in Dr Kevin Pearson’s lab in the Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences department

And, I’ve been at UK, and a part of the Superfund, for a little over a year and a half now  In our lab, we primarily study how environmental factors during pregnancy can impact baby health So, specifically, in regards to the Superfund, we look at how polychlorinated biphenol exposure during pregnancy, and also during nursing, can impact offspring risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes So, what we’ve found up to this point, are that offspring who are born to mothers exposed to polychlorinated biphenols during pregnancy and during nursing, they tend to have impaired glucose tolerance, which is a marker of diabetes, as well as reduced skeletal muscle mass So there are several sites around the state of Kentucky, with polychlorinated biphenol exposures

And, so, our data would support and suggest that offspring who are born to mothers exposed to polychlorinated biphenols during pregnancy, or during nursing, are not protected from these negative health effects Pregnancy is a short but very critical time frame, where environmental exposures can cause long-lasting effects on offspring And, so, our data supports and suggests, and what we really try to promote, is that women, during pregnancy or women who are nursing, should really try to limit those negative exposures, especially polychlorinated biphenols exposures And, this would really be true for all pregnant, or women who are nursing, not just those that are directly related or near a superfund site We’re currently doing some studies, looking to see if timing of exposure during pregnancy or during nursing, is most important or causes the most detrimental effects on offspring

And then, we’re also really interested in and really excited about trying to use positive interventions So, things like increasing physical activity or exercise during pregnancy And to see if that can negate the effects of polychlorinated biphenol exposure on offspring health and risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes


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