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Debra Jean Skene | University of Surrey - Inglaterra

Grant number: 16/50417-3
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: May 04, 2017 - November 14, 2017
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health - Public Health
Convênio/Acordo: Newton Fund, with FAPESP as a partner institution in Brazil
Principal Investigator:Claudia Roberta de Castro Moreno
Grantee:Claudia Roberta de Castro Moreno
Visiting researcher: Debra Jean Skene
Visiting researcher institution: University of Surrey, England
Host Institution: Faculdade de Saúde Pública (FSP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The risk of having metabolic disturbances has increased in society becoming even more common in young people. Night working is closely associated with components of the metabolic syndrome including diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Disturbances in circadian timing and sleep-wake patterns are associated with metabolic disease. This project aims to study metabolic disturbances among children and teenagers from mothers who did night work during pregnancy. Animal models have shown that suppression of melatonin has a negative impact on programming (structure, metabolism and physiology) of vital organs in the fetus generating permanent harm. Light exposure at night that reduces melatonin synthesis has been proposed as a possible explanation related to genetic programming of organs. By studying the offspring of mothers that during pregnancy were exposed to nightwork, this novel study will gain knowledge on how the early fetal environment may later cause metabolic disturbances in the offspring during childhood and teenage years. Thus, our hypothesis is that pregnant women who work at night are exposed to changes in melatonin levels, which leads to metabolic disturbances in the offspring. Participants will be night and day workers from a public hospital's nursing staff who are pregnant (20 participants from each group). They will complete questionnaires on sociodemographic status, eating habits, sleep/wake patterns and chronotype, in addition salivary melatonin and their nutritional status will be assessed. To objectively investigate the pattern of activity and rest, participants will wear activity monitors (actigraphs) and complete daily activity logs. We have already established a successful research consortium between the University of São Paulo (Prof. Claudia Moreno), and University of Surrey (Prof. Debra Skene) with some collaborative studies funded by other grants (FAPESP, CAPES). Foundation funding will provide research support from the UK to provide field study assistance and expertise in the data collection including biological samples and metabolic biomarker data analysis. The targeted liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) metabolomics methodology established at Surrey (Davies et aI., 2014) will enable measurement of a large number of plasma metabolites that are metabolic disease biomarkers in the study groups. (AU)

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