The Human Early-Life Exposome (HELIX): Project Rationale and Design

http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1307204



Table 3. Omics analyses.a
Omics technique Entire cohort (n = 32,000) Subcohort (n = 1,200 mother–child pairs) Child Panel Study (1 week in 2 seasons) (n = 150)b
Abbreviations: 1H NMR, proton nuclear magnetic resonance; iTRAQ, isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation; MRM, mass spectrometry–based multiple reaction monitoring; miRNA, microRNA; mRNA, messengerRNA; UPLC-MS, ultra performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry.
aDetails of the techniques are described in Supplemental Material, Detailed description of omics techniques to be used in HELIX, pp. 4–6. bThe Pregnancy Panel Study will collect biological samples similar to those of the Child Panel Study. Omics analyses are currently not foreseen in the pregnant women, but samples will be stored for future analysis, e.g., to evaluate whether specific omics findings from the children are replicated in the pregnant women.
Metabolomics Untargeted 1H NMR spectroscopy and semitargeted UPLC-MS analysis in urine; targeted analysis in serum (using Biocrates Absolute IDQ p180 Kit) in newly collected child samples. Further analysis of daily urine samples and single serum sample at the end of each week (in winter and summer seasons) to evaluate sources of variation and short-term exposure–omics associations.
Proteomics Targeted analysis in newly collected child plasma samples depending on results of analysis in the Child Panel Study. Initial iTRAQ and MRM (or similar) analyses in plasma samples collected at end of each week (in winter and summer seasons) to evaluate sources of variation and short-term exposure–omics associations.
Transcriptomics Next-generation sequencing (Ilumina Hiseq2000) or microarray analysis of both mRNAs and miRNAs in newly collected child whole blood samples. In addition, plasma will be collected to analyze miRNAs in the future. Analysis of blood samples at the end of each week (in winter and summer seasons) to evaluate sources of variation and short-term exposure–omics associations. In addition, plasma will be collected to analyze miRNAs in the future.
DNA methylation Infinium Human Methylation 450 BeadChip for genome-wide methylation analysis of DNA extracted from newly collected child whole blood samples. Analysis of blood samples at the end of each week (in winter and summer seasons) to evaluate sources of variation and short-term exposure–omics associations.