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Bibliography Tag: developmental impacts

Attina et al., 2016

Attina, T. M., Hauser, R., Sathyanarayana, S., Hunt, P. A., Bourguignon, J. P., Myers, J. P., DiGangi, J., Zoeller, R. T., & Trasande, L.; “Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the USA: a population-based disease burden and cost analysis;” Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinol, 2016, 4(12), 996-1003; DOI: 10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30275-3.


BACKGROUND: Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) contribute to disease and dysfunction and incur high associated costs (>1% of the gross domestic product [GDP] in the European Union). Exposure to EDCs varies widely between the USA and Europe because of differences in regulations and, therefore, we aimed to quantify disease burdens and related economic costs to allow comparison.

METHODS: We used existing models for assessing epidemiological and toxicological studies to reach consensus on probabilities of causation for 15 exposure-response relations between substances and disorders. We used Monte Carlo methods to produce realistic probability ranges for costs across the exposure-response relation, taking into account uncertainties. Estimates were made based on population and costs in the USA in 2010. Costs for the European Union were converted to US$ (euro1=$1.33).

FINDINGS: The disease costs of EDCs were much higher in the USA than in Europe ($340 billion [2.33% of GDP] vs $217 billion [1.28%]). The difference was driven mainly by intelligence quotient (IQ) points loss and intellectual disability due to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (11 million IQ points lost and 43 000 cases costing $266 billion in the USA vs 873 000 IQ points lost and 3290 cases costing $12.6 billion in the European Union). Accounting for probability of causation, in the European Union, organophosphate pesticides were the largest contributor to costs associated with EDC exposure ($121 billion), whereas in the USA costs due to pesticides were much lower ($42 billion).

INTERPRETATION: EDC exposure in the USA contributes to disease and dysfunction, with annual costs taking up more than 2% of the GDP. Differences from the European Union suggest the need for improved screening for chemical disruption to endocrine systems and proactive prevention.

FUNDING: Endocrine Society, Ralph S French Charitable Foundation, and Broad Reach Foundation. FULL TEXT

Roberts et al., 2019

Roberts, J. R., Dawley, E. H., & Reigart, J. R., “Children’s low-level pesticide exposure and associations with autism and ADHD: a review,” Pediatric Research, 2019, 85(2), 234-241. DOI: 10.1038/s41390-018-0200-z.


Pesticides are chemicals that are designed specifically for the purpose of killing or suppressing another living organism. Human toxicity is possible with any pesticide, and a growing body of literature has investigated possible associations with neurodevelopmental disorders. Attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are two of these specific disorders that have garnered particular interest. Exposure to toxic chemicals during critical windows of brain development is a biologically plausible mechanism. This review describes the basic laboratory science including controlled pesticide dosing experiments in animals that supports a mechanistic relationship in the development of ADHD and/or ASD. Epidemiological relationships are also described for low-level pesticide exposure and ADHD and/or ASD. The available evidence supports the hypothesis that pesticide exposure at levels that do not cause acute toxicity may be among the multifactorial causes of ADHD and ASD, though further study is needed, especially for some of the newer pesticides. FULL TEXT

Pembrey et al., 2015

Pembrey, M., Saffery, R., Bygren, L. O., & Network in Epigenetic Epidemiology, “Human transgenerational responses to early-life experience: potential impact on development, health and biomedical research,” Journal of Medical Genetics, 2014, 51(9), 563-572. DOI: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2014-102577.


Mammalian experiments provide clear evidence of male line transgenerational effects on health and development from paternal or ancestral early-life exposures such as diet or stress. The few human observational studies to date suggest (male line) transgenerational effects exist that cannot easily be attributed to cultural and/or genetic inheritance. Here we summarise relevant studies, drawing attention to exposure sensitive periods in early life and sex differences in transmission and offspring outcomes. Thus, variation, or changes, in the parental/ancestral environment may influence phenotypic variation for better or worse in the next generation(s), and so contribute to common, non-communicable disease risk including sex differences. We argue that life-course epidemiology should be reframed to include exposures from previous generations, keeping an open mind as to the mechanisms that transmit this information to offspring. Finally, we discuss animal experiments, including the role of epigenetic inheritance and non-coding RNAs, in terms of what lessons can be learnt for designing and interpreting human studies. This review was developed initially as a position paper by the multidisciplinary Network in Epigenetic Epidemiology to encourage transgenerational research in human cohorts. FULL TEXT

Nevison, 2014

Nevison, C. D., “A comparison of temporal trends in United States autism prevalence to trends in suspected environmental factors,” Environmental Health, 2014, 13, 73. DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-13-73.


BACKGROUND: The prevalence of diagnosed autism has increased rapidly over the last several decades among U.S. children. Environmental factors are thought to be driving this increase and a list of the top ten suspected environmental toxins was published recently.

METHODS: Temporal trends in autism for birth years 1970–2005 were derived from a combination of data from the California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS) and the United States Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Temporal trends in suspected toxins were derived from data compiled during an extensive literature survey. Toxin and autism trends were compared by visual inspection and computed correlation coefficients. Using IDEA data, autism prevalence vs. birth year trends were calculated independently from snapshots of data from the most recent annual report, and by tracking prevalence at a constant age over many years of reports. The ratio of the snapshot:tracking trend slopes was used to estimate the “real” fraction of the increase in autism.

RESULTS: The CDDS and IDEA data sets are qualitatively consistent in suggesting a strong increase in autism prevalence over recent decades. The quantitative comparison of IDEA snapshot and constant-age tracking trend slopes suggests that ~75-80% of the tracked increase in autism since 1988 is due to an actual increase in the disorder rather than to changing diagnostic criteria. Most of the suspected environmental toxins examined have flat or decreasing temporal trends that correlate poorly to the rise in autism. Some, including lead, organochlorine pesticides and vehicular emissions, have strongly decreasing trends. Among the suspected toxins surveyed, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, aluminum adjuvants, and the herbicide glyphosate have increasing trends that correlate positively to the rise in autism.

CONCLUSIONS: Diagnosed autism prevalence has risen dramatically in the U.S over the last several decades and continued to trend upward as of birth year 2005. The increase is mainly real and has occurred mostly since the late 1980s. In contrast, children’s exposure to most of the top ten toxic compounds has remained flat or decreased over this same time frame. Environmental factors with increasing temporal trends can help suggest hypotheses for drivers of autism that merit further investigation. FULL TEXT

von Ehrenstein et al., 2019

von Ehrenstein, O. S., Ling, C., Cui, X., Cockburn, M., Park, A. S., Yu, F., Wu, J., & Ritz, B., “Prenatal and infant exposure to ambient pesticides and autism spectrum disorder in children: population based case-control study,” BMJ, 2019, 364, l962. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.l962.


OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between early developmental exposure to ambient pesticides and autism spectrum disorder.

DESIGN: Population based case-control study.

SETTING: California’s main agricultural region, Central Valley, using 1998-2010 birth data from the Office of Vital Statistics.

POPULATION: 2961 individuals with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, revised (up to 31 December 2013), including 445 with intellectual disability comorbidity, were identified through records maintained at the California Department of Developmental Services and linked to their birth records. Controls derived from birth records were matched to cases 10:1 by sex and birth year.

EXPOSURE: Data from California state mandated Pesticide Use Reporting were integrated into a geographic information system tool to estimate prenatal and infant exposures to pesticides (measured as pounds of pesticides applied per acre/month within 2000 m from the maternal residence). 11 high use pesticides were selected for examination a priori according to previous evidence of neurodevelopmental toxicity in vivo or in vitro (exposure defined as ever v never for each pesticide during specific developmental periods).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals using multivariable logistic regression were used to assess associations between pesticide exposure and autism spectrum disorder (with or without intellectual disabilities) in offspring, adjusting for confounders.

RESULTS: Risk of autism spectrum disorder was associated with prenatal exposure to glyphosate (odds ratio 1.16, 95% confidence interval 1.06 to 1.27), chlorpyrifos (1.13, 1.05 to 1.23), diazinon (1.11, 1.01 to 1.21), malathion (1.11, 1.01 to 1.22), avermectin (1.12, 1.04 to 1.22), and permethrin (1.10, 1.01 to 1.20). For autism spectrum disorder with intellectual disability, estimated odds ratios were higher (by about 30%) for prenatal exposure to glyphosate (1.33, 1.05 to 1.69), chlorpyrifos (1.27, 1.04 to 1.56), diazinon (1.41, 1.15 to 1.73), permethrin (1.46, 1.20 to 1.78), methyl bromide (1.33, 1.07 to 1.64), and myclobutanil (1.32, 1.09 to 1.60); exposure in the first year of life increased the odds for the disorder with comorbid intellectual disability by up to 50% for some pesticide substances.

CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that an offspring’s risk of autism spectrum disorder increases following prenatal exposure to ambient pesticides within 2000 m of their mother’s residence during pregnancy, compared with offspring of women from the same agricultural region without such exposure. Infant exposure could further increase risks for autism spectrum disorder with comorbid intellectual disability. FULL TEXT

Nardi et al., 2017

Nardi, Jessica, Moras, Patricia Bonamigo, Koeppe, Carina, Dallegrave, Eliane, Leal, Mirna Bainy, & Rossato-Grando, Luciana Grazziotin, “Prepubertal subchronic exposure to soy milk and glyphosate leads to endocrine disruption,” Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2017, 100, 247-252. DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2016.12.030.


Lactose intolerance is characterized by low or inexistent levels of lactase, and the main treatment consists of dietary changes, especially replacing dairy milk by soy milk. Soy contains phytoestrogens, substances with known estrogenic activity, besides, glyphosate-based herbicides are extensively used in soy crops, being frequently a residue in soy beans, bringing to a concern regarding the consumption of soy-based products, especially for children in breastfeeding period with lactose intolerance. This study evaluated the pubertal toxicity of a soy milk rich feeding (supplemented or not with glyphosate, doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg) during prepubertal period in male rats. Endocrine disruption was observed through decrease in testosterone levels, decrease in Sertoli cell number and increase in the percentage of degenerated Sertoli and Leydig cells in animals receiving soy milk supplemented with glyphosate (both doses) and in animals treated only with soy milk. Animals treated with soy milk with glyphosate (both doses) showed decrease spermatids number and increase of epididymal tail mass compared to control, and decrease in the diameter of seminiferous tubules compared to soy milk control group. Animals receiving soy milk supplemented with 100 mg/kg glyphosate showed decrease in round spermatids and increase in abnormal sperm morphology, compared to control. FULL TEXT

Hertz-Picciotto et al., 2018

Hertz-Picciotto, Irva, Sass, Jennifer B., Engel, Stephanie, Bennett, Deborah H., Bradman, Asa, Eskenazi, Brenda, Lanphear, Bruce, & Whyatt, Robin, “Organophosphate exposures during pregnancy and child neurodevelopment: Recommendations for essential policy reforms,” PLOS Medicine, 2018, 15(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002671.


• Widespread use of organophosphate (OP) pesticides to control insects has resulted in ubiquitous human exposures.
• High exposures to OP pesticides are responsible for poisonings and deaths, particularly in developing countries.
• Compelling evidence indicates that prenatal exposure at low levels is putting children at risk for cognitive and behavioral deficits and for neurodevelopmental disorders.
To protect children worldwide, we recommend the following:
• Governments phase out chlorpyrifos and other OP pesticides, monitor watersheds and other sources of human exposures, promote use of integrated pest management (IPM) through incentives and training in agroecology, and implement mandatory surveillance of pesticide-related illness.
• Health professions implement curricula on the hazards from OP pesticides in nursing and medical schools and in continuing medical education courses and educate their patients and the public about these hazards.
• Agricultural entities accelerate the development of nontoxic approaches to pest control through IPM and ensure the safety of workers through training and provision of protective equipment when toxic chemicals are to be used. FULL TEXT

Guerrero Schimpf et al., 2018

Guerrero Schimpf, M., Milesi, M. M., Luque, E. H., & Varayoud, J.m “Glyphosate-based herbicide enhances the uterine sensitivity to estradiol in rats,” Journal of Endocrinology, 2018, 239(2), 197-213. DOI: 10.1530/JOE-18-0207.


In a previous work, we detected that postnatal exposure to a glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH) alters uterine development in prepubertal rats causing endometrial hyperplasia and increasing cell proliferation. Our goal was to determine whether exposure to low-dose of a GBH during postnatal development might enhance the sensitivity of the uterus to an estrogenic treatment. Female Wistar pups were subcutaneously injected with saline solution (control) or GBH using the reference dose (2 mg/kg/day, EPA) on postnatal days (PND) 1, 3, 5, and 7. At weaning (PND21), female rats were bilaterally ovariectomized and treated with silastic capsules containing 17beta-estradiol (E2, 1mg/ml) until they were two months of age. On PND60, uterine samples were removed and processed for histology, immunohistochemistry and mRNA extraction to evaluate: i) uterine morphology, ii) uterine cell proliferation by the detection of Ki67, iii) the expression of the estrogen receptors alpha (ESR1) and beta (ESR2), and iv) the expression of WNT7A and beta-catenin. GBH-exposed animals showed increased luminal epithelial height and stromal nuclei density. The luminal and glandular epithelium were markedly hyperplastic in 43% of GBH-exposed animals. GBH exposure caused an increase in E2-induced cell proliferation in association with an induction of both ESR1 and ESR2. GBH treatment decreased membranous and cytoplasmic expression of beta-catenin in luminal and glandular epithelial cells and increased WNT7A expression in the luminal epithelium. These results suggest that early postnatal exposure to a GBH enhances the sensitivity of the rat uterus to estradiol, and induces histomorphological and molecular changes associated with uterine hyperplasia. FULL TEXT

Feat-Vetel et al., 2018

Feat-Vetel, Justyne, Larrigaldie, Vanessa, Meyer-Dilhet, Geraldine, Herzine, Ameziane, Mougin, Camille, Laugeray, Anthony, Gefflaut, Thierry, Richard, Olivier, Quesniaux, Valerie, Montecot-Dubourg, Celine, & Mortaud, Stephane, “Multiple effects of the herbicide glufosinate-ammonium and its main metabolite on neural stem cells from the subventricular zone of newborn mice,” NeuroToxicology, 2018, 69, 152-163. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuro.2018.10.001.


The globally used herbicide glufosinate-ammonium (GLA) is structurally analogous to the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, and is known to interfere with cellular mechanisms involved in the glutamatergic system. In this report, we used an in vitro model of murine primary neural stem cell culture to investigate the neurotoxicity of GLA and its main metabolite, 4-methylphosphinico-2-oxobutanoic acid (PPO). We demonstrated that GLA and PPO disturb ependymal wall integrity in the ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ) and alter the neuro-glial differentiation of neural stem cells. GLA and PPO impaired the formation of cilia, with reduced Celsr2 expression after PPO exposure. GLA promoted the differentiation of neuronal and oligodendroglial cells while PPO increased B1 cell population and impaired neuronal fate of neural stem cells. These results confirm our previous in vivo report that developmental exposure to GLA alters neurogenesis in the SVZ, and neuroblast migration along the rostral migratory stream. They also highlight the importance of investigating the toxicity of pesticide degradation products. Indeed, not only GLA, but also its metabolite PPO disrupts V-SVZ homeostasis and provides a novel cellular mechanism underlying GLA-induced neurodevelopmental toxicity. Furthermore, we were able to demonstrate a neurotoxic activity of a metabolite of GLA different from that of GLA active substance for the very first time. FULL TEXT

Manservisi et al., 2019

Manservisi, Fabiana, Lesseur, Corina, Panzacchi, Simona, Mandrioli, Daniele, Falcioni, Laura, Bua, Luciano, Manservigi, Marco, Spinaci, Marcella, Galeati, Giovanna, Mantovani, Alberto, Lorenzetti, Stefano, Miglio, Rossella, Andrade, Anderson Martino, Kristensen, David Møbjerg, Perry, Melissa J., Swan, Shanna H., Chen, Jia, & Belpoggi, Fiorella. “The Ramazzini Institute 13-week pilot study glyphosate-based herbicides administered at human-equivalent dose to Sprague Dawley rats: effects on development and endocrine system,” Environmental Health, 2019, 18(1). DOI:10.1186/s12940-019-0453-y.


BACKGROUND: Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) are broad-spectrum herbicides that act on the shikimate pathway in bacteria, fungi, and plants. The possible effects of GBHs on human health are the subject of an intense public debate for both its potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects, including potential effects on the endocrine system The present pilot study examine whether exposure to GBHs at the dose of glyphosate considered to be “safe” (the US Acceptable Daily Intake – ADI – of 1.75 mg/kg bw/day), starting from in utero life, affect the development and endocrine system across different life stages in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats.

METHODS: Glyphosate alone and Roundup Bioflow, a commercial brand of GBHs, were administered in drinking water at 1.75 mg/kg bw/day to F0 dams starting from the gestational day (GD) 6 (in utero) up to postnatal day (PND) 120. After weaning, offspring were randomly distributed in two cohorts: 8 M + 8F/group animals belonging to the 6-week cohort were sacrificed after puberty at PND 73 ± 2; 10 M + 10F/group animals belonging to the 13-week cohort were sacrificed at adulthood at PND 125 ± 2. Effects of glyphosate or Roundup exposure were assessed on developmental landmarks and sexual characteristics of pups.

RESULTS: In pups, anogenital distance (AGD) at PND 4 was statistically significantly increased both in Roundup treated males and females and in glyphosate-treated males. Age at first estrous (FE) was significantly delayed in the Roundup-exposed group and serum testosterone concentration significantly increased in Roundup-treated female offspring from the 13-week cohort compared to control animals. A statistically significant increase in plasma TSH concentration was observed in glyphosate-treated males compared with control animals as well as a statistically significant decrease in DHT and increase in BDNF in Roundup-treated males. Hormonal status imbalances were more pronounced in Roundup-treated rats after prolonged exposure.

CONCLUSIONS: The present pilot study demonstrate that GBHs exposure, from prenatal period to adulthood, induced endocrine effects and altered reproductive developmental parameters in male and female SD rats. In particular, it was associated with androgen-like effects, including a statistically significant increase of AGDs in both males and females, delay of FE and increased testosterone in female. FULL TEXT

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