Bibliography Tag: neurodevelopmental toxicity

Eunha et al., 2022

Eunha Kim, Donggi Paik, Ricardo N. Ramirez, Delaney G. Biggs, Youngjun Park, Ho-Keun Kwon, Gloria B. Choi, Jun R. Huh.; “Maternal gut bacteria drive intestinal inflammation in offspring with neurodevelopmental disorders by altering the chromatin landscape of CD4+ T cells;” Immunity, 2022, 55(1), 145-158; 10.1016/j.immuni.2021.11.005.


Children with autism spectrum disorders often display dysregulated immune responses and related gastrointestinal symptoms. However, the underlying mechanisms leading to the development of both phenotypes have not been elucidated. Here, we show that mouse offspring exhibiting autism-like phenotypes due to prenatal exposure to maternal inflammation were more susceptible to developing intestinal inflammation following challenges later in life. In contrast to its prenatal role in neurodevelopmental phenotypes, interleukin-17A (IL-17A) generated immune-primed phenotypes in offspring through changes in the maternal gut microbiota that led to postnatal alterations in the chromatin landscape of naive CD4+ T cells. The transfer of stool samples from pregnant mice with enhanced IL-17A responses into germ-free dams produced immune-primed phenotypes in offspring. Our study provides mechanistic insights into why children exposed to heightened inflammation in the womb might have an increased risk of developing inflammatory diseases in addition to neurodevelopmental disorders. FULL TEXT


Rauh et al., 2012

Rauh, V. A., Perera, F. P., Horton, M. K., Whyatt, R. M., Bansal, R., Hao, X., Liu, J., Barr, D. B., Slotkin, T. A., & Peterson, B. S.; “Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide;” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, 109(20), 7871-7876; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1203396109.


Prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphate insecticide, is associated with neurobehavioral deficits in humans and animal models. We investigated associations between CPF exposure and brain morphology using magnetic resonance imaging in 40 children, 5.9-11.2 y, selected from a nonclinical, representative community-based cohort. Twenty high-exposure children (upper tertile of CPF concentrations in umbilical cord blood) were compared with 20 low-exposure children on cortical surface features; all participants had minimal prenatal exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. High CPF exposure was associated with enlargement of superior temporal, posterior middle temporal, and inferior postcentral gyri bilaterally, and enlarged superior frontal gyrus, gyrus rectus, cuneus, and precuneus along the mesial wall of the right hemisphere. Group differences were derived from exposure effects on underlying white matter. A significant exposure x IQ interaction was derived from CPF disruption of normal IQ associations with surface measures in low-exposure children. In preliminary analyses, high-exposure children did not show expected sex differences in the right inferior parietal lobule and superior marginal gyrus, and displayed reversal of sex differences in the right mesial superior frontal gyrus, consistent with disruption by CPF of normal behavioral sexual dimorphisms reported in animal models. High-exposure children also showed frontal and parietal cortical thinning, and an inverse dose-response relationship between CPF and cortical thickness. This study reports significant associations of prenatal exposure to a widely used environmental neurotoxicant, at standard use levels, with structural changes in the developing human brain.  FULL TEXT

Rauh et al., 2011

Rauh, Virginia, Arunajadai, Srikesh, Horton, Megan, Perera, Frederica, Hoepner, Lori, Barr, Dana B, & Whyatt, Robin; “Seven-year neurodevelopmental scores and prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos, a common agricultural pesticide;” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011, 119(8), 1196-1201; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1003160.


BACKGROUND: In a longitudinal birth cohort study of inner-city mothers and children (Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health), we have previously reported that prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos (CPF) was associated with neurodevelopmental problems at 3 years of age.

OBJECTIVE: The goal of the study was to estimate the relationship between prenatal CPF exposure and neurodevelopment among cohort children at 7 years of age.

METHODS: In a sample of 265 children, participants in a prospective study of air pollution, we measured prenatal CPF exposure using umbilical cord blood plasma (picograms/gram plasma) and 7-year neurodevelopment using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition (WISC-IV). Linear regression models were used to estimate associations, with covariate selection based on two alternate approaches.

RESULTS: On average, for each standard deviation increase in CPF exposure (4.61 pg/g), Full-Scale intelligence quotient (IQ) declined by 1.4% and Working Memory declined by 2.8%. Final covariates included maternal educational level, maternal IQ, and quality of the home environment. We found no significant interactions between CPF and any covariates, including the other chemical exposures measured during the prenatal period (environmental tobacco smoke and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).

CONCLUSIONS: We report evidence of deficits in Working Memory Index and Full-Scale IQ as a function of prenatal CPF exposure at 7 years of age. These findings are important in light of continued widespread use of CPF in agricultural settings and possible longer-term educational implications of early cognitive deficits.


Liu adn Schelar, 2012

Liu, J., & Schelar, E.; “Pesticide exposure and child neurodevelopment: summary and implications;” Workplace Health and Safety, 2012, 60(5), 235-242; quiz 243; DOI: 10.3928/21650799-20120426-73


Widely used around the world, pesticides play an important role in protecting health, crops, and property. However, pesticides may also have detrimental effects on human health, with young children among the particularly vulnerable. Recent research suggests that even low levels of pesticide exposure can affect young children’s neurological and behavioral development. Evidence shows a link between pesticides and neonatal reflexes, psychomotor and mental development, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Implications include a need for improved risk assessment and health histories by clinicians, greater education at all levels, more common use of integrated pest management, and continued policy and regulatory strategies to mitigate the effects of and the need for pesticides. FULL TEXT

Costello et al., 2009

Costello S, Cockburn M, Bronstein J, Zhang X, Ritz B; “Parkinson’s disease and residential exposure to maneb and paraquat from agricultural applications in the central valley of California.” American Journal of Epidemiology. 2009 Apr 15;169(8):919-26. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwp006.
Evidence from animal and cell models suggests that pesticides cause a neurodegenerative process leading to Parkinson’s disease (PD). Human data are insufficient to support this claim for any specific pesticide, largely because of challenges in exposure assessment. The authors developed and validated an exposure assessment tool based on geographic information systems that integrated information from California Pesticide Use Reports and land-use maps to estimate historical exposure to agricultural pesticides in the residential environment. In 1998-2007, the authors enrolled 368 incident PD cases and 341 population controls from the Central Valley of California in a case-control study. They generated estimates for maneb and paraquat exposures incurred between 1974 and 1999. Exposure to both pesticides within 500 m of the home increased PD risk by 75% (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.13, 2.73). Persons aged < or =60 years at the time of diagnosis were at much higher risk when exposed to either maneb or paraquat alone (odds ratio = 2.27, 95% CI: 0.91, 5.70) or to both pesticides in combination (odds ratio = 4.17, 95% CI: 1.15, 15.16) in 1974-1989. This study provides evidence that exposure to a combination of maneb and paraquat increases PD risk, particularly in younger subjects and/or when exposure occurs at younger ages. FULL TEXT

Coullery et al., 2020

Coullery, R., Pacchioni, A. M., & Rosso, S. B.; “Exposure to glyphosate during pregnancy induces neurobehavioral alterations and downregulation of Wnt5a-CaMKII pathway;” Reproductive Toxicology, 2020, 96, 390-398; DOI: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2020.08.006.


Glyphosate-based formulations are the most popular herbicide used around the world. These herbicides are widely applied in agriculture to control weeds on genetically modified crops. Although there is much evidence showing that glyphosate-based herbicides induce toxic effect on reproductive and hepatic systems, and also cause oxidative damage on cells, studies from recent years revealed that the nervous system may represent a key target for their toxicity. In the present work, we evaluated the effect of glyphosate (without adjuvants) in neonate rats after gestational exposure. Particularly, we examined whether glyphosate during gestation affected the nervous system function at early development. Pregnant Wistar rats were treated with 24 or 35mg/kg of pure glyphosate every 48h and neurobehavioral studies were performed. Our results indicated that gestational exposure to glyphosate induced changes in reflexes development, motor activity and cognitive function, in a dose-dependent manner. To go further, we evaluated whether prenatal exposure to glyphosate affected the Ca(+2)-mediated Wnt non-canonical signaling pathway. Results indicated that embryos exposed to glyphosate showed an inhibition of Wnt5a-CaMKII signaling pathway, an essential cascade controlling the formation and integration of neural circuits. Taken together, these findings suggest that gestational exposure to glyphosate leads to a downregulation of Wnt/Ca(+2) pathway that could induce a developmental neurotoxicity evidenced by deficits at behavioral and cognitive levels in rat pups. FULL TEXT

Alavanja et al., 2004

Alavanja, M. C., Hoppin, J. A., & Kamel, F.; “Health effects of chronic pesticide exposure: cancer and neurotoxicity;” Annual review of public health, 2004, 25, 155-197; DOI: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.25.101802.123020.


Pesticides are widely used in agricultural and other settings, resulting in continuing human exposure. Epidemiologic studies indicate that, despite premarket animal testing, current exposures are associated with risks to human health. In this review, we describe the routes of pesticide exposures occurring today, and summarize and evaluate the epidemiologic studies of pesticide-related carcinogenicity and neurotoxicity in adults. Better understanding of the patterns of exposure, the underlying variability within the human population, and the links between the animal toxicology data and human health effects will improve the evaluation of the risks to human health posed by pesticides. Improving epidemiology studies and integrating this information with toxicology data will allow the human health risks of pesticide exposure to be more accurately judged by public health policy makers. FULL TEXT

Masood et al., 2021

Masood, M. I., Naseem, M., Warda, S. A., Tapia-Laliena, M. A., Rehman, H. U., Nasim, M. J., & Schafer, K. H.; “Environment permissible concentrations of glyphosate in drinking water can influence the fate of neural stem cells from the subventricular zone of the postnatal mouse;” Environmental Pollution, 2021, 270, 116179; DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116179.


The developing nervous system is highly vulnerable to environmental toxicants especially pesticides. Glyphosate pesticide induces neurotoxicity both in humans and rodents, but so far only when exposed to higher concentrations. A few studies, however, have also reported the risk of general toxicity of glyphosate at concentrations comparable to allowable limits set up by environmental protection authorities. In vitro data regarding glyphosate neurotoxicity at concentrations comparable to maximum permissible concentrations in drinking water is lacking. In the present study, we established an in vitro assay based upon neural stem cells (NSCs) from the subventricular zone of the postnatal mouse to decipher the effects of two maximum permissible concentrations of glyphosate in drinking water on the basic neurogenesis processes. Our results demonstrated that maximum permissible concentrations of glyphosate recognized by environmental protection authorities significantly reduced the cell migration and differentiation of NSCs as demonstrated by the downregulation of the expression levels of the neuronal ss-tubulin III and the astrocytic S100B genes. The expression of the cytoprotective gene CYP1A1 was downregulated whilst the expression of oxidative stresses indicator gene SOD1 was upregulated. The concentration comparable to non-toxic human plasma concentration significantly induced cytotoxicity and activated Ca(2+) signalling in the differentiated culture. Our findings demonstrated that the permissible concentrations of glyphosate in drinking water recognized by environmental protection authorities are capable of inducing neurotoxicity in the developing nervous system. FULL TEXT

Kokroko et al., 2020

Kokroko, J., Kogut, K., Harley, K., & Eskenazi, B.; “Prenatal beta-Hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH) Exposure and 7-Year Child IQ in the CHAMACOS Birth Cohort;” Neurotoxicity Research, 2020, 37(3), 553-563; DOI: 10.1007/s12640-020-00160-w.


Fetal and infant exposures to beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH) occur through placental and breastmilk transfers. No studies have examined the relationship between beta-HCH and child intelligence quotient (IQ). This study examined associations between in utero beta-HCH exposure and cognitive development in 7-year-old children. Data from women and children (n = 256) participating in the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) birth cohort study were evaluated. We assessed exposure to beta-HCH by measuring maternal serum concentration during pregnancy. We administered the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), Fourth Edition, to children at age 7. Analyses were adjusted for maternal age, country of birth, work status, parity, and other pesticide exposures, language used for child cognitive assessment, and duration of breastfeeding. Higher serum beta-HCH concentrations were associated with higher cognitive scores across all unadjusted models for the full-scale and sub-scale cognitive tests. In the adjusted models, a 10-fold increase in serum beta-HCH concentration was associated with a 4.5-point increase in Working Memory IQ score (95% CI, 0.6 to 8.3; p = 0.02). We observed no significant interaction by length of breastfeeding or sex on associations. Our findings suggest that prenatal exposure to beta-HCH is not adversely related to IQ at age 7 in a cohort of Mexican American children with fairly high exposure in utero as measured by maternal serum levels. Future research must replicate these findings in other study cohorts of women and children.