Special Issue "Developmental Neurotoxicology"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2014)
Prof. David R. Wallace
Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, 1111 West 17th Street, Tulsa, OK 74107-1898, USA
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Interests: heavy metals and development of cancer; cadmium as an underlying factor in obesity and diabetes; heavy metals and changes in neural function altering addiction; mechanisms of metal and pesticide cellular actions
There has been heightened awareness of neuroscience research since the “Decade of the Brain” which ran from 1990–2000. Significant advances have been made in many areas of brain research from behavioral to degenerative, yet work in developmental neurotoxicology (DNT) has lagged. First, there is the difficulty of translating animal/alternate model systems to the human condition that has slowed progress in this field. The developing brain is extremely sensitive to insult from exogenous xenobiotics. Of the 1,000’s of chemicals that are commercially available, only about 200–300 have known DNT properties. The list of nearly 100 well established toxic compounds includes compounds from heavy metals (cadmium and methylmercury), to prescription drugs (haloperidol and diazepam), and legal ‘drugs’ (caffeine and salicylate), as well as illicit drugs (cocaine and LSD). Approximately 100 compounds have minimal or incomplete evidence of DNT which includes some pesticides (organophosphates), prescription drugs and a variety of other chemicals. It is clear that the developing brain is highly susceptible to toxic insult, yet this sensitivity is not confined to in utero exposure, but also throughout infant, toddler, and pre-teen adolescent neurodevelopment. Contrary to mixtures of many different chemicals found in commercially available preparations or in the environment, neurotoxicity testing consists of examining a single compound. This is a confounding element that needs to be addressed in future studies. The possibility exists that two or more compounds alone have tested to be non-toxic, but when present in a mixture, they may have a potentiating or synergist effect. Additional research is needed to identify appropriate model systems to study DNT effects which will improve the translation from alternative to human model systems. Also, additional work is needed to identify and develop accurate biomarkers which will signal exposure to DNT compounds early in the exposure period, facilitating medical intervention.
Professor David R. Wallace
Manuscript Submission Information
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- animal models
- in vitro testing
- risk assessment