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Novel Methods to Identify Endocrine Disruption Induced Neurotoxicity

Project description

Novel methods to identify neurotoxic chemicals and their mechanism of action

The incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders is increasing among children, and this trend has been linked to man-made chemicals and developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). The current guidelines are insufficient to properly identify chemicals that are toxic to the developing brain. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the neurOmics project aims to find new, more sensitive and reliable approaches to evaluate endocrine DNT-induced disruptions. The study will employ molecular methods and omics technologies to test the hypotheses that lipids and myelination represent targets for endocrine-disrupting DNT. High-resolution mass spectrometry and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging will provide a more reliable measurement of fluctuating hormone levels. The objective is to develop a sensitive identification and safety assessment of hazardous chemicals.


Currently, the incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorders and autism spectrum disorders are increasing among children; a trend that has been linked to man-made chemicals suspected of causing developmental neurotoxicity (DNT). Despite this, the current guidelines are insufficient to properly identify chemicals that are toxic for the developing brain and scientists across the world have recently called for better DNT testing methods. neurOmics will find new approaches to evaluate endocrine disruption induced DNT. Using cutting-edge molecular methods neurOmics will apply exploratory omics in a powerful alternative model system to form novel hypotheses on how endocrine disrupting chemicals affect the brain. We propose that lipids and myelination represent promising key events for endocrine disruptor-induced DNT and by using technologies such as high-resolution mass spectrometry and Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Mass Spectrometry Imaging, we will move the field from a point where hazard characterization relies on fluctuating hormone measurements to more reliable, feasible and quantifiable molecular key events. The project will utilize a representative of true frogs, the cosmopolitan tadpole model American bullfrog (Rana [Lithobates] catesbeiana), to understand the causes of DNT and exploit this gained knowledge to establish adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) applicable for risk assessment of chemicals — a European Commission priority focus area and supporting the Green Deal. Neurodevelopment is highly conserved across animal species so the novel testing strategies will contribute to breaking down the wall between human and environmental toxicology. This will enable for a better and more feasible identification and safety assessment of hazardous chemicals, improve ecosystem health and ultimately reduce the neurodevelopmental disorders observed among children today


Net EU contribution
€ 277 535,04
Nordre ringgade 1
8000 Aarhus c

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Danmark Midtjylland Østjylland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Partners (1)