Developmental origins of adult diseases and neurotoxicity: Epidemiological and experimental studies

Donald A Fox, Philippe Grandjean, Didima de Groot, Merle G Paule

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To date, only a small number of commercial chemicals have been tested and documented as developmental neurotoxicants. Moreover, an increasing number of epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies suggest an association between toxicant or drug exposure during the perinatal period and the development of metabolic-related diseases and neurotoxicity later in life. The four speakers at this symposium presented their research results on different neurotoxic chemicals relating to the developmental origins of health and adult disease (DOHaD). Philippe Grandjean presented epidemiological data on children exposed to inorganic mercury and methylmercury, and discussed the behavioral outcome measures as they relate to age and stage of brain development. Donald A. Fox presented data that low-dose human equivalent gestational lead exposure produces late-onset obesity only in male mice that is associated with neurodegeneration. Didima de Groot presented results on prenatal exposure of rats to methylazoxymethanol and discussed the results in light of the etiology of western Pacific amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson-dementia complex. Merle G. Paule addressed the long-term changes in learning, motivation and short-term memory in aged Rhesus monkeys following acute 24 h exposure to ketamine during early development. Overall, these presentations addressed fundamental issues in the emerging areas of lifetime neurotoxicity testing, differential vulnerable periods of exposure, nonmonotonic dose-response effects and neurotoxic risk assessment. The results indicate that developmental neurotoxicity results in permanent changes, thus emphasizing the need to prevent such toxicity.

Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)810-816
StatusUdgivet - 2012



  • methylmercury
  • lead
  • ketamine
  • development
  • aging
  • behavior
  • metabolic syndrome
  • obesity
  • neurodegeneration