NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Evolution of the science of developmental immunotoxicity.

Luster M
Toxicologist 2003 Mar; 72(S-1):225
The value of incorporating immunological data for the toxicological assessment of drugs, chemicals, biologicals and medical devices for human risk assessment has been increasingly accepted. Since the 1970s, experimental animal studies, and to a lesser extent human studies, have been published describing immunological effects in neonates exposed to toxic agents during the prenatal or early postnatal period . Of particular concern was that immunotoxicity often appeared more severe and/or persistent when the exposure occurred perinatally when compared to exposure in adult animals. These concerns were addressed in a 1993 report from the National Research Council (NRC) entitled Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children in which the immune, as well as the reproductive and nervous systems, were identified as potential targets for pesticide exposure. Efforts are presently being undertaken to identify appropriate methods and approaches to identify and study developmental immunotoxicants. In addition to immunosuppression, there is increasing evidence that transplacental priming of the immune system occurs in response to certain environmental agents which possess allergic or inflammatory properties. This subsequently results in T-helper 1 (Th1) or, more often, T-helper 2 (Th2) skewing of the immune system. Consistent with this general postulate is experimental and clinical evidence that individuals exposed early in life to these environmental agents are predispose to increased prevalence and/or severity of immune diseases.
Immunotoxins; Immunological-tests; Drugs; Animal-studies; Animals; Laboratory-animals; Toxic-effects; Pesticides; Exposure-levels; Reproductive-system; Nervous-system; Immune-system
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 42nd Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, Cutting-Edge Science, Networking, New Perspectives, March 9-13, 2003, Salt Lake City, Utah
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division