Chapter 9: Pathways of ED-induced Neuro-developmental Disturbances: An Overview
Published:08 Dec 2020
The human brain and its development both before birth, and after birth, when it significantly further develops until adulthood, is dependent on cell multiplication, migration, differentiation and establishment of connections. All these steps are dependent on different elements happening at just the exact time point and during specific time windows that influence neurogenesis, neuronal cell migration, the differentiation of neuronal and glial cells, myelination and synaptogenesis. The endocrine signalling system has a critical role in regulating neurodevelopment; in particular, the thyroid hormone (TH) system plays a central role in brain development among the many other important functions THs have in vertebrate physiology. Many chemicals have the potential to interfere with this finely tuned chain of events; several of them, to which humans are exposed, are known to be thyroid hormone disrupting compounds (THDCs) and have been shown to interact with virtually all elements of TH homeostasis and thereby also neurodevelopment. Especially, early life-stage exposure may result in permanent alterations of tissue organization and homeostatic regulation of adaptive processes. This is highly relevant as the reported concentrations of THDCs in human plasma fall well within the range of reported in vitro effect concentrations.