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Top 25 Hottest Articles in Neurotoxicology Feature NHEERL and NCEA Work

The journal Neurotoxicology recently released a list of the top 25 “Hottest Articles in Neurotoxicology,” based on the highest number of article downloads on SciVerse counted by ScienceDirect. Among those are three articles featuring NHEERL authors and one article featuring a former NHEERL scientist who now is at NCEA (see citations below; NHEERL and NCEA authors in bold).

  • Gilbert ME, Rovet J, Chen Z, Koibuchi N. Developmental thyroid hormone disruption: Prevalence, environmental contaminants and neurodevelopmental consequences. Neurotoxicology. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuro.2011.11.005. (no. 8 on the list)
  • Radio NM, Mundy WR. Developmental neurotoxicity testing in vitro: Models for assessing chemical effects on neurite outgrowth. Neurotoxicology. 2008;29:361-76. (no. 13 on the list)
  • Johnstone AFM, Gross GW, Weiss DG, Schroeder OHU, Gramowski A, Shafer TJ. Microelectrode arrays: A physiologically based neurotoxicity testing platform for the 21st century. Neurotoxicology. 2010;31:331-50. (no. 14 on the list)
  • Van Thriel C, Westerink RHS, Beste C, Bale AS, Lein PJ, Leist M. Translating neurobehavioural endpoints of developmental neurotoxicity tests into in vitro assays and readouts. Neurotoxicology. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuro.2011.10.002. (no. 17 on the list)

All four of these articles deal with aspects of developmental neurotoxicity, an area of high importance to the Agency, particularly the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. The article by Mary Gilbert and co-authors is a synthesis of information regarding the consequences of developmental hypothyroidism on the growth and development of the brain. Many environmental compounds may act to cause subtle reductions of thyroid hormones, which are essential for brain development. One critical question is the extent to which small changes in thyroid hormones can cause impairments of neurodevelopment. This manuscript reflects a summary of presentations at the 13th International Neurotoxicology Association meeting held in Xi’an, China, in June 2011. The discussion includes an overview of the role of thyroid hormones in brain development; the global incidence and consequences of iodine deficiency; congenital hypothyroidism; the neurophysiological, behavioral, structural, and molecular alterations that accompany modest perturbations of the thyroid; and the consequences of exposure to environmental compounds that are thyroid disruptors, including polychlorinated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. Overall, the paper reflects a valuable synthesis of information and leads to a better understanding of the importance of environmental thyroid disruptors and the consequences of even moderate thyroid impairment during brain development. The other articles describe the development of in vitro test methods that could be applied to developmental neurotoxicity, and the paper by van Thriel et al. also addresses extrapolation of in vitro results to in vivo with respect to evaluating developmental neurotoxicity.

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