Abstract: The adverse effects of air pollution on human health have been well documented and implemented in the recent update of the Global Air Quality Guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO) established in a series of major observational studies. Interestingly, WHO also refers to ultrafine particles having a negative impact on human health but it was concluded that insufficient information is available to propose guideline values. Yet, more than two decades of toxicological research has increased our understanding on ultrafine particles may have a different effect on human health compared to the larger (microns) particles that we inhale. This presentation wil present an overview on the evidence to support this hypothesis, which emphasis on particles dosimetry, biodistribution and toxic potential.
Flemming R. Cassee: Flemming Cassee, inhalation toxicologist since 1995, supports government authorities (national,WHO, EU) by coordinating and conducting research and providing advice to policy makers an regulators. His research focus is on aimbient particulate matter and airborne nanomaterials and microplastics. He is a professor in Inhalation Toxicology at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences at the Utrecht University, the Netherlands. He is also chief science officier at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) of the Netherlands and Editor- in-Chief of Particle and Fibre Toxicology.
Abstract: The placenta represents a semi-permeable barrier indispensable for nutrients and gas exchange between mother and fetus. Several xenobiotics have been reported to reach/cross the placental barrier, including engineered nanoparticles (ENP) and non- engineered nano and micro particle (MNP). Over the last years, using the mouse as a model, we have demonstrated that ENP can be identified in the placental tissue and can affect embryonic development. The placenta appears to be an efficient barrier for ENP translocation, since us and other groups have demonstrated extremely low levels of ENP placental translocation and accumulation in fetal tissues. However, exposure to ENP during pregnancy reflects in different levels of developmental toxicity, depending on particle physic-chemical properties and dose, suggesting that either extremely low amounts of ENP are sufficient to affect the embryo or that ENP translocation is not mandatory and placenta-mediated indirect effects might be the key triggers of developmental toxicity. To further investigate this aspect, we have developed a novel in vitro model mimicking the maternal-fetal interface to study translocation and toxicity. To this purpose, we have combined differentiated trophoblast stem cell (TSC) lines we derived from mouse blastocysts with mouse embryonic stem (mES) cell derived embryoid-bodies (EB) and performed gene expression analysis for stem cell and differentiation genes in the presence or absence of ENPs. Data will be presented.
Luisa Campagnolo: Luisa Campagnolo, PhD, is Associate Professor of Histology and Embryology at the Department of Biomedicine and Prevention of the University of Rome Tor Vergata. The main research focus in her laboratory is to examine the molecular mechanisms involved in implantation of the mammalian embryo and placental development. Over the last 15 years, she has also developed a new research focus on toxicological aspects of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) with respect to placental and fetal susceptibility. Together, these studies have allowed Luisa Campagnolo to establish strong collaborations with national and international research groups. Her laboratory possesses expertise in the handling and culture of pre- and post-implantation embryos, culture of stem cells of different sources (embryonic and adult), preparation of cultures from human endometrial and placental samples and handling of engineered nanomaterials. Three main research lines are currently followed in her laboratory: 1. Examine the role of the secreted factor Egfl7 during placental development. This project is performed in collaboration with Dr Stuhlmann at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York and Dr Rocco Rago of the Sandro Pertini Hospital in Rome. 2. Investigate the role of thyroid hormone in mammalian embryo implantation. This project is conducted in collaboration with Dr Costanzo Moretti and Dr Rocco Rago. 3. Study the effect of maternal exposure to ENM on placental and fetal development; in this respect, her laboratory has developed in vitro tests using human and mouse trophoblast stem cells and mouse embryonic stem cells to evaluate trans-placental passage of ENM. These studies are carried out in collaboration with various researchers from national and international institutions and were/are funded by European Community programs (FP7 and H2020).
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