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Helen Håkansson


Visiting address : Scheelelaboratoriet, Nobels Väg 13 Solna, Sweden
Postal address : Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM), C6, Nutritional epidemiology, Box 210 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Delivery address : Scheelelaboratoriet, Nobels Väg 13 Solna, Sweden

Research description

Receptor-mediated toxicity, prevention and health risk assessment

My research generates data, which is used to support national and international health risk assessment work in the areas of persistent organic pollutants and other health hazardous chemicals. The studies aim to clarify the molecular mechanisms of action, identify critical effects and effect levels, and to establish safe exposure levels for humans. Such knowledge is needed to develop specific and sensitive effect- and exposure markers, which in turn, can be used to improve the possibilities to establish casual relationships in human studies, and also to develop specific and sensitive test methods within the health based risk and safety control of various categories of chemicals.

The experimental research in my group focuses on receptor-mediated toxicity and its consequences on hormonal and metabolic pathways. I have, since long, a particular interest in the retinoid system and it´s crosstalk with the Ah-receptor both in normal and toxicological situations. Disease categories that are relevant for my research include bone and vascular abnormalities, cancer, fertility problems, behavioral influences and different types of metabolic disorders. Right now, we use different model systems to clarify how different types of chemicals interfere with bone development and homeostasis.


  • Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

Five selected publications

Beronius A, Rudén C, Hanberg A, Håkansson H (2009)

Health risk assessment procedures for endocrine disrupting compounds within different regulatory frameworks in the European Union

Reg Tox Pharmacol. DOI: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2009.05.019


Beronius A, Rudén C, Håkansson H, Hanberg A (2009)

Risk to all or none? - A comparative analysis of controversies in the health risk assessment of Bisphenol A

Reproductive Toxicology (accepted)


Carpi D, Korkalainen M, Airoldi L, Fanelli R, Hakansson H, Muhonen V, Tuukkanen J, Viluksela M, Pastorelli R (2009)

Dioxin-sensitive proteins in differentiating osteoblasts: effects on bone formation in vitro

Toxicological Sciences, 108, 330-343.


Schuchardt JP, Wahlström D, Rüegg J, Giese N, Stefan M, Hopf H, Pongratz I, Håkansson H, Eichele G, Pettersson K, Nau H (2009)

The endogenous retinoid metabolite S-4-oxo-9-cis-13,14-dihydro-retinoic acid activates retinoic acid receptor signalling both in vitro and in vivo

FEBS J, 276, 3043-3059.


Van der Ven LT, Van de Kuil T, Leonards PEG, Slob W, Lilienthal H, Litens S, Herlin M, Håkansson H, Canton RF, Van den Berg M, Visser TJ, van Loveren H, Vos JG, Piersma AH (2009)

Endocrine effects of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in a one-generation reproduction study in Wistar rats

Toxicology Letters, 185, 51-62.