Project: Mechanisms of metal toxicity early in life

The overarching purpose of this project is to explore the modes or mechanisms of action underlying our epidemiological findings indicating that early-life exposure to single and combined exposure to various metals affect child health and development.

This is done using powerful “omics” methods to detect early effects on body functions of real-life human exposures to toxic metals in a Swedish mother child cohort (NICE; Nutritional impact on Immunological maturation during Childhood in relation to the Environment). We characterize single and combined exposures in pregnancy (completed) and in the children from birth to 4 years of age, using both questionnaires and measurement of multiple metal biomarkers. We analyze epigenetics, transcriptomics and metabolomics in placenta and/or blood (repeatedly), and evaluate the links of complex metal exposure with changed patterns in the molecular pathways, and the further links to health effects (sensitization, allergy, cognition/behavior, and growth), using novel biostatistics methods.

Financing

  • Swedish research Council Formas

Selected publications

Low-level maternal exposure to cadmium, lead, and mercury and birth outcomes in a Swedish prospective birth-cohort. Gustin K, Barman M, Stråvik M, Levi M, Englund-Ögge L, Murray F, Jacobsson B, Sandberg AS, Sandin A, Wold AE, Vahter M, Kippler M. Environ Pollut. 2020; 265(Pt B):114986.

Contact person

Maria Kippler

Lecturer senior