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Your Environment. Your Health.

Final Progress Reports: University of Arizona: Susceptibility to Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Chlorinated Acids in Heart Development

Superfund Research Program

Susceptibility to Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Chlorinated Acids in Heart Development

Project Leader: Ornella Selmin
Grant Number: P42ES004940
Funding Period: 2000-2010

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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2009  2004 

The focus of this project is investigation of the molecular mechanisms of trichloroethylene (TCE) and arsenic damage to organ development. The hypothesis is that exposure to TCE or arsenic will alter the expression level of molecules important during heart and lung development, respectively.  Specifically, this group is investigating how changes in expression of the selected molecules affect fundamental processes that occur during normal development of the embryonic heart and lung. They have shown that low doses of TCE (10 parts per billion) significantly affect the expression of the selected molecules, and these effects are metabolite specific. In the developing lung, it was documented that low-dose, chronic exposure to the arsenite is responsible for alterations in gene expression.  In the past year individual biochemical pathway(s) were identified that might be affected by TCE and arsenic during development. These new findings resulted in the formulation of a new hypothesis concerning the possibility to ameliorate or prevent the number of cardiac defects in newborns of mothers exposed to TCE and/or arsenic by dietary supplementation with folic acid. This is an important translational finding with a potential impact on populations exposed to either TCE or arsenic.

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