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Person Details: Rita Loch-Caruso

Superfund Research Program

Rita Loch-Caruso

University of Michigan
M6108 SPH II
1415 Washington Heights
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029
Phone: 734-936-1256
Fax: 734-763-8095


Research Briefs


  • Cordero JF, Meeker JD, Loch-Caruso R, Giese RW, Padilla IY, Vesper D, Kaeli D, Sheahan TC, Brown P, Velez Vega CM, Alshawabkeh AN. Team science applied to environmental health research: karst hydrogeology and preterm birth in Puerto Rico. In: Karst Groundwater Contamination and Public Health. Advances in Karst Science. Springer International Publishing,


  • Campbell KA, Colacino JA, Puttabyatappa M, Dou JF, Elkin ER, Hammoud SS, Domino SE, Dolinoy DC, Goodrich JM, Loch-Caruso R, Padmanabhan V, Bakulski KM. 2023. Placental cell type deconvolution reveals that cell proportions drive preeclampsia gene expression differences. Commun Biol 6(1):264. doi:10.1038/s42003-023-04623-6 PMID:36914823 PMCID:PMC1001142
  • Su AL, Harris S, Elkin ER, Karnovsky A, Colacino JA, Loch-Caruso R. 2023. Trichloroethylene metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-1-cysteine stimulates changes in energy metabolites and amino acids in the BeWo Human Placental Trophoblast Model during syncytialization. Chem Res Toxicol 36(6):882-899. doi:10.1021/acs.chemrestox.3c00007 PMID:37162359
  • Su AL, Lash LH, Loch-Caruso R. 2023. N-Acetyl-L-cysteine and aminooxyacetic acid differentially modulate toxicity of the trichloroethylene metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine in human placental villous trophoblast BeWo cells. Toxicology 495:153611. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2023.153611 PMID:37544576


  • Bailey RE, Loch-Caruso R. 2022. Atmosphere of wet basements as a novel route for potential residential exposure to 1,4-dioxane vapor. Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health 30:100406. doi:10.1016/j.coesh.2022.100406 PMID:36643950 PMCID:PMC9838188
  • Elkin ER, Su AL, Kilburn BA, Bakulski KM, Armant DR, Loch-Caruso R. 2022. Toxicity assessments of selected trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene metabolites in three in vitro human placental models. Reprod Toxicol 109:109-120. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2022.03.003 PMID:35304307 PMCID:PMC9107309
  • Harris SM, Colacino JA, Buxton MA, Croxton L, Nguyen VK, Loch-Caruso R, Bakulski KM. 2022. A data mining approach reveals chemicals detected at higher levels in non-Hispanic Black women target preterm birth genes and pathways. Reprod Sci doi:10.1007/s43032-022-00870-w PMID:35107823
  • Loch-Caruso R, Rayle R, Caruso VP, Bailey RE, Collins E, Knol KP. 2022. Michigan's Gelman site 1,4-dioxane groundwater contamination: still spreading decades after detection. Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health 30:100405. doi:10.1016/j.coesh.2022.100405 PMID:36643949 PMCID:PMC9835328


  • Su AL, Lash LH, Bergin IL, Bjork F, Loch-Caruso R. 2021. N-Acetyl-L-cysteine and aminooxyacetic acid differentially modulate trichloroethylene reproductive toxicity via metabolism in Wistar rats. Arch Toxicol 95(4):doi:10.1007/s00204-021-02991-8 PMID:33599830 (ahead of print)


  • Aker AM, McConnell R, Loch-Caruso R, Park S, Mukherjee B, Rosario Z, Velez Vega CM, Huerta-Montanez G, Alshawabkeh AN, Cordero JF, Meeker JD. 2020. Interactions between chemicals and non-chemical stressors: The modifying effect of life events on the association between triclocarban, phenols and parabens with gestational length in a Puerto Rican cohort. Sci Total Environ 708:134719. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134719 PMID:31785910 PMCID:PMC6957748
  • Elkin ER, Bridges D, Harris SM, Loch-Caruso R. 2020. Exposure to trichloroethylene metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine causes compensatory changes to macronutrient utilization and energy metabolism in placental HTR-8/SVneo cells. Chem Res Toxicol 33:1339-1355. doi:10.1021/acs.chemrestox.9b00356 PMID:31951115 PMCID:PMC7299793
  • Elkin ER, Harris SM, Su A, Lash LH, Loch-Caruso R. 2020. Placenta as a target of trichloroethylene toxicity. Environ Sci Process Impacts 22(3):doi:10.1039/c9em00537d PMID:32022077 PMCID:PMC7103546 (ahead of print)
  • Harris SM, Boldenow E, Domino SE, Loch-Caruso R. 2020. Toxicant disruption of immune defenses: potential implications for fetal membranes and pregnancy. Front Physiol 11:10. doi:10.3389/fphys.2020.00565 PMID:32547423 PMCID:PMC7272693
  • Harris SM, Jin Y, Loch-Caruso R, Padilla IY, Meeker JD, Bakulski KM. 2020. Identification of environmental chemicals targeting miscarriage genes and pathways using the comparative toxicogenomics database. Environ Res 184:doi:10.1016/j.envres.2020.109259 PMID:32143025 PMCID:PMC7103533
  • Loch-Caruso R, Korte C, Hogan KA, Liao S, Harris C. 2020. Tert-butyl hydroperoxide stimulated apoptosis independent of Prostaglandin E2 and IL-6 in the HTR-8/SVneo human placental cell line. Reprod Sci doi:10.1007/s43032-020-00231-5 PMID:32542535
  • Park H, Elkin ER, Castillo-Castrejon M, Loch-Caruso R. 2020. Brominated diphenyl ether-47 differentially regulates cellular migration and invasion in a human first trimester trophoblast cell line. Reprod Toxicol 93:191-198. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2020.02.014 PMID:32142752 PMCID:PMC7254746 (ahead of print)
  • Su AL, Loch-Caruso R. 2020. Comparison of rat fetal sex determination using placental gDNA and mRNA via qRT-PCR. J Mol Biol Methods 3(2):107. PMID:33196062 PMCID:PMC7665159


  • Aung MT, Ferguson KK, Cantonwine DE, Bakulski KM, Mukherjee B, Loch-Caruso R, McElrath TF, Meeker JD. 2019. Associations between maternal plasma measurements of inflammatory markers and urinary levels of phenols and parabens during pregnancy: a repeated measures study. Sci Total Environ 650(Pt1):1131-1140. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.356 PMID:30308801 PMCID:PMC6236678
  • Elkin ER, Bridges D, Loch-Caruso R. 2019. The trichloroethylene metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine induces progressive mitochondrial dysfunction in HTR-8/SVneo trophoblasts. Toxicology 427:152283. doi:10.1016/j.tox.2019.152283 PMID:31476333 PMCID:PMC6943978
  • Loch-Caruso R, Hassan I, Harris SM, Kumar AM, Bjork F, Lash LH. 2019. Trichloroethylene exposure in mid-pregnancy decreased fetal weight and increased placental markers of oxidative stress in rats. Reprod Toxicol 83:38-45. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2018.11.002 PMID:30468822 PMCID:PMC6404769


  • Elkin ER, Harris SM, Loch-Caruso R. 2018. Trichloroethylene metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-l-cysteine induces lipid peroxidation-associated apoptosis via the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways in a first-trimester placental cell line. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 338:30-42. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2017.11.006 PMID:29129777 PMCID:PMC5741094


  • Cordero JF, Meeker JD, Loch-Caruso R, Giese RW, Padilla IY, Vesper D, Kaeli D, Sheahan TC, Brown P, Velez Vega CM, Alshawabkeh AN. 2017. Team science applied to environmental health research: karst hydrogeology and preterm birth in Puerto Rico. In: Karst Groundwater Contamination and Public Health: Beyond Case Studies. Springer, New York, NY. pp.17-25.
  • Park H, Harris SM, Boldenow E, McEachin RC, Sartor MA, Chames MC, Loch-Caruso R. 2017. Group B streptococcus activates transcriptomic pathways related to premature birth in human extraplacental membranes in vitro. Biol Reprod 98(3):396-407. doi:10.1093/biolre/iox147 PMID:29155939 PMCID:PMC6248496


  • Hassan I, Kumar AM, Park H, Lash LH, Loch-Caruso R. 2016. Reactive oxygen stimulation of interleukin-6 release in the human trophoblast cell line HTR-8/SVneo by the trichlorethylene metabolite S-(1,2-Dichloro)-l-Cysteine. Biol Reprod 95(3):66. doi:10.1095/biolreprod.116.139261 PMID:27488030



  • Ferguson KK, Cantonwine DE, Rivera-Gonzalez LO, Loch-Caruso R, Mukherjee B, Anzalota del Toro LV, Jimenez B, Calafat AM, Ye X, Alshawabkeh AN, Cordero JF, Meeker JD. 2014. Urinary phthalate metabolite associations with biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress across pregnancy in Puerto Rico. Environ Sci Technol 48(12):7018-7025. doi:10.1021/es502076j PMID:24845688 PMCID:PMC4066910
  • Korir ML, Knupp D, LeMerise K, Boldenow E, Loch-Caruso R, Aronoff DM, Manning SD. 2014. Association and virulence gene expression vary among serotype III group B streptococcus isolates following exposure to decidual and lung epithelial cells. Infect Immun 82(11):4587-4595. doi:10.1128/IAI.02181-14 PMID:25135682 PMCID:PMC4249324
  • Park H, Kamau PW, Loch-Caruso R. 2014. Involvement of reactive oxygen species in brominated diphenyl ether-47-induced inflammatory cytokine release from human extravillous trophoblasts in vitro. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 274(2):283-292. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2013.11.015 PMID:24296301 PMCID:PMC3931445
  • Park H, Loch-Caruso R. 2014. Protective effect of nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 on inflammatory cytokine response to brominated diphenyl ether-47 in the HTR-8/SVneo human first trimester extravillous trophoblast cell line. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 281(1):67-77. doi:10.1016/j.taap.2014.09.015 PMID:25305463 PMCID:PMC4393751
  • Park HR, Kamau PW, Korte CS, Loch-Caruso R. 2014. Tetrabromobisphenol A activates inflammatory pathways in human first trimester extravillous trophoblasts in vitro. Reprod Toxicol 50:154-162. doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2014.10.005 PMID:25461914 PMCID:PMC4260776



  • Cordero JF, Meeker JD, Sheahan TC, Padilla IY, Giese RW, Silevitch M, Loch-Caruso R, Kaeli D, Alshawabkeh AN. 2012. Case Study - Puerto Rico Test Site for Exploring Contamination Threats. In: GeoCongress 2012: State of the Art and Practice in Geotechnical Engineering. American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA.
  • Ferguson KK, Loch-Caruso R, Meeker JD. 2012. Exploration of oxidative stress and inflammatory markers in relation to urinary phthalate metabolites: NHANES 1999-2006. Environ Sci Technol 46(1):477-485. doi:10.1021/es202340b PMID:22085025 PMCID:PMC3258337
  • Korte C, Loch-Caruso R. 2012. Oxidative insult activates parturition-associated pathways in a human placental cell line. The Toxicologist - Supplement to Toxicol. Sci., Abstract #2383, 2012.
  • Loch-Caruso R, Kimani PW, Park HR. 2012. Brominated diphenyl ether-47 enhanced mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 in human placental cells. The Toxicologist - Supplement to Toxicol. Sci., Abstract #2386, 2012.
  • Mao X, Ciblak A, Baek K, Amiri M, Loch-Caruso R, Alshawabkeh AN. 2012. Optimization of electrochemical dechlorination of trichloroethylene in reducing electrolytes. Water Res 46(6):1847–1857. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2012.01.002 PMID:22264798 PMCID:PMC3288245
  • Mao X, Yuan S, Fallahpour N, Ciblak A, Howard J, Padilla IY, Loch-Caruso R, Alshawabkeh AN. 2012. Electrochemically induced dual reactive barriers for transformation of TCE and mixture of contaminants in groundwater. Environ Sci Technol 46(21):12003-12011. doi:10.1021/es301711a PMID:23067023 PMCID:PMC3493133
  • Tetz LM, Loch-Caruso R, Giese RW, Wang P. 2012. Mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate induced oxidative stress in human placental cells. The Toxicologist - Supplement to Toxicol. Sci., Abstract #2383, 2012.



  • Silevitch M, Giese RW, Kaeli D, Sheahan TC, Nobrega MC, Alshawabkeh AN, Cordero JF, Padilla IY, Loch-Caruso R, Meeker JD. 2010. Interdisciplinary Three-Level Approach to Study Impact of Contamination on Public Health in Puerto Rico. In: Proceedings of Sixth International Congress on Environmental Geotechnics. New Delhi, India.
  • Thiex NW, Chames MC, Loch-Caruso R. 2010. Tissue-specific induction of COX-2 and prostaglandins in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated extraplacental human gestational membranes in a 2-chamber transwell culture system. Reprod Sci 17(12):1120-1129. doi:10.1177/1933719110378344 PMID:20861394 PMCID:PMC3096444


  • Meeker JD, Hu H, Cantonwine DE, Lamadrid-Figueroa H, Calafat AM, Ettinger AS, Hernandez-Avila M, Loch-Caruso R, Tellez-Rojo MM. 2009. Urinary phthalate metabolites in relation to preterm birth in Mexico City. Environ Health Perspect 117(10):1587-92. PMID:20019910



  • Brant KA, Loch-Caruso R. 2006. PCB 50 stimulates release of arachidonic acid and prostaglandins from late gestation rat amnion fibroblast cells. Reprod Toxicol 22(4):591-8. PMID:16713698


  • Loch-Caruso R, Upham BL, Harris C, Trosko JE. 2005. Divergent roles for glutathione in lindane-induced acute and delayed-onset inhibition of rat myometrial gap junctions. Toxicol Sci 85(1):694-702. PMID:15716478


  • Brant KA, Loch-Caruso R. 2004. Gestational increases and activation of rat uterine phospholipase A2 enzyme expression mediates PCB 50 - induced stimulation of uterine function. In: Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), March 21-25, 2004. Baltimore, MD.
  • Chung D, Loch-Caruso R. 2004. Role of gap junctions in the modification on rat uterine contraction by 2,2'-dichlorobiphenyl. In: Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), March 21-25, 2004. Baltimore, MD.
  • Loch-Caruso R, Galvez MM, Brant KA, Chung D. 2004. Cell and toxicant specific phosphorylation of conexin43: effects of lindane and TPA on rat myometrial and WB-F344 liver cell gap junctions. Cell Biol Toxicol 20(3):147-169. doi:10.1023/B:CBTO.0000029465.74815.62 PMID:15250540
  • Loch-Caruso R, Tsuneta T, Hanna M, Grindatti C, Quensen JF. 2004. Stimulatory effects of a microbially dechlorinated polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture on rat uterine contraction in vitro. In: Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology (SOT), March 21-25, 2004. Baltimore, MD.


  • Brant KA, Loch-Caruso R. 2003. iPLA2 contributes to the gestation day sensitivity to 2,2',4,6 tetrachlorobiphenyl-induced stimulation of contraction frequency in rat uterus. Biol Reprod 68:382Suppl.1.
  • Chung D, Loch-Caruso R. 2003. Role of oxidative stress in the modification on rat uterine contraction by 2,2 '-dichlorobiphenyl. Toxicol Sci 72(1):376.
  • Nasser F, Chung D, Loch-Caruso R. 2003. Roles of endocannabinoids in rat uterine contractions. Biol Reprod 68:390Suppl.1.


  • Loch-Caruso R. 2002. Uterine muscle as a potential target of polychlorinated biphenyls during pregnancy. Int J Hyg Environ Health 205:121-130. PMID:12018005


  • Bae J, Mousa MA, Quensen JF, Boyd SA, Loch-Caruso R. 2001. Stimulation of contraction of pregnant rat uterus in vitro by non-dechlorinated and microbially dechlorinated mixtures of polychlorinated biphenyls. Environ Health Perspect 109(3):275-282. PMID:11333189


  • Bae J, Peters-Golden M, Loch-Caruso R. 1999. Stimulation of pregnant rat uterine contraction by the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture Aroclor 1242 may be mediated by arachidonic acid release through activation of phospholipase A2 enzymes. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 289:1112-1120. PMID:10215694
  • Bae J, Stuenkel E, Loch-Caruso R. 1999. Stimulation of oscillatory uterine contraction by the PCB mixture Aroclor 1242 may involve increased [Ca2+]i through voltage-operated calcium channels. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 155(3):261-272. PMID:10079212


  • Tsai M, Webb RC, Loch-Caruso R. 1997. The increase of oxytocin-induced oscillatory contractions by 4-hydroxy-2',4',6'-trichlorobiphenyl is estrogen receptor-mediated. Biol Reprod 56(2):341-347. PMID:9116132


  • Bae J, Loch-Caruso R. 1996. Stimulation of rat uterine oscillatory contraction by a polychlorinated biphenyl mixture, Aroclor 1242, and its sustained effect after removal of the compound. Biol Reprod 54(supp.):182.
  • Loch-Caruso R, Tsai M. 1996. Possible involvement of gap junctions in the development of spontaneous oscillatory contractions in uteri. Biol Reprod 54(supp.):118.
  • Tsai M, Webb RC, Loch-Caruso R. 1996. Congener-specific effects of PCBs on contractions of pregnant rat uteri. Reprod Toxicol 10(1):21-28. PMID:8998381


  • Criswell KA, Loch-Caruso R. 1995. Lindane-induced elimination of gap junctional communication in rat uterine myocytes is mediated by an arachidonic acid-sensitive cAMP-independent mechanism. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 135(1):127-138. PMID:7482532
  • Criswell KA, Loch-Caruso R, Stuenkel E. 1995. Lindane inhibition of gap junctional communication in myometrial myocytes is partially dependent on phosphoinositide-generated second messenger. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 130:280-293. PMID:7532876
  • Tsai M, Webb RC, Loch-Caruso R. 1995. Acute inhibition of uterine contraction by 4-hydroxy-2',4',6'-trichlorobiphenyl (4OHTCB) may result from disruption of gap junctional communication. Environ Health Perspect 15:275.
  • Tsai M, Webb RC, Loch-Caruso R. 1995. Inhibition of spontaneous oscillatory uterine contractions by 17β-estradiol is associated with disruption of gap junctional communication. Biol Reprod 52(supp.1):115.
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