Superfund Research Program
Arsenic Effects on Cardiovascular Development and Disease
Project Leader: Todd D. Camenisch
Grant Number: P42ES004940
Funding Period: 2010-2015
Camenisch and his research team's recent studies discovered that exposing the developing fetus to ingested arsenic via the pregnant mother predisposes offspring to metabolic syndrome disorders including liver disease with high serum lipids. Thus, chronic and protracted exposure to low levels of arsenic during critical windows of development is a risk for developing these noncancer ailments. This work is under review at Environmental Health Perspectives. The research group also expended a lot of human and financial resources performing initial studies on the impact of arsenic on fetal and postnatal lung development. The initial findings show an impact by arsenite on lung development and this was partially included into the renewal project for Clark Lantz in the SRP submission. Finally, they have demonstrated that MMA(III) like arsenite can disrupt cardiac EMT. The researchers have also deciphered part of the mechanism of how arsenicals block developmental EMT TGFbeta signaling. They identified that arsenic can disrupt Smad effector protein shuttling to the nucleus and that Zinc supplementation can rescue this effect. This work is in press in Tox. Sciences.