Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

CNS toxicity of ambient air pollution: Postnatal exposure to ultrafine particles  

Increasing evidence suggests that ultrafine particle (UFP) air pollution may produce sustained brain inflammation. UFP might be predicted to produce brain effects similar to those seen with maternal/neonatal inflammation, components of which are considered models of schizophrenia, autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and Parkinson's disease. Consistent with this possibility, preliminary data shows that postnatal UFP exposures results in sustained brain inflammation in mice as adults in ventral midbrain and hippocampus, brain regions key to mediating complex cognition and motor functions. Such residual inflammation suggests that developmental UFP exposure may represent a heretofore largely underappreciated risk factor for neurodevelopment dysfunction in children or a fetal risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, researchers will test whether developmental UFP exposures of mice can affect cognitive and/or locomotor behavior. They will also explore cellular and molecular changes, including alterations in levels of brain cytokines, inflammation, oxidative stress, neurotransmitters and/or plasma corticosterone. Positive findings would suggest that UFP represents a previously underappreciated basis for brain dysfunction and could lead to significant advances in understanding the contribution of air pollutants to the etiology of neurodevelopment and neurodegenerative disorders, including autism. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $191,406.00
Current Award Period 2010-2012
Project Number 1R21ES019105-01
Principal Investigator Cory-Slechta, Deborah
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 2: How Can I Understand What Is Happening? (Biology)
Subcategory Immune/Metabolic Pathways
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 2SA. Support at least four research projects to identify mechanisms of fever, metabolic and/or immune system interactions with the central nervous system that may influence ASD during prenatal-postnatal life by 2010. IACC Recommended Budget: $9,800,000 over 4 years. (Fever studies to be started by 2012.)
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution University of Rochester
State/Country New York
Web Link 1 CNS toxicity of ambient air pollution: Postnatal exposure to ultrafine particles (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
New! History/Related Projects Not available at this time. This functionality is experimental.