National Institute for Environmental Studies
 
The fourth five-year plan(2016-2020)/ Health and Environmental Safety Research Program

Project 1

Research project on the health effects of chemicals in children and future generations

Overview of Project 1

The prevalence of allergies, lifestyle-related diseases, and neurodevelopmental disorders is increasing worldwide, and dramatic increases in exposure to chemicals are potential risk factors. The aim of this project is to evaluate the health effects of exposure to chemicals in children and future generations, to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of these effects, and to create a new evaluation system to assess these health risks. To meet this aim, we are examining the risks posed by chemicals to higher-order biological functions (e.g., immune system, metabolic/endocrine system, brain and nervous system) and multi/transgenerational epigenetic effects by using animal models and cultured cells.
The project comprises three lines of research. The first is the evaluation of the effects of low-dose exposure to chemicals on the development of allergic and lifestyle-related diseases in children and future generations by elucidating the underlying mechanisms of these effects and their effects on interactions among biological systems, organ or cellular crosstalk, and biodistribution.
In the second line of research, we are developing advanced methods for assessing the developmental neurotoxicity of chemicals to provide information that can be used as the basis of epidemiological studies. Our testing methods include behavioral tests in animal models, tissue distribution evaluations, and alternative animal testing methods using avian embryos, embryonic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells.
In the third line of research, we are examining the multi/transgenerational epigenetic effects of chemicals and their underlying mechanisms by examining genomic functions and epigenetic changes in germ cells.
By combining these three lines of research, we will contribute to the management of chemicals and the protection of children and future generations from the health risks posed by chemicals.

PJ1 Members

Project leader: Eiko Koike (Center for Health and Environmental Risk Research)
Members:
Center for Health and Environmental Risk Research
 Rie Yanagisawa, Tin-Tin-Win-Shwe, Takehiro Suzuki, Shoji Nakayama, Tomohiko Isobe,
 Yayoi Kobayashi, Fumihiko Maekawa, Tomohiro Ito, Masami Ishido, Yoshika Kurokawa, Akiko Furuyama,
 Osamu Udagawa, Kazuyuki Okamura, Miyuki Iwai, Toyoshi Umezu, Yasunobu Aoki, Keiko Nohara,
 YE Feng*, Kazuhiro Sano*
Center for Environmental Measurement and Analysis
 Tomoharu Sano
Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies
 Takaharu Kawashima
(*: Researcher who belonged to the past)


 

PJ1 Sub-study

  • Study of the effects of chemicals on immune and metabolic diseases
  • Development of methods for determining the developmental neurotoxicity of chemicals
  • Elucidation of the multi and transgenerational epigenetic effects of chemicals and their underlying mechanisms