The last decades have shown that the course of pregnancy and fetal development can be sensitive to chemical exposures. It is furthermore evident that the environment during pregnancy to a large degree determines the developmental trajectories of the fetus, alter the functioning of the offspring’s organ systems and hence health later in life. Here the recognition of the potential for epigenetic moderation by chemicals opens up for a deeper understanding of the developmental origin of health and disease.
Many couples have difficulties in becoming pregnant, and also here the environment may play a role. Parenthood is increasingly pursued at the end of the reproductive years. At this time in life, the male and female reproductive systems have had more years of occupational and environmental exposures, but we know little about the potential consequences for fertility and fetal development.
The number of existing chemicals is enormous. To establish a toxicological database that is adequate for hazard and risk assessment each chemical poses one of the largest challenges to the field. We therefore need to establish methods that enable prediction of hazard based on limited or even no testing in biological systems.
To continue development of the field of reproductive and developmental toxicology, this research section encourages interdisciplinary research between disciplines, ranging from material and chemical science, exposure assessment, epidemiology, in vitro and experimental animal science, basic and molecular biology, in silico modeling, and risk assessment.
The section covers contributions devoted (but not limited) to:
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