Research Topic

Oxidative Stress and Neuroinflammatory Responses Associated with Metal Toxicity in Brain Disorders

About this Research Topic

The industrial revolution has resulted in widespread use of metals. While the ores are naturally available, metals need to be extracted by extensive procedures for utilization in various industries. These procedures invariably result in the exposure of industrial workers and the surrounding environment to metals and/or their toxic by-products potentially causing health hazards. Extensive use of metals and their compounds have exposed everyone to toxic levels of metals. The central nervous system (CNS) is particularly vulnerable to heavy metal toxicity and leads to neurological abnormalities. Acute exposure following inhalation, topical contact, oringestion results in gastrointestinal implications and dramatic presentations. Particularly higher doses result in adverse consequences at the cellular and molecular level. Such processes could trigger inflammatory responses. Hence, addressing the implications of metal toxicity is the need of the hour and is a global health challenge. In this research topic, we aspire to address the various aspects of metal-induced neurotoxicity, investigate the underlying mechanisms and immunomodulatory responses, and explore the therapeutic modalities under investigation.

In our day-to-day activities we humans are exposed to various inorganic compounds like aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, lithium, manganese, mercury, selenium, thallium, zinc, etc., which are well-known neurotoxicants. Some of these metal ions are essential for the normal functioning of the human body,several others along with their derivatives tend to be neurotoxic at higher concentrations and/ or after prolonged exposure. Even at lower concentrations of exposure, these metallic compounds can progressively accumulate within the system leading to adverse effects. The CNS is particularly vulnerable to metal-induced oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. While brain aging independently drives an inflammatory process, metal exposure aggravates it. Metal-induced mitochondrial changes and dysfunction leads to energy deficits. Molecular consequences might include binding to proteins and other biomolecules resulting in their altered structure and function. Hence, it is vital to understand the impact of exposure and emphasize the need for preventive measures.

This research topic aims to consolidate advances in the field of acute metal neurotoxicology with an intention to understand the underlying mechanisms and explore promising prophylactic and therapeutic approaches with a focus on oxidative stress, immunomodulation, and inflammatory responses.

We welcome original research articles or review articles which fall under the broad theme of metal induced neurotoxicity, immune system responses, and inflammatory changes. The themes would include, but not be limited to:
• Mechanisms underlying heavy metal toxicity;
• Role of heavy metals in mediating free radical induced neurotoxicity, immunomodulations, and the inflammatory responses thereof;
• Therapeutic approaches targeting metal toxicity-induced cellular and molecular alterations;
• Neurotoxicity of metallic nanoparticles;
• any other relevant metal associated stressors which contribute to brain disorders and would aid in the development of therapeutic approaches would be welcome.


Keywords: Brain disorders, neuroinflammation, metal neurotoxicity, neurodegeneration, neurodevelopmental disorders, oxidative stress


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The industrial revolution has resulted in widespread use of metals. While the ores are naturally available, metals need to be extracted by extensive procedures for utilization in various industries. These procedures invariably result in the exposure of industrial workers and the surrounding environment to metals and/or their toxic by-products potentially causing health hazards. Extensive use of metals and their compounds have exposed everyone to toxic levels of metals. The central nervous system (CNS) is particularly vulnerable to heavy metal toxicity and leads to neurological abnormalities. Acute exposure following inhalation, topical contact, oringestion results in gastrointestinal implications and dramatic presentations. Particularly higher doses result in adverse consequences at the cellular and molecular level. Such processes could trigger inflammatory responses. Hence, addressing the implications of metal toxicity is the need of the hour and is a global health challenge. In this research topic, we aspire to address the various aspects of metal-induced neurotoxicity, investigate the underlying mechanisms and immunomodulatory responses, and explore the therapeutic modalities under investigation.

In our day-to-day activities we humans are exposed to various inorganic compounds like aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, lithium, manganese, mercury, selenium, thallium, zinc, etc., which are well-known neurotoxicants. Some of these metal ions are essential for the normal functioning of the human body,several others along with their derivatives tend to be neurotoxic at higher concentrations and/ or after prolonged exposure. Even at lower concentrations of exposure, these metallic compounds can progressively accumulate within the system leading to adverse effects. The CNS is particularly vulnerable to metal-induced oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. While brain aging independently drives an inflammatory process, metal exposure aggravates it. Metal-induced mitochondrial changes and dysfunction leads to energy deficits. Molecular consequences might include binding to proteins and other biomolecules resulting in their altered structure and function. Hence, it is vital to understand the impact of exposure and emphasize the need for preventive measures.

This research topic aims to consolidate advances in the field of acute metal neurotoxicology with an intention to understand the underlying mechanisms and explore promising prophylactic and therapeutic approaches with a focus on oxidative stress, immunomodulation, and inflammatory responses.

We welcome original research articles or review articles which fall under the broad theme of metal induced neurotoxicity, immune system responses, and inflammatory changes. The themes would include, but not be limited to:
• Mechanisms underlying heavy metal toxicity;
• Role of heavy metals in mediating free radical induced neurotoxicity, immunomodulations, and the inflammatory responses thereof;
• Therapeutic approaches targeting metal toxicity-induced cellular and molecular alterations;
• Neurotoxicity of metallic nanoparticles;
• any other relevant metal associated stressors which contribute to brain disorders and would aid in the development of therapeutic approaches would be welcome.


Keywords: Brain disorders, neuroinflammation, metal neurotoxicity, neurodegeneration, neurodevelopmental disorders, oxidative stress


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

07 October 2021 Abstract
18 February 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

07 October 2021 Abstract
18 February 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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