The developing brain is extremely sensitive to many chemicals. Perinatal exposure to neurotoxicants has been implicated in several neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, and schizophrenia. Studies of the molecular and cellular events related to developmental neurotoxicity have identified a number of “adverse outcome pathways,” many of which share oxidative stress as a key event. Oxidative stress occurs when the balance between the production of free oxygen radicals and the activity of the cellular antioxidant system is dysregulated. In this review, we describe some of the developmental neurotoxins that target the antioxidant system and the mechanisms by which they elicit stress, including oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria and plasma membrane redox system in rodent models. We also discuss future directions for identifying adverse outcome pathways related to oxidative stress and developmental neurotoxicity, with the goal of improving our ability to quickly and accurately screen chemicals for their potential developmental neurotoxicity.
Copyright © 2021 Yuhei Nishimura et al.