Pre/post-natal exposure to microplastic as a potential risk factor for autism spectrum disorder

Javeria Zaheer, Hyeongi Kim, In Ok Ko, Eun Kyeong Jo, Eui Ju Choi, Hae June Lee, Insop Shim, Hyun jeong Woo, Jonghoon Choi, Gun Ha Kim, Jin Su Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In common with the increase in environmental pollution in the past 10 years, there has also been a recent increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this regard, we hypothesized that exposure to microplastics is a potential risk factor for ASD. To evaluate the validity of this hypothesis, we initially examined the accumulation of polyethylene (PE) in the brains of mice and then assessed the behavioral effects using mouse models at different life stages, namely, prenatal, post-weaning, puberty, and adult models. Based on typical behavioral assessments of autistic traits in the model mice, we established that ASD-like traits were induced in mice after PE feeding. In addition, we examined the induction of ASD-like traits in response to microplastic exposure using positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, microarray, and microbiome analysis. We believe these findings provide evidence in microplastics as a potential risk factor for ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107121
JournalEnvironment international
Volume161
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Republic of Korea. (NRF-2020R1F1A1061476, NRF-2021M2E8A1039980, 50536-2021).

Funding Information:
We appreciate the helpful discussion from Dr. Min-Hyun Park (Seoul National University), Dr. Ji Hye Jang (KIRAMS), Dr. Choong Mo Kang (KIRAMS), Dr. Myungok Lee (Sinarmas World Academy), and Dr. Sangwoo Kim (Yonsei University). We are thankful to Kyung Jun Kang (KIRAMS) and Hayeon Kim (Korea University) for their support. This study was funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Republic of Korea. (NRF-2020R1F1A1061476, NRF-2021M2E8A1039980, 50536-2021). Ethical approval and consent to participate All experiments were performed in accordance with a protocol approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC; KIRAMS 2020-0015; 2020-0017; 2020-0084). All data are available in the main text or the supplementary materials.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • EGR-1
  • Microplastic
  • Polyethylene
  • microbiome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Pre/post-natal exposure to microplastic as a potential risk factor for autism spectrum disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this