Removing critical gaps in chemical test methods by developing new assays for the identification of thyroid hormone system-disrupting chemicals—the ATHENA project

Andreas Kortenkamp*, Marta Axelstad, Asma H. Baig, Åke Bergman, Carl Gustaf Bornehag, Peter Cenijn, Sofie Christiansen, Barbara Demeneix, Arash Derakhshan, Jean Baptiste Fini, Caroline Frädrich, Timo Hamers, Lina Hellwig, Josef Köhrle, Tim I.M. Korevaar, Johan Lindberg, Olwenn Martin, Marcel E. Meima, Philipp Mergenthaler, Nikolai NikolovDavid Du Pasquier, Robin P. Peeters, Bjorn Platzack, Louise Ramhøj, Sylvie Remaud, Kostja Renko, Martin Scholze, Harald Stachelscheid, Terje Svingen, Fabian Wagenaars, Eva Bay Wedebye, R. Thomas Zoeller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The test methods that currently exist for the identification of thyroid hormone system-disrupting chemicals are woefully inadequate. There are currently no internationally validated in vitro assays, and test methods that can capture the consequences of diminished or enhanced thyroid hormone action on the developing brain are missing entirely. These gaps put the public at risk and risk assessors in a difficult position. Decisions about the status of chemicals as thyroid hormone system disruptors currently are based on inadequate toxicity data. The ATHENA project (Assays for the identification of Thyroid Hormone axis-disrupting chemicals: Elaborating Novel Assessment strategies) has been conceived to address these gaps. The project will develop new test methods for the disruption of thyroid hormone transport across biological barriers such as the blood–brain and blood–placenta barriers. It will also devise methods for the disruption of the downstream effects on the brain. ATHENA will deliver a testing strategy based on those elements of the thyroid hormone system that, when disrupted, could have the greatest impact on diminished or enhanced thyroid hormone action and therefore should be targeted through effective testing. To further enhance the impact of the ATHENA test method developments, the project will develop concepts for better international collaboration and development in the area of thyroid hormone system disruptor identification and regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3123
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume21
Issue number9
Early online date20 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Brain development
  • Endocrine disruptors
  • Risk assessment
  • Test method development
  • Test method validation
  • Thyroid hormone system

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