Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology

Aim of the course

This postgraduate course introduces the field of developmental and reproductive toxicology (DART) from the viewpoint of a variety of contributing disciplines. Starting from basic reproductive, developmental, endocrine and toxicological concepts, it covers subjects from experimental research to clinical studies and epidemiology. Specific topics include advice on drugs use in pregnancy, the teratology of antiepileptic drugs, folic acid deficiency and neural tube defects, and the classical and still topical DES and Thalidomide cases. Special attention is given to the interpretation of animal reproductive toxicity studies which form the basis for human risk assessment of chemicals.

  • Basics of reproduction, development and endocrinology.
  • Fundamental and applied research, risk evaluation and risk management.
  • New approach methodologies in DART testing.
    • Non-animal and in vitro alternatives and omics approaches.
  • Active class ‘Wonder drugs: the DES and Thalidomide case’.
  • Drugs use in Pregnancy: safety evaluation, exposures in pregnancy, post-marketing surveillance of drugs, risk communication.
  • Epidemiology of congenital malformations: study types with pros and cons, birth defects registries, examples of congenital anomalies.
  • Risk assessment in Reproductive Toxicology:
    • Overview of guideline-based animal study test protocols, their use in testing strategies, implementation of endpoints for endocrine disruption and parental versus foetal toxicity.
    • Workshop with practical examples of animal study results
  • Group assignment on specific cases including a presentation.

The course participant will be able:

  • to understand the general principles of reproductive, developmental and endocrine toxicology;
  • to obtain knowledge about certain human teratogens and their epidemiology and clinical teratology;
  • to explain modes and mechanisms of action of selected reproductive toxicants and
  • to connect these mechanisms with their group case studies;
  • to understand the present regulatory (in vivo) hazard assessment methodologies in reproductive toxicology and;
  • to evaluate whether these methodologies can be replaced by new approach methodologies;

Coordinator: dr. J.H. Kamstra

Jorke Kamstra
Hilde Aardema
Sander Lentz
Nel Roeleveld
Peter Theunissen
Ineke Crijns
Juliette Legler
Manon Beekhuijzen
Daphne van den Oetelaar
Albert Piersma
Lisa Baumann
Sabine Hartvelt

Information: Students will receive subjects for self-study in subgroups and present their findings on Friday.

Please note that the course can be cancelled up to one month before its starting date, when the number of applications is below the minimum required. For general inquiries please contact the PET Office.

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