The relationship between pesticide exposure during critical neurodevelopment and autism spectrum disorder: A narrative review


Agricultural pesticides have been one of the most extensively used compounds throughout the world. The main sources of contamination for humans are dietary intake and occupational exposure. The impairments caused by agricultural pesticide exposure have been a significant global public health problem. Recent studies have shown that low-level agricultural pesticide exposure during the critical period of neurodevelopment (pregnancy and lactation) is closely related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, gut microbiota, neural dendrite morphology, synaptic function, and glial cells are targets for the effects of pesticides during nervous system development. In the present review, we summarize the associations between several highly used and frequently studied pesticides (e.g., glyphosate, chlorpyrifos, pyrethroids, and avermectins) and ASD. We also discusse future epidemiological and toxicological research directions on the relationship between pesticides and ASD.

Authors: Xiu He, Ying Tu, Yawen Song, Guanghong Yang, Mingdan You
; Full Source: Environmental research 2021 Aug 17;203:111902. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111902.