Current Issues in Developmental Immunotoxicity

  • Jamie C. DeWittEmail author
  • Deborah E. Keil
Part of the Molecular and Integrative Toxicology book series (MOLECUL)


Developmental immunotoxicity (DIT) occurs when early-life events reshape immune development to the point of altering immune system responses, often with negative consequences for an organism. Within the vein of toxicology, such events include exposure to exogenous risk factors, including chemical, biological, or physical agents that change the course of immune system development. Early-life exposure to such events may result in suppression, hyperactivation , and/or misregulation of a host of immune responses to result in inflammatory diseases, allergy and asthma, autoimmune diseases, and/or decreased resistance to infectious agents. This chapter will review current issues associated with DIT, including an overview of current guidelines for assessing DIT in experimental animal models, lifetime health risks thought to be associated with DIT, the need for DIT testing in safety assessments of chemical substances, and the impacts of “twenty-first century toxicology” on DIT approaches and methods.


DIT Immunosuppression Hyperactivation Misregulation Early-life exposures Critical windows 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Brody School of MedicineEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA

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