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Environmental Medicine

Investigating effects of diisocyanates on occupational health.

Identifying Autotaxin-lysophosphatidic acid axis to be the mediator behind the toxicological effect of the industrial chemical Toluene diisocyanate: My first postdoctoral fellowship at the Institution of Environmental Medicine (IMM), Karolinska Institutet (KI), was in the field of toxicology. I studied the effect of diisocyanate (heavily used in the plastic industry) on occupational health. I found that the enzyme Autotaxin (ATX) and a product of its enzymatic activity, lysophosphatidic acid are activated in response to lower level than Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) of diisocyanate (0.005ppm) permitted in both the US and Europe. Furthermore, ATX activation is mediated by purinergic receptors. My findings give robust tools to identify and characterize sensitive individuals and will hopefully lead to lowering the current OEL of diisocyanates.

Selected Publications:

  1. 1 Broström JM, Ghalali A, Zheng H, Högberg J, Stenius U, Littorin M, Tinnerberg H, Broberg K.. Induction of the autotaxin-lysophosphatidic acid axis and its association with airways symptoms. Toxicol. Apppl. Pharmacol. • Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2018 Sep 15;355:43-51.
  2. Broström, J.M., Ye, Z.-W., Axmon, A., Littorin, M., tinnerberg, H., Lindh, C.H., Zheng, H., Ghalali, A., Stenius, U., Jönsson, B.A.G., Högberg, J. Toluene diisocyanate exposure and autotaxin-lysophosphatidic acid signalling. Toxicol. Apppl. Pharmacol. 15, 222-231. (doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2015.06.006) (Number of citation: 10).