Remco H S Westerink

Remco H S Westerink
Utrecht University | UU · Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS)

PhD

About

153
Publications
39,861
Reads
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3,937
Citations
Introduction
Head of the Neurotoxicology Research Group (IRAS-Utrecht University). >75 scientific articles and papers. European registered toxciologist. Focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of toxic substances (food-related products, health products, drugs and (persistent) environmental contaminants) on the nervous system, with a strong emphasis on the use of functional in vitro models. Participate(d) in EU projects ATHON, ENFIRO, ACROPOLIS, DENAMIC. http://www.neurotoxicology.nl
Additional affiliations
June 2005 - present
Utrecht University
Position
  • head neurotoxicology research group
Description
  • Head Neurotoxicology Research Group (IRAS-Utrecht University)
January 2004 - June 2004
Universidad de Sevilla
Position
  • visiting scientist
Description
  • Visiting Scientist at Dept Medical Physiology and Biophysics, University of Seville
June 2002 - May 2005
University of Amsterdam
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Post-doc (Neuroscience) at SILS-University of Amsterdam

Publications

Publications (153)
Article
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The adverse effects of air pollutants on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems are unquestionable. However, in recent years, indications of effects beyond these organ systems have become more evident. Traffic-related air pollution has been linked with neurological diseases, exacerbated cognitive dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, t...
Article
Contamination of aircraft cabin air can result from leakage of engine oils and hydraulic fluids into bleed air. This may cause adverse health effects in cabin crews and passengers. To realistically mimic inhalation exposure to aircraft cabin bleed-air contaminants, a mini bleed-air contaminants simulator (Mini-BACS) was constructed and connected to...
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Introduction The accidental ingestion of diluted household descaling products by infants is a phenomenon that poison control centers regularly encounter. Feeding infants with baby milk prepared with water from electric kettles still containing descaler is a common way of exposure. This study aimed to determine the risks related to ingestion of (dil...
Article
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Neurotoxicity testing of chemicals, drug candidates, and environmental pollutants still relies on extensive in vivo studies that are very costly, time‐consuming, and ethically debated due to the large number of animals typically used. Currently, rat primary cortical cultures are widely used for in vitro neurotoxicity studies, as they closely resemb...
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New therapeutic approaches to resolve persistent pain are highly needed. We tested the hypothesis that manipulation of cytokine receptors on sensory neurons by clustering regulatory cytokine receptor pairs with a fusion protein of interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10 (IL4–10 FP) would redirect signaling pathways to optimally boost pain-resolution pathways....
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Introduction: The increasing incidence of mental illnesses and neurodegenerative diseases results in a high demand for drugs targeting the central nervous system (CNS). These drugs easily reach the CNS, have a high affinity for CNS targets, and are prone to cause seizures as an adverse drug reaction. Current seizure liability assessment heavily de...
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Introduction: The process of chemical risk assessment traditionally relies on animal experiments and associated default uncertainty factors to account for interspecies and interindividual differences. To work toward a more precise and personalized risk assessment, these uncertainty factors should be refined and replaced by chemical-specific adjust...
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In chemical risk assessment, default uncertainty factors are used to account for interspecies and interindividual differences, and differences in toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics herein. However, these default factors come with little scientific support. Therefore, our aim was to develop an in vitro method, using acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibi...
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There is a great need for antiviral drugs to treat enterovirus (EV) and rhinovirus (RV) infections , which can be severe and occasionally life-threatening. The conserved nonstructural protein 2C, which is an AAA+ ATPase, is a promising target for drug development. Here, we present a structure-activity relationship study of a previously identified c...
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Inhalation exposure to environmental and occupational aerosol contaminants is associated with many respiratory health problems. To realistically mimic long-term inhalation exposure for toxicity testing, lung epithelial cells need to maintained and exposed under air-liquid interface (ALI) conditions for a prolonged period of time. In addition, to st...
Article
Human embryonic stem cell neuronal differentiation models provide promising in vitro tools for the prediction of developmental neurotoxicity of chemicals. Such models mimic essential elements of human relevant neuronal development, including the differentiation of a variety of brain cell types and their neuronal network formation as evidenced by sp...
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Seizures are life-threatening adverse drug reactions which are investigated late in drug development using rodent models. Consequently, if seizures are detected, a lot of time, money and animals have been used. Thus, there is a need for in vitro screening models using human cells to circumvent inter-species translation. We assessed the suitability...
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Given the global abundance and environmental persistence, exposure of humans and (aquatic) animals to micro- and nanoplastics is unavoidable. Current evidence indicates that micro- and nanoplastics can be taken up by aquatic organism as well as by mammals. Upon uptake, micro- and nanoplastics can reach the brain, although there is limited informati...
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Ubiquitous exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) has caused serious concerns about the ability of these chemicals to affect neurodevelopment, among others. Since endocrine disruption (ED)-induced developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) is hardly covered by the chemical testing tools that are currently in regulatory use, the Horizon 2020 resea...
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Hyperthermia is a well-known, potentially life-threatening, side effect of stimulant psychoactive substances that worsens the neurological outcome of hospitalized patients. However, current in vitro methods to assess the hazard of psychoactive substances do not account for hyperthermia. Therefore, this study determined the potency of five psychoact...
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Concerns about the neurotoxic potential of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) increase, although their neurotoxic mechanisms of action remain debated. Considering the importance of the GABAA receptor in neuronal function, we investigated acute effects of PFAS on this receptor...
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Synthetic cathinones are the second largest class of new psychoactive substances (NPS) on the drug market. Despite the large number of different cathinones and their abundant use, hazard characterization is mainly limited to their potential to inhibit monoamine transporters. To expand the current hazard characterization, we first investigated the a...
Article
Wnt dependency and Lgr5 expression define multiple mammalian epithelial stem cell types. Under defined growth factor conditions, such adult stem cells (ASCs) grow as 3D organoids that recapitulate essential features of the pertinent epithelium. Here, we establish long-term expanding venom gland organoids from several snake species. The newly assemb...
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Pesticides are unique environmental contaminants that are specifically introduced into the environment to control pests, often by killing them. Although pesticide application serves many important purposes, including protection against crop loss and against vector-borne diseases, there are significant concerns over the potential toxic effects of pe...
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The use of recreational drugs, including new psychoactive substances (NPS), is paralleled by emergency department visits of drug users with severe cardiotoxicity. Drug-induced cardiotoxicity can be the (secondary) result of increased norepinephrine blood concentrations, but data on potential drug-induced direct effects on cardiomyocyte function are...
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The use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) is increasing despite associated health risks and limited pharmacological and toxicological knowledge. Information is available mainly for acute effects on specific targets like monoamine transporters and receptors. Recently, we have shown the ability of several NPS and illicit drugs to modulate neuronal...
Chapter
The central nervous system consists of a multitude of different neurons and supporting cells that form networks for transmitting neuronal signals. Proper function of the nervous system depends critically on a wide range of highly regulated processes including intracellular calcium homeostasis, neurotransmitter release, and electrical activity. Due...
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Many psychoactive substances affect the human dopamine (DA) reuptake transporter (hDAT). Polymorphisms in the encoding gene could affect the functionality of the transporter and consequently alter effects of psychotropic and recreational drugs. Recently, a T356 M single nucleotide polymorphism in the human SLC6A3 gene was described, which resulted...
Article
Dysregulation of neuronal intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis can play a crucial role in many neurotoxic effects, including impaired brain development and behavioral dysfunctions. This study examined 40 suspected neurotoxicants from different chemical classes for their capacity to alter Ca2+ release and uptake from rat cortical microsomes. First, ten su...
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Neurotoxicity testing still relies on ethically debated, expensive and time consuming in vivo experiments, which are unsuitable for high-throughput toxicity screening. There is thus a clear need for a rapid in vitro screening strategy that is preferably based on human-derived neurons to circumvent interspecies translation. Recent availability of co...
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While the prevalence and the use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) is steadily increasing, data on pharmacological, toxicological and clinical effects is limited. Considering the large number of NPS available, there is a clear need for efficient in vitro screening techniques that capture multiple mechanisms of action. Neuronal cultures grown on...
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The use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) is increasing and currently > 600 NPS have been reported. However, limited information on neuropharmacological and toxicological effects of NPS is available, hampering risk characterization. We reviewed the literature on the in vitro neuronal modes of action to obtain effect fingerprints of different cla...
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Biomedical and (neuro) toxicity research on (neuro) degenerative diseases still relies strongly on animal models. However, the use of laboratory animals is often undesirable for both ethical and technical reasons. Current in vitro research thus largely relies on tumor derived- or immortalized cell lines. Notably, the suitability of cell lines for s...
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The prevalence and use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) is increasing and currently over 600 NPS exist. Many illicit drugs and NPS increase brain monoamine levels by inhibition and/or reversal of monoamine reuptake transporters (DAT, NET and SERT). This is often investigated using labor-intensive, radiometric endpoint measurements. We investiga...
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The use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) is steadily increasing. One commonly used NPS is methoxetamine (MXE), a ketamine analogue. Several adverse effects have been reported following MXE, while only limited data are available on the neuropharmacological modes of action.
Article
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Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is an extremely toxic marine neurotoxin. TTX inhibits voltage-gated sodium channels, resulting in a potentially lethal inhibition of neurotransmission. Despite numerous intoxications in Asia and Europe, limited (human) toxicological data are available for TTX. Additionally, the degree of interspecies differences for TTX is not we...
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There is an increasing demand for in vitro test systems to detect neurotoxicity for use in chemical risk assessment. In this study, we evaluated the applicability of rat primary cortical cultures grown on multi-well micro-electrode arrays (mwMEAs) to detect effects of chronic 14-day exposure to structurally different insecticides or methylmercury o...
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The world’s population is steadily ageing and as a result, health conditions related to ageing, such as dementia, have become a major public health concern. In 2001, it was estimated that there were almost 5 million Europeans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and this figure has been projected to almost double by 2040. About 40% of people ove...
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Annual prevalence of the use of common illicit drugs and new psychoactive substances (NPS) is high, despite the often limited knowledge on the health risks of these substances. Recently, cortical cultures grown on multi-well microelectrode arrays (mwMEAs) have been used for neurotoxicity screening of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and toxins with a hi...
Article
Exposure to tricresyl phosphates (TCPs), via for example contaminated cabin air, has been associated with health effects including the so-called aerotoxic syndrome. While TCP neurotoxicity is mainly attributed to ortho-isomers like tri-ortho-cresyl phosphate (ToCP), recent exposure and risk assessments indicate that ToCP levels in cabin air are ver...
Article
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Current neurotoxicity testing heavily relies on expensive, time consuming and ethically debated in vivo animal experiments that are unsuitable for screening large number of chemicals. Consequently, there is a clear need for (high-throughput) in vitro test strategies, preferably using human cells as this increases relevance and eliminates the need f...
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Exposure to 50-60 Hz extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) has increased considerably over the last decades. Several epidemiological studies suggested that ELF-EMF exposure is associated with adverse health effects, including neurotoxicity. However, these studies are debated as results are often contradictory and the possible un...
Article
Piperazine derivatives are a class of psychoactive substances applied in prescription medicines like antidepressants as well as in drugs of abuse. They are known to increase brain levels of catecholamines, likely via reversal of reuptake transporters. However, other mechanisms could also contribute to increased neurotransmitter levels, e.g., reduce...
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We previously demonstrated that acute inhibition of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) is a common mode of action for (sub)micromolar concentrations of chemicals, including insecticides. However, because human exposure to chemicals is usually chronic and repeated, we investigated if selected insecticides from different chemical classes (organoc...
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The degenerative process in Parkinson's disease is largely limited to the dopaminergic neurons in the basal ganglia. Cellular mechanisms that are implicated in parkinsonian neurodegeneration include mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, disturbance of intracellular calcium homeostasis and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. A major characteri...
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The intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) is an important readout for in vitro neurotoxicity since calcium is critically involved in many essential neurobiological processes, including neurotransmission, neurodegeneration and neurodevelopment. [Ca2+]i is often measured with considerable throughput at the level of cell populations with plate...
Article
Brominated flame retardants such as tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA) may exert (developmental) neurotoxic effects. However, data on (neuro)toxicity of halogen-free flame retardants (HFFRs) are scarce. Recent in vitro studies indicated a high neurotoxic potential for some HFFRs, e.g., zinc stannate (ZS), whereas the neurotoxic potential of other HFFRs,...
Article
Scope: At the European level, detection of marine neurotoxins in seafood is still based on ethically debated and expensive in vivo rodent bioassays. The development of alternative methodologies for the detection of marine neurotoxins is therefore of utmost importance. We therefore investigated whether and to what extent a multielectrode array (MEA...
Article
Increasing exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF), generated by power lines and electric appliances, raises concern about potential adverse health effects of ELF-EMF. The central nervous system is expected to be particularly vulnerable to ELF-EMF as its function strongly depends on electrical excitability. We therefore...
Article
In vitro models, including the widely used PC12 cell line, can increase insight into cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative processes. An important determinant for the vulnerability of cells for chemical insults may be the endogenous level of oxidative stress. To test this hypothesis, we induced different degrees of cellular...