Environmentally hazardous substances and exposure to these can cause various diseases. Volatile organic compounds can easily evaporate into the atmosphere, thereby exerting toxic effects through either the skin or respiratory tract exposures. Toluene, a neurotoxin, has been widely used in various industries. However, it has a detrimental effect on the nervous system (such as hallucinations or memory impairment), while data on the mechanism underlaying its harmful effects remain limited. Therefore, this study investigates the effect of toluene on the nervous system via epigenetic and genetic changes of toluene-exposed individuals. We identified significant epigenetic changes and confirmed that the affected abnormally expressed genes negatively influenced the nervous system. In particular, we confirmed that the miR-15 family, upregulated by toluene, downregulated ABL2, which could affect the R as signaling pathway resulting in neuronal structural abnormalities. Our study suggests that miR-15a-5p, miR-15b-5p, miR-16-5p, miR-301a-3p, and lncRNA NEAT1 may represent effective epigenomic markers associated with neurodegenerative diseases caused by toluene.
- Ras signaling
- neurodegenerative diseases
- noncoding RNA
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis