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Metabolites. 2019 Jun 6;9(6). pii: E106. doi: 10.3390/metabo9060106.

Tackling the Complexity of the Exposome: Considerations from the Gunma University Initiative for Advanced Research (GIAR) Exposome Symposium.

Author information

1
Gunma University Initiative for Advanced Research (GIAR), Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8510, Japan. peizhang@gunma-u.ac.jp.
2
Division of Physiological Chemistry 2, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Solna 171 77, Sweden. peizhang@gunma-u.ac.jp.
3
Senator Frank R Lautenberg Environmental Health Sciences Laboratory, Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Division of Environmental Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA. manish.arora@mssm.edu.
4
Gunma University Initiative for Advanced Research (GIAR), Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8510, Japan. romcha@gunma-u.ac.jp.
5
Division of Physiological Chemistry 2, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Solna 171 77, Sweden. romcha@gunma-u.ac.jp.
6
National Center for the Japan Environment and Children's Study, National Institute for Environmental Sciences, Tsukuba 305-0053, Japan. isobe.tomohiko@nies.go.jp.
7
Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA. mjain@ucsd.edu.
8
Department of Pharmacology, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA. mjain@ucsd.edu.
9
Gunma University Initiative for Advanced Research (GIAR), Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8510, Japan. isabel.meister@gunma-u.ac.jp.
10
Division of Physiological Chemistry 2, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Solna 171 77, Sweden. isabel.meister@gunma-u.ac.jp.
11
Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Solna 171 77, Sweden. Erik.Melen@ki.se.
12
Department of Clinical Sciences and Education, Karolinska Institutet and Sachs' Children's Hospital, Stockholm 118 83, Sweden. Erik.Melen@ki.se.
13
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA. mp2217@cumc.columbia.edu.
14
Department of Biochemistry, YLL School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117597, Singapore. bchfdtt@nus.edu.sg.
15
Department of Biochemistry, YLL School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117597, Singapore. bchmrw@nus.edu.sg.
16
Gunma University Initiative for Advanced Research (GIAR), Gunma University, Maebashi 371-8510, Japan. Craig.Wheelock@ki.se.
17
Division of Physiological Chemistry 2, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Solna 171 77, Sweden. Craig.Wheelock@ki.se.

Abstract

The attempt to describe complex diseases by solely genetic determination has not been successful. There is increasing recognition that the development of disease is often a consequence of interactions between multiple genetic and environmental factors. To date, much of the research on environmental determinants of disease has focused on single exposures generally measured at a single time point. In order to address this limitation, the concept of the exposome has been introduced as a comprehensive approach, studying the full complement of environmental exposures from conception onwards. However, exposures are vast, dynamic, and diverse, and only a small proportion can be reasonably measured due to limitations in technology and feasibility. In addition, the interplay between genes and exposure as well as between different exposures is complicated and multifaceted, which leads to difficulties in linking disease or health outcomes with exposures. The large numbers of collected samples require well-designed logistics. Furthermore, the immense data sets generated from exposome studies require a significant computational investment for both data analysis and data storage. This report summarizes discussions during an international exposome symposium held at Gunma University in Japan regarding the concept of the exposome, challenges in exposome research, and future perspectives in the field.

KEYWORDS:

environment; epigenetics; exposome; exposure; metabolomics

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