Faculty Profile

Rita  Loch-Caruso, PhD

Rita Loch-Caruso, PhD

  • Professor Emerita of Toxicology, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health and Professor Emerita of Program in the Environment, School for Environment and Sustainability
  • M6108 SPH II
  • 1415 Washington Heights
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2029

Rita Loch-Caruso is a toxicologist with a research focus in female reproductive toxicology and, in particular, mechanisms of toxicity related to adverse pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth. In addition to university-related research and training activities, she has served on numerous local, state and national committees.

She has a joint appointment in the Program in the Environment in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, where she teaches an undergraduate introductory course in toxicology.

  • EHS 796:  Topics in EHS:  Mechanisms in Toxicology
  • EHS 869:  Doctoral Seminar in Occupational and Environmental Health
  • ENVIRON 310:  Environmental Chemicals and Disease

  • PhD, Toxicology, University of Cincinnati, 1982
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Cincinnati, 1976
  • B.S., Biology, University of Cincinnati, 1976

How environmental chemicals contribute to the rising rates of birth complications such as preterm birth is poorly understood. Research in the Loch-Caruso laboratory strives to identify chemical and pathogen risks for preterm birth and other adverse birth outcomes, elucidate mechanisms that underlie how such exposures impart risk to pregnancy, and advance interventions to mitigate or prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes. Particular emphasis is on toxicant actions on placental and the maternal/fetal membranes.

  • Aung MT, Ferguson KK, Cantonwine DE, Bakulski KM, Mukherjee B, Loch-Caruso R, McElrath TF and Meeker JD. (2019). Associations between maternal plasma measurements of inflammatory markers and urinary levels of phenols and parabens during pregnancy: A repeated measures study. Sci Total Environ. 2019 Feb 10;650(Pt 1):1131-1140. doi: 0.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.08.356. Epub 2018 Aug 29. Erratum in: Sci Total Environ. 2019 Mar 25;658:1640. PubMed PMID: 30308801; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6236678.
  • Park HR, Harris SM, Boldenow E, McEachin RC, Sartor M, Chames M and Loch-Caruso R. (2018). Group B streptococcus activates transcriptomic pathways related to premature birth in human extraplacental membranes in vitro. Biol Reprod. 2018 Mar 1;98(3):396-407. doi: 10.1093/biolre/iox147. PubMed PMID: 29155939.
  • Zhou H, Young CJ, Loch-Caruso R and Shikanov A. (2018). Detection of lindane and 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene toxicity at low concentrations in a three-dimensional ovarian follicle culture system. Reprod Toxicol. 2018 Jun;78:141-149. doi: 0.1016/j.reprotox.2018.04.010. Epub 2018 Apr 21. PubMed PMID: 29684509.
  • Loch-Caruso R, Hassan I, Harris SM, Kumar A, Bjork F and Lash LH. (2018). Trichloroethylene exposure in mid-pregnancy decreased fetal weight and increased placental markers of oxidative stress in rats. Reprod Toxicol. 2019 Jan;83:38-45. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2018.11.002. Epub 2018 Nov 20. PubMed PMID: 30468822; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6404769.
  • Elkin ER, Harris SM and Loch-Caruso R. (2017). Trichloroethylene metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine induces lipid peroxidation-associated apoptosis via the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways in a first-trimester placental cell line. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2017 Nov 10;338:30-42. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2017.11.006. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29129777; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5741094.
  • Hassan I, Kumar AM, Park HR, Lash LH and Loch-Caruso R. (2016). Reactive oxygen stimulation of interleukin-6 release in the human trophoblast cell line HTR-8/SVneo by the trichlorethylene metabolite s-(1,2-dichloro)-l-cysteine. Biol Reprod. 2016 Sep;95(3):66. Epub 2016 Aug 3. PubMed PMID: 27488030; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5394980.
  • Boldenow E, Hassan I, Chames MC, Xi C and Loch-Caruso R (2015). The trichloroethylene metabolite S-(1,2-dichlorovinyl)-l-cysteine but not trichloroacetate inhibits pathogen-stimulated TNF-α in human extraplacental membranes in vitro. Reprod Toxicol. 2015 Jan 31;52:1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2015.01.007. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25653212; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4426062.
  • Park H-R and Loch-Caruso R. (2015) Protective effect of (±)α-tocopherol on brominated diphenyl ether-47-stimulated prostaglandin pathways in human extravillous trophoblasts in vitro. Toxicol In Vitro. 2015 Oct;29(7):1309-18. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2015.05.015. Epub 2015 May 27. PubMed PMID: 26026498; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4553091.
  • Tetz L, Aronoff DM and Loch-Caruso R. (2015). Mono-ethylhexyl phthalate stimulates prostaglandin synthesis in human placental macrophages and THP-1 cells. Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2015 Jun 3;13:56. doi: 10.1186/s12958-015-0046-8. PubMed PMID: 26036283; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4462084.
  • Park H-R, Kamau PW, Korte C and Loch-Caruso, R. (2014). Tetrabromobisphenol A Activates Inflammatory Pathways in Human First Trimester Extravillous Trophoblasts in vitro. Reprod Toxicol. 2014 Dec;50:154-62. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2014.10.005. Epub 2014 Oct 17. PubMed PMID: 25461914; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4260776.