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Arch Toxicol. 2019 Aug;93(8):2375-2384. doi: 10.1007/s00204-019-02512-8. Epub 2019 Aug 10.

Accuracy, discriminative properties and reliability of a human ESC-based in vitro toxicity assay to distinguish teratogens responsible for neural tube defects.

Author information

1
Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endocrinology (RME), University Hospital, University of Basel, Vogesenstrasse 134, 4031, Basel, Switzerland.
2
Department of Biomedicine (DBM), University Hospital, University of Basel, Hebelstrasse 20, 4031, Basel, Switzerland.
3
SCAHT-Swiss Centre for Applied Human Toxicology, University of Basel, Missionsstrasse 64, 4055, Basel, Switzerland.
4
Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endocrinology (RME), University Hospital, University of Basel, Vogesenstrasse 134, 4031, Basel, Switzerland. Christian.DeGeyter@usb.ch.
5
SCAHT-Swiss Centre for Applied Human Toxicology, University of Basel, Missionsstrasse 64, 4055, Basel, Switzerland. Christian.DeGeyter@usb.ch.

Abstract

The poor correlation of developmental toxicity studies in animals with human outcome data has emphasized the need for complementary assays based on human cells and tissues. As neural tube defects represent an important proportion of congenital malformations, we evaluated here the accuracy of a human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-based assay to predict chemically induced disruption of neural tube formation. As teratogenic compounds, we used cyclopamine (CPA), valproic acid (VPA), ochratoxin A (OTA) and mycophenolic acid (MMF), all suspected or known inducers of human neural tube defects, as well as theophylline and saccharin as negative control compounds. We analyzed their effects on the ability of hES cells to give rise to neural precursors (expressing specific marker Nestin), to form neural tube-like structures (rosettes), and to express specific markers (Sox1, Otx2, Lix1, EvI1, Rspo3) during rosette formation. The results showed that various effects of the selected compounds on early neural development could be specifically revealed in vitro through related alterations of neurogenic differentiation of hESC. Furthermore, it was possible to discriminate toxicants acting at different time points during embryonic development and, therefore, responsible for distinct adverse effects on neural tube formation. By comparing four different hESC lines, we observed a significant (up to fivefold) variability of the line-dependent response to toxicants. We highlight at least two sources of variability: one related to the heterogeneity of hESC lines in culture (stemness/commitment profiles); the second to possible genetically determined differences in individual sensitivity to teratogens.

KEYWORDS:

Developmental neurotoxicity; Human embryonic stem cells; In vitro test; Neural tube defect

PMID:
31401662
DOI:
10.1007/s00204-019-02512-8

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