Assessment of drug induced developmental toxicity using human embryonic stem cells

Authors

  • Ashish Mehta,

    Corresponding author
    1. Regenerative Medicine Group, Reliance Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Dhirubhai Ambani Life Sciences Centre, Rabale, Navi Mumbai 400 701, India
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  • Vijay Bhaskar R. Konala,

    1. Regenerative Medicine Group, Reliance Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Dhirubhai Ambani Life Sciences Centre, Rabale, Navi Mumbai 400 701, India
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  • Aparna Khanna,

    1. Regenerative Medicine Group, Reliance Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Dhirubhai Ambani Life Sciences Centre, Rabale, Navi Mumbai 400 701, India
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  • Anish S. Majumdar

    1. Regenerative Medicine Group, Reliance Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd., Dhirubhai Ambani Life Sciences Centre, Rabale, Navi Mumbai 400 701, India
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Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 22 67678435; fax: +91 22 67678099. ashish_mehta@relbio.com

Abstract

Embryonic stem (ES) cells are unique as they have the potential to be generated in large numbers and the ability to differentiate into the three germ layers via embryoid body (EB) formation. This property could be utilized as an index to study initial mammalian development. We have investigated the utility of a comprehensively characterized human ES (hES) cell line (ReliCell®hES1) for testing the embryotoxic effects of compounds using cytotoxicity assays. Further, we performed real time gene expression analysis to check the alterations in germ layer markers expression upon drug treatment. The results show that assays using hES cells could serve as a reliable, sensitive and robust method to assess embryotoxic potential of compounds. They also provide a proof of concept that hES cells can be used as an in vitro model to demonstrate developmental toxicity, and to examine the germ layer-specific effects on differentiating EBs.

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