Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology

Gene Expression Regulation and Pathway Analysis After Valproic Acid and Carbamazepine Exposure in a Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Neurodevelopmental Toxicity Assay.

PMID 25979313


Differentiating pluripotent stem cells inxa0vitro have proven useful for the study of developmental toxicity. Here, we studied the effects of anticonvulsant drug exposure in a human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-based neurodevelopmental toxicity test (hESTn). During neural differentiation the cells were exposed, for either 1 or 7 days, to noncytotoxic concentration ranges of valproic acid (VPA) or carbamazepine (CBZ), antiepileptic drugs known to cause neurodevelopmental toxicity. The effects observed on gene expression and correlated processes and pathways were in line with processes associated with neural development and pharmaceutical mode of action. In general, VPA showed a higher number of genes and molecular pathways affected than CBZ. The response kinetics differed between both compounds, with CBZ showing higher response magnitudes at day 1, versus VPA at day 7. With this study, we demonstrated the potential and biological relevance of the application of this hESC-based differentiation assay in combination with transcriptomics, as a tool to study neurodevelopmental toxicity.

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