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Health and Environmental Effects Research

ISTD Scientist Develops New Technique To Assess Potential Developmental Toxicants

Marianne Barrier, a postdoctoral fellow in NHEERL’s Integrated Systems Toxicology Division (ISTD) Systems Biology Branch, has developed and published a novel technique to assess chemical effects using mouse embryonic stem cells. Dr. Barrier was the first author on the paper entitled “Mouse embryonic stem cell adherent cell differentiation and cytotoxicity (ACDC) assay,” tat was published in the February 3, 2011, issue of Reproductive Toxicology (Epub ahead of print). Chemical-induced effects on embryonic stem cells have been used as a model for predicting developmental toxicants because these cells recapitulate many of the toxicity pathways that are critical to organogenesis. This technique is a significant improvement of previous techniques, incorporates multiple differentiation markers, and can be used as a high-throughput evaluation platform. Data generated by this technique can be used by program offices as a basis to prioritize compounds for additional evaluations and, ultimately, in predictive models for birth defects.

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