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Data from: Using a multi-stage hESC model to characterize BDE-47 toxicity during neurogenesis

Cite this dataset

Chen, Hao et al. (2019). Data from: Using a multi-stage hESC model to characterize BDE-47 toxicity during neurogenesis [Dataset]. Dryad.


While the ramifications associated with polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) exposures during human pregnancy have yet to be determined, increasing evidence in humans and animal models suggests that these compounds cause neurodevelopmental toxicity. Human embryonic stem cell models (hESCs) can be used to study the effects of environmental chemicals on the successive stages of neuronal development. Here, using a hESC differentiation model, we investigated the effects of common PBDE congeners (BDE-47 or -99) on the successive stages of early neuronal development. First, we determined the points of vulnerability to PBDEs across four stages of in vitro neural development by using assays to assess for cytotoxicity. Differentiated neural progenitors were identified to be more sensitive to PBDEs than their less differentiated counterparts. In follow-up investigations, we observed BDE-47 to inhibit functional processes critical for neurogenesis (e.g., proliferation, migration) in hESC-derived neural precursor cells (NPCs) at sub-lethal concentrations. Finally, to determine the mechanism(s) underlying PBDE-toxicity, we conducted global transcriptomic and methylomic analyses of BDE-47. We identified 589 genes to be differentially expressed (DE) due to BDE-47 exposure, including molecules involved in oxidative stress mediation, cell cycle, hormone signaling, steroid metabolism, and neurodevelopmental pathways. In parallel analyses, we identified a significant increase in CpG methylation. In summary, our results suggest, on a cellular level, PBDEs induce human neurodevelopmental toxicity in a concentration-dependent manner and sensitivity to these compounds is dependent on the developmental stage of exposure. Proposed mRNA and methylomic perturbations may underlie toxicity in early embryonic neuronal populations.

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