New Study on the Impact of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals on Parkinson’s Disease
Ksilink, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Chieti in Italy, has published a new study on the effects of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) on human stem cell-derived neurons.
The research focused on bisphenols (BPs) and perfluoroalkyls (PFs), chemicals found in plastics and household products. The team analyzed their effects on human stem cell-derived midbrain dopaminergic neurons (mDANs), a cell type affected in Parkinson’s Disease (PD).
Using machine learning (ML), the team classified EDC-treated versus control mDANs based on 126 different phenotypic features. The results showed that EDC-treated mDANs were identified with high accuracies (0.88–0.96), indicating that EDCs induce changes in these cells.
The study found that EDC exposure led to an increase in alpha-synuclein (αSyn) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) staining intensity within the neurons, and a decrease in microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) neurite length and branching. These changes are characteristic of PD, suggesting that EDCs may play a role in the disease’s development.
This study shows that using human stem cells to create models of neurons, along with high-content imaging, can help to spot changes in these cells when they are exposed to different chemicals. This method could be very useful in the process of discovering and prioritizing new drug-like molecules or detecting unwanted effects early on.
Link to study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-49364-y