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Application of micro-electrode arrays (MEAs) as an emerging technology for developmental neurotoxicity testing

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Apr 05, 2011
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Evaluation of domoic acid-induced effects in primary cultures of rat cortical neurons on the critical developmental processes of central nervous system.

There is a concern about the impact of environmental chemicals on the development of foetuses and children. Due to the lack of knowledge only a few industrial chemicals have been identified as human developmental neurotoxicants. Current developmental neurotoxicity (DNT) guidelines (OECD and EPA) are based entirely on in vivo studies, that are both time consuming and costly. Consequently, there is a high demand to develop alternative in vitro methods for initial screening to prioritize chemicals for further DNT testing.

The authors looked at one of the most promising tools for neurotoxicity assessment, which is the measurement of neuronal electrical activity using micro-electrode arrays (MEAs). The MEA measurement can serve as a functional and neuronal specific endpoint that until now has been used mainly to detect acute neurotoxicity. The authors evaluated electrical activity measurements as being a suitable endpoint for the detection of potential developmental neurotoxicants. The results presented in the article show that primary cortical neurons could be a promising in vitro model for DNT testing.

Hogberg H. T., Sobanski T., Novellino A., Whelan M., Weiss D. G., Bal-Price A., Application of micro-electrode arrays (MEAs) as an emerging technology for developmental neurotoxicity. Evaluation of domoic acid-induced effects in primary cultures of rat cortical neurons, NeuroToxicology 32 (2011) 158-168

doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2010.10.007