Project Number: MH119621
Project Title: The Microscopic Imaging of Epigenetic Landscape-NeuroDevelopment (MIEL-ND) assay: a high throughput platform to screen compounds for neurodevelopmental effects
Recent research suggests that neurodevelopmental diseases (Autism Spectrum Disorder, intellectual disabilities, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, etc.) can result from disruption of epigenetic histone and DNA modification by prenatal exposure to environmental toxicants. This project will develop the Microscopic Imaging of Epigenetic Landscape – NeuroDevelopment (MIEL-ND) assay, which will enable testing of chemicals for epigenetic effects on neurodevelopment. The MIEL-ND assay will use immunolabeling, automated high-throughput imaging, and cell-by-cell analysis to screen chemicals in the US EPA ToxCast program for effects epigenetic modification patterns in human neural precursor cells. The assay will also screen for effects on neurite and synapse formation in neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells. The MIEL-ND assay will provide a less expensive, higher throughput, and more predictive alternative to animal testing.
Funding agency: NIH/National Institute of Mental Health
Award Date: September 2018