Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Morgan Reese - Claflin University
Co-Author(s): Syeda Madiha, Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC; Pratima Pandey, Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC; Dr. Omar Bagasra M.D., Ph.D, Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC
Phthalates and phthalate esters are a large group of compounds used as liquid plasticizers and are found in a wide range of household products including plastics, coatings, perfumes, personal care products, make up, cosmetics, and medical tubing. Phthalates are not chemically bound to the plastic and can readily leach into the environment, especially from water bottles. Americans used ~50 billion water bottles last year. These water bottles contain a large amount of leached Phthalate. In addition, Phthalate contamination has been found in large varieties of foods, drinks, fruit beverages, tea, fruit jam/jelly, and numerous health food supplements. Phthalates are detectable in air, human urine, serum, and breast milk. The estimated daily exposure to one major phthalate, diethyl-phthalate (DEP), ranges from 3-30 µg/kg/d. DEP is considered to be an endocrine disturbing chemical. The main goal of the study was to observe if DEP affects developing fetus brain neurons. We exposed male and female neuroblastoma cell lines, representing developing fetal brain neurons, to three different concentrations of DEP (1, 10, 100 pg/ml) for 3-4 days in vitro. The cells were stained with H&E and were analyzed for central chromatolysis, axonal length, axonal degenerations and syncytia formation. We determined that DEP, even at 1 pg/ml concentration, induced significant neuro-modification in both male and female neuronal cell lines. However, the adverse effects appeared to be more significant in the male cell line as compared to female. Our study shows that DEP may contribute in development of autism if a fetus is exposed to DEP during the early developing of a fetus and show also allude to male bias, a common phenomenon in the autism spectrum disorders. Ongoing studies are focusing on putative differential expression of oxytocin receptor and molecular analyses.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Claflin University Department of Biotechnology
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Omar Bagasra M.D Ph.D, email@example.com
Role: I conducted the majority of this project by growing and culturing my cell lines 2266 and 2267, conducting the Hematoxylin and eosin staining on the slides, and checked for the morphological changes in the cells which includes central chromatolysis, axonal length, syncytia formation, and axonal degenerations.