Cell & Developmental Biology

Cell & Developmental Biology
Open Access

ISSN: 2168-9296

+44 7868 792050


Differential Response of Human Embryonic Stem and Somatic Cells to Non-Cytotoxic Hydrogen Peroxide Exposure: An Attempt to Model In Vitro the Effects of Oxidative Stress on the Early Embryo

Barandalla M, Colleoni S and Lazzari G


Embryonic Stem Cells

(hESCs) potentially offer a unique in vitro model to study how an adverse environment during the early developmental stages post-fertilization can affect the physiology of the undifferentiated embryonic stem cells existing in the early


and predispose to long term effects on the offspring, according to the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concept. A number of unfavourable conditions can affect the development of the early embryo inducing oxidative stress both in vivo, for instance in gestational diabetes and in vitro, when embryos are derived from Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). Therefore, the aim of this study was the development of a novel in vitro model to analyse the effects of oxidative stress and the antioxidant response against Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in embryonic stem cells in comparison with somatic cells, fibroblasts and endothelial cells. To this purpose we designed an in vitro protocol based on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) treatment of 72 h, in order to better resemble the period of embryonic development from the early


to the blastocyst stage. We demonstrate that H2O2 treatment induces the modification of crucial oxidative stress biomarkers like ROS and lipid peroxidation levels, and mobilizes several antioxidant enzymes through NFkβ translocation. Moreover we show differences between somatic and embryonic cells in their antioxidant response towards H2O2 induced damage. Therefore this study presents a promising in vitro model to investigate the effects of oxidative stress conditions on early human embryonic cells.