Main content area

Sensitive and quantitative detection of botulinum neurotoxin in neurons derived from mouse embryonic stem cells

Pellett, Sabine, Du, Zhong-wei, Pier, Christina L., Tepp, William H., Zhang, Su-chun, Johnson, Eric A.
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2011 v.404 no.1 pp. 388-392
bioassays, biopharmaceuticals, botulinum toxin, cell culture, embryonic stem cells, mice, neurons, neurotoxicity
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the most poisonous protein toxins known, represent a serious bioterrorism threat but are also used as a unique and important bio-pharmaceutical to treat an increasing myriad of neurological disorders. The only currently accepted detection method by the United States Food and Drug Administration for biological activity of BoNTs and for potency determination of pharmaceutical preparations is the mouse bioassay (MBA). Recent advances have indicated that cell-based assays using primary neuronal cells can provide an equally sensitive and robust detection platform as the MBA to reliably and quantitatively detect biologically active BoNTs. This study reports for the first time a BoNT detection assay using mouse embryonic stem cells to produce a neuronal cell culture. The data presented indicate that this assay can reliably detect BoNT/A with a similar sensitivity as the MBA.