Chinedu Ahuchaogu

Participant: PROMISE AGEP Research Symposium

Chinedu Ahuchaogu.jpg

Chinedu Ahuchaogu

Department: Natural Sciences

Institution: University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (UMES)



Cytotoxicity of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB-118) and (PCB-153) on Human Placental Trophoblast Cells

  1. Ahuchaogu, A. Ishaque and A. Elnabawi

Graduate Program in Toxicology, Department of Natural Sciences, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are considered a major environmental health concern because of their wide distribution and persistence in the environment. PCBs are recognized as estrogenic endocrine disruptors (EEDs) in animals and humans. Several studies have demonstrated the effects of PCBs on reproductive function and behavior, and the neuroendocrine systems that regulate them. Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) is the major regulator of placenta. 17β-estradiol (E2) promotes cell proliferation in both normal and transformed epithelial cells by modifying the expression of hormone responsive genes involved in the cell cycle and/or programmed cell death. The aim of this study was to examine (i) the toxic potency of PCB-118 and PCB-153 (ii) the effect of PCB-118 or PCB-153 on estrogen-induced cell proliferation in the human placental trophoblast (BeWo) cells. Cell proliferation, viability and apoptotic cell death were assessed. Results indicated that exposure to PCB-118 or PCB-153 significantly decreased cell proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner in BeWo cells after 24 hours of exposure. Low concentrations (0.01-10 nM) of PCB-118 promotes estrogen-induced cell proliferation. The ER-α antagonists, ICI 182,780, and tamoxifen blocked these effects indicating that this effect is mediated through ER receptors involved in the control of proliferation in the placenta. PCB-153 showed a weak estrogenic activity in BeWo cells. These results demonstrate that the human placenta is a target of PCB toxicity, and exposure to PCBs could be a risk factor for reproductive health. Supported by Title III.



Chinedu Ahuchaogu is a graduate student of Toxicology at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He has a first degree in Environmental Management with a major in Toxicology from the University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Nigeria which he got in 2008. His research focuses on persistent compounds in the environment and their effect on the endocrine system. Chinedu currently works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at University of Maryland Eastern Shore where he contributes to the knowledge and development of undergraduates within the institution. He worked as the Head of Human Resources for Organizations in Nigeria for over 5 years before he gained admission into the Toxicology program.

Chinedu is an enthusiastic individual with a drive for education and people management. His future interests are not limited to but include contribution to organizations such as Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute of Health and other policy making entities in the endocrine disrupting area of concentration.

When he is not participating in school activities, Chinedu spends his time reading and listening to music.


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