Altered axial skeletal development.
ABSTRACT The axial skeleton is routinely examined in standard developmental toxicity bioassays and has proven to be sensitive to a wide variety of chemical agents. Dysmorphogenesis in the skull, vertebral column and ribs has been described in both human populations and in laboratory animals used to assess potential adverse developmental effects. This article emphasizes vertebrae and rib anomalies both spontaneous and agent induced. Topics discussed include the morphology of the more common effects; incidences in both human and experimental animal populations; the types of anomalies induced in the axial skeleton by methanol, boric acid, valproic acid and others; the postnatal persistence of common skeletal anomalies; and the genetic control of the development of the axial skeleton. Tables of the spontaneous incidence of axial anomalies in both humans and animals are provided.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The axial skeleton is one of the defining evolutionary landmarks of vertebrates. How this structure develops and how it has evolved in the different vertebrate lineages is, however, a matter of debate. Vertebrae and vertebral structures are derived from the embryonic somites, although the mechanisms of development are different between lineages. DISCUSSION: Using the anecdotal description of a teratological newt (Triturus dobrogicus) with an unusual malformation in its axial skeleton, we review, compare, and discuss the development of vertebral structures and, in particular, the development of centra from somitic cellular domains in different vertebrate groups. Vertebrae development through re-segmentation of the somitic sclerotomal cells is considered the general mechanism among vertebrates, which has been generalized from studies in amniotic model organisms. The prevalence of this mechanism among anamniotes is, however, controversial. We propose alternative developmental mechanisms for vertebrae formation that should be experimentally tested. SUMMARY: Research in model organisms, especially amniotes, is laying the foundations for a thorough understanding of the mechanisms of development of the axial skeleton in vertebrates, foundations that should expand the extent of future comparative studies. Although immersed in the '-omics' era, we emphasize the need for an integrative and organismal approach in evolutionary developmental biology for a better understanding of the causal role of development in the evolution of morphological diversity in nature.Frontiers in Zoology 04/2013; 10(1):17. · 3.87 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ephedra was commonly used in herbal products marketed for weight loss until safety concerns forced its removal from products. Even before the ban, manufacturers had begun to replace ephedra with other compounds, including Citrus aurantium, or bitter orange. The major component in the bitter orange extract is synephrine which is chemically similar to ephedrine. The purpose of this study was to determine if relatively pure synephrine or synephrine present as a constituent of a bitter orange extract produced developmental toxicity in rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were dosed daily by gavage with one of several different doses of synephrine from one of two different extracts. Caffeine was added to some doses. Animals were sacrificed on GD 21, and fetuses were examined for the presence of various developmental toxic endpoints. At doses up to 100 mg synephrine/kg body weight, there were no adverse effects on embryolethality, fetal weight, or incidences of gross, visceral, or skeletal abnormalities. There was a decrease in maternal weight at 50 mg synephrine/kg body weight when given as the 6% synephrine extract with 25 mg caffeine/kg body weight; there was also a decrease in maternal weight in the caffeine only group. This decrease in body weight may have been due to decreased food consumption which was also observed in these two groups. Overall, doses of up to 100 mg synephrine/kg body weight did not produce developmental toxicity in Sprague-Dawley rats.Birth Defects Research Part B Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology 06/2011; 92(3):216-23. · 1.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Valproic acid (VPA), widely used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorders, and migraine prophylaxis, is known to cause neural tube and skeletal defects in humans and animals. Aminobenzensulfonamide derivatives of VPA with branched aliphatic carboxylic acids, namely 2-methyl-N-(4-sulfamoyl-phenyl)-pentanamide (MSP), 2-ethyl-N-(4-sulfamoyl-phenyl)-butyramide (ESB), 2-ethyl-4-methyl-N-(4-sulfamoyl-phenyl)-pentanamide (EMSP), and 2-ethyl-N-(4-sulfamoyl-benzyl)-butyramide (ESBB), have shown more potent anticonvulsant activity than VPA in preclinical testing. Here, we investigated the teratogenic effects of these analogous compounds of VPA in NMRI mice. Pregnant NMRI mice were given a single subcutaneous injection of either VPA at 1.8 or 3.6 mmol/kg, or MSP, ESB, EMSP, or ESBB at 1.8, 3.6, or 4.8 mmol/kg on gestation day (GD) 8. Cesarean section was performed on GD 18, and the live fetuses were examined for external and skeletal malformations. Compared with VPA, which induced neural tube defects (NTDs) in fetuses at 1.8 and 3.6 mmol/kg, the analog derivatives induced no NTDs at dose levels up to 4.8 mmol/kg (except for a single case of exencephaly at 4.8 mmol/kg MSP). Skeletal examination showed several abnormalities mainly at the axial skeletal level with VPA at 1.8 mmol/kg. Fused vertebrae and/or fused ribs were also observed with MSP, ESB, EMSP, and ESBB, they were less severe and seen at a lower incidence that those induced by VPA at the same dose level. In addition to exerting more potent preclinical antiepileptic activity, teratology comparison indicates that aminobenzensulfonamide analogs are generally more weakly teratogenic than VPA.Birth Defects Research Part B Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology 08/2013; · 1.97 Impact Factor