European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 12 - Number 1
Eur J Anat, 12 (1): 25-32 (2008)

All-trans-retinoic acid-induced disturbance of forelimb digital apeptosis in mouse embryos: A preliminary scanning electron microscope (SEM) tudy

Emmanouil-Nikoloussi E.-N., Goret-Nicaise M., Foroglou P., Thliveris J.A., Kerameos-Foroglou C.

Laboratory of Histology-Embryology and Anthropology, Faculty of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece; Experimental Research Unit, University of Louvain (UCL), Avenue E. Mounier 52, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium; Department of Plastic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Papageorgiou Hospital, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece; Human Anatomy and Cell Science, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Medicine, Winnipeg, MB R3EOW3, Canada

ABSTRACT Retinoids have been widely discussed in recent years as being able to induce a spectrum of malformations that include limb defects and digit malformations, where perturbation of cell death regulation is an important teratogenic mechanism. The present study assesses the effect of all-trans-retinoic acid (tretinoin) on forelimb digit development in mouse embryos. Pregnant Balb/c mice received retinoic acid by gastric intubation as follows: Group 1 (n = 5) at 100 mg/kg on gestational days 11 and 12; Group 2 (n = 5) at 50 mg/kg on gestational days 10, 11 and 12. Control animals, Group 3 and 4 (n = 5/group) were treated on gestational days 10, 11 and 12 with corn oil vehicle (Group 3) or were non treated (Group 4) respectively. The mice were euthanized on gestational day 18. Embryos exposed to retinoic acid (R.A.) develop micromelia and oligodactyly in combination with brachydactyly and syndactyly. Apoptosis was incomplete between the digits, and atypical lateral ectodermal ridges were found. The observations were most striking in the embryos of Group 2 treated for three days. No abnormalities were noted in the embryos of either control group.

Keywords: corn oil, retinoic acid, animal experiment, animal model, apoptosis, article, Bagg albino mouse, brachydactyly, cell death, controlled study, drug efficacy, embryo, finger malformation, gestational age, limb defect, limb development, micromelia, mouse, nonhuman, outcome assessment, scanning electrochemical microscopy, syndactyly, teratogenicity

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)