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Effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor-α (TGFα), and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin on fusion of embryonic palates in serum-free organ culture using wild-type, EGF knockout, and TGFα knockout mouse strains§

Authors

  • Barbara D. Abbott,

    Corresponding author
    1. Reproductive Toxicology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
    • Reproductive Toxicology Division (MD67), US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
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  • Angela R. Buckalew,

    1. Reproductive Toxicology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
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  • Korin E. Leffler

    1. Reproductive Toxicology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
    Current affiliation:
    1. 4501 Hwy. 39 N., Apt 2A, Meridian, MS 39301
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  • This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America

  • Parts of this work were presented at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, March 9–13, 2003, Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • §

    Disclaimer: This paper has been reviewed by the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, US EPA. Mention of trade names of commercial products does not constitute endorsement/recommendation for use.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is teratogenic in mice, producing cleft palate (CP). TCDD exposure disrupts expression of epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor, EGF, and transforming growth factor-α (TGFα) in the palate and affects proliferation and differentiation of medial epithelial cells. EGF knockout embryos are less susceptible to the induction of CP by TCDD. This study used palate organ culture to examine the hypothesis that EGF enables a response to TCDD.

METHODS

The midfacial tissues from wild-type (WT), EGF knockout, C57BL/6J, and TGFα knockout embryos were placed in organ culture on gestational day (GD) 12. Palatal explants were cultured for 4 days in serum-free Bigger's (BGJ) medium with 0.1% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or 1 × 10−8 M TCDD with or without 2 ng of EGF/ml, 1 or 2 ng of TGFα/ml. Effects on palatal fusion were evaluated on day 4 of culture. EGF levels in explants and medium were determined using Luminex technology.

RESULTS

In serum-free, control medium, palates from all of the strains fused. EGF knockout palates cultured with TCDD (no EGF) fused, but those cultured with TCDD + 2 ng of EGF/ml failed to fuse (p < 0.05 vs. control or TCDD without EGF). TGFα knockout palates failed to fuse when cultured with TCDD + 2 ng of TGFα/ml. EGF levels increased in tissue and accumulated in the medium after 24 hr of culture.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated that providing EGF to the palates of EGF knockout mice restored the response to TCDD. These studies support the hypothesis that the mechanism for induction of CP by TCDD is mediated via the EGFR pathway. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2005. Published 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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