Differential dysmorphogenesis induced by microinjection of an alkylating agent into rat conceptuses cultured in vitro

Authors

  • Jayavanthi Satish,

    1. Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510
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  • Bruce M. Pratt,

    1. Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510
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  • Mrinal K. Sanyal Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510
    • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St., P.O. Box 3333, New Haven, CT 06510
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Abstract

A technique of microinjection of small quantities of teratogens into extraembryonic compartments or specific organ primordium of rat conceptuses of pregnancy day 11 is described. Conceptuses microinjected with 50 nl tissue culture medium developed normally for 44–45 hr when cultured in homologous rat serum, indicating that the microinjection procedure itself did not produce any deleterious effects on growth and differentiation of embryos. Microinjection of an alkylating agent, phosphoramide mustard dissolved in tissue culture medium, into the exocoelom produced anomalous embryogenesis, consisting of retarded embryonic growth, anomalies of the neural tube, and general necrosis of various organ primordia. In contrast, the embryonic development remained relatively unaffected by microinjection of identical amounts of this alkylating agent into the amniotic cavity. However, neuraltube differentiation was markedly affected when phosphoramide mustard was injected into anterior neural-tube fluid, producing anencephalic or microcephalic embryos without significant effect on postcephalic organ differentiation. The morphogenesis of the anterior limb was unaffected by local injection of the agent into somitic tissues adjacent to the presumptive limb-bud region. Therefore, it appears that differential dysmorphogenesis could be induced by microinjection of an alkylating agent into different conceptus compartments. These results indicate that even during early embryogenesis various cell types are not equally susceptible to a given teratogen, and that the differential cytotoxicity of the teratogen toward specific embryonic or extraembryonic cells and tissues may account for embryonic anomalies characteristically produced by that agent.

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