The effects of ochratoxin A on postimplantation rat embryos in culture

  • K. Mayura
  • John F. Edwards
  • Elizabeth A. Maull
  • Timothy D. Phillips


The mycotoxin, ochratoxin A (OA), is a potentin vivo teratogen. Studies were performed to determine thein vitro effects of OA on postimplantation rat embryos. Embryos were explanted from pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats on day 10 of gestation and were cultured (within the yolk sac) for 45 hr in gassed rat serum containing OA at concentrations between 0 and 300 μg/mL. Gross morphology, histopathology and protein and DNA content of embryos were evaluated. An OA concentration-dependent reduction in yolk sac diameter, crownrump length, somite number count, and protein and DNA content was observed. Ochratoxin A treatment also resulted in an increase in the incidence of defective embryos. Malformations included: growth retardation, hypoplasia of the telencephalon, poor flexion, stunted limb bud development, underdeveloped sensory primordia and decreased mandibular and maxillary size. Histological examination demonstrated extensive OA-induced necrosis of embryonal mesodermal structures and neuroectoderm. Thus, the rat embryo in culture is a sensitive indicator of OA toxicity and may be useful for predicting developmental hazards associated with this mycotoxin.


Number Count Somite Number Mesodermal Structure Defective Embryo Developmental Hazard 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Mayura
    • 1
  • John F. Edwards
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elizabeth A. Maull
    • 1
  • Timothy D. Phillips
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Public HealthCollege of Veterinary MedicineUSA
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Pathology, College of Veterinary MedicineTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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