Human Serum Teratogenicity Studies using in Vitro Cultures of Rat Embryos
Our objective is to identify those conditions that constitute reproductive risks to man. We are particularly concerned with those conditions that cannot be or have not been identified by present methodologies. These conditions constitute the majority of factors causing fetal wastages and birth defects. In our test system, we use intact rat embryos that are cultured in vitro for 2 days. During culture, embryos of the particular stage selected (9.5 days) undergo rapid growth and extensive organogenesis. In comparison to test systems involving cell cultures or bacteria, embryo cultures at present require considerable expenditures of time, skill, and supplies, but our findings to date strongly suggest that this system may have a number of distinct advantages. First, whole-embryo culture provides the test with the entire repertoire of processes involved in embryonic development. Second, whole-rat embryos can be cultured on high levels of blood serum, an advantage, since the maternal circulatory system has been shown to closely approximate the fetal milieu. Finally, they can be cultured on serum from human subjects, which provides a direct and unique evaluation of the principal organism of our concern.
KeywordsToxicity Cadmium Nicotine Syringe Fractionation
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