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Effects of L-asparaginase on rat embryonic development and yolk sac membrane in vitro

, : Effects of L-asparaginase on rat embryonic development and yolk sac membrane in vitro. Teratology 40(4): 375-386

A comparative analysis of the teratogenic effects of L-asparaginase on 10.5- and 11.5-day rat embryos after 24 and 48 hours of exposure in vitro, respectively, were performed. Several medium concentrations of L-asparaginase (0.05, 0.25, and 1.5 IU/ml) were tested in both embryo series. Resulting embryos were submitted to morphological studies in a search for a specific route of pathogenesis. Morphological alterations of the visceral yolk sac were also studied to investigate its contribution by L-asparaginase teratogenicity in rats. Main embryonic malformations (open truncal neural tube, open encephalic vesicles, anophthalmia, lack of inversion, abnormal frontolateral protrusions, great vascular dilations at the cephalic level) and developmental retardation were already generated after the first 24 hours of culture (embryos of 10.5 days) and presented a dose-response relationship. Vascular dilations and neurulartion disturbances seemed to be related to an early mesenchyme deficiency. Reduced number of mesenchymal cells was more evident in embryos of 10.5 days than those of 11.5 days, suggesting the existence of a later compensatory mechanism of cellular proliferation in the older embryo. Visceral yolk-sac endodermal cells at both embryonic stages were greatly deformed and enlarged by an increase of the high electron-dense vacuolar system. Therefore, both a blockage of the processes of lysosomal digestion and derived trophic deficiencies probably existed. A double teratogenic mechanism for L-asparaginase is postulated: a direct action mainly in younger embryos (before invagination of the embryo into the yolk sac) and a yolk sac-mediated one.


PMID: 2814899

DOI: 10.1002/tera.1420400410

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