A Comparison of the In Vivo and In Vitro Response of Rat Embryos to 5-Fluorouracil
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
This study serves to further define the capabilities of the whole embryo culture system using the well-known teratogen, 5fluorouracil (5-FU), an antineoplastic agent. An initial in vivo study was performed whereby pregnant rats were injected intraperitoneally with 10-30 mg/kg 5-FU on day 9 of gestation. On day 20 of gestation, the effects of this drug on the growth and development of embryos were evaluated. The number of externally malformed fetuses increased in a dose-related manner, and the
... st common defect was micro-/anophthalmos in fetuses of dams treated with 5-FU. Growth retardation was also noted in the 5-FU treated groups. An in vitro study was performed in which drug concentrations were varied (0.15-0.30 µg/ml). Externally abnormal embryos were observed in whole embryo culture system from embryonic day 9 to 11. The most common defect was hypoplastic optic vesicles. In the whole embryo culture system, crown-rump length, somite number, protein contents, and morphological score were decreased in a dose-dependent fashion. Finally, histological evaluation and observation of the pattern of cell death of the optic vesicle of 11-day-old embryos in in vivo and in vitro were performed. These parameters revealed no differences in response between in vivo and in vitro embryos treated with 5-FU, suggesting that the whole embryo culture system was an appropriate model for developmental toxicity studies of 5-FU. -KEY WORDS: cell death, 5-fluorouracil, histological evaluation, optic vesicle, whole embryo culture.