ABSTRACT A female infant born with all the four limbs amputated close to the proximal ends is reported. The parents both Indians, having six normal children with poor socio-economic background denied family history of any congenital anomalies. The mother neither suffered any illness nor had exposure to any known teratogen to the best of their knowledge during this pregnancy. However the mother had attempted to abort this baby in the week 7 of gestation with help of an indigenous mechanical device, a herbal stick, per vaginam which resulted in gushing out of some fluid (amniotic fluid) only. This unsuccessfully attempted abortion neither affected the mother nor the pregnancy apparently and on full term this baby was born. When examined on postnatal day 33, the baby looked very healthy, alert and responsive weighing 3500 g, with CR length 38 cm and occipito-frontal circumference 35 cm. No abnormalities were observed except that all the limbs were amputated just distal to their proximal end. The baby could move all the stumps of the amputated limbs actively. This case seems to be first of its kind being reported from India. The etio-pathogenesis of amputation of limbs was reviewed and evaluated in the light of the available literature. Of the possible etiological factors suggested in the literature the most convincing mode of amputation of all the limbs simultaneously in the present case seems to be the multiple amniotic band formation.
ABSTRACT Functional aspects of notochordal maturation in dysraphic loop-tail (Lp) mice were analyzed by means of ultrastructural cytochemistry on embryos at 9-12 days of gestation. Notochordal cells in normal (+ / + ; Lp/ +) and dysraphic abnormal (Lp/Lp) embryos showed ultrastructural features consistent with secretory activity, particularly at 10 and 11 days. With specific cytochemical staining, glycogen was observed as thiocarbohydrazide-silver proteinate particles sparsely scattered throughout notochordal cells of normal and abnormal embryos at 9 and 10 days, with aggregates common at 11 and 12 days. With tannic acid and ruthenium red treatment, the perinotochordal space in abnormals showed differences in the density of stained filaments from that in normal embryos, suggesting a defect in glycosaminoglycan deposition. In abnormal embryos, the notochord became located relatively more distant from the open neural folds than from the closed neural tube in normal littermates, and the arrangement of the adjacent mesenchymal cells was irregular and less dense than that in the normal embryos. Thus, although the ultrastructure of the notochordal cells was relatively normal, the features indicative of aberrant interactions among the notochord, neural folds, and adjacent mesenchymal cells may be of significance in the etiology of dysraphism in this mutant.
ABSTRACT Pregnant C57BL and DBA mice were treated with i.p. injection twice of 25% ethanol (3.97 g/kg x 2), four hours apart, on day 7, 8,9, 10, 11, 12 or 13 of gestation. They were killed on day 18 of gestation, and the fetuses were examined for external and skeletal malformations. In order to determine the blood ethanol levels, nonpregnant animals were treated with the same dose of ethanol and then killed at 0.5-16 hours after injection. Fetal mortalities of DBA mice were higher than those of C57BL mice. The body and brain growth retardations were severer and the incidence of malformations was higher in C57BL mice than in DBA mice. The most frequently observed malformations were microphthalmia and digital malformations in C57BL mice, and open eyelids in DBA mice. Blood ethanol reached the maximum level within half an hour after the second injection in both strains, and was significantly higher in DBA mice than in C57BL mice 2-15 hours after the second injection. It is difficult to explain the strain difference of embryotoxicity between C57BL and DBA mice on the basis of only the difference in blood ethanol level in the present study.
ABSTRACT The teratologist's main ethical aim in experimental procedures is to analyse specimens thoroughly so as to bring to light any potential adverse effects of the agent being tested after contact with the maternal organism. The results must be pondered, organized and expressed using agreed technical terms whose purpose is to reflect the exact scientific meaning of the findings. The analytical review must then be summarized, so as to present a clear but concise picture that is easily interpreted. However, there are many sources of differences between laboratories: the depth in which they analyse specimens and the weight they attribute to each finding; the way they organize and classify findings and - last but not least - the terms they use to describe them. All these factors may in the end influence judgements of the severity of an effect observed. Thus findings from different organisations are not always comparable. Considering, there- fore, that most major laboratories and their staff have built up long years of experience, the time has surely come to seek some form of Operative and Co-operafive standardi- zation. This would not only assure the quality of work done everywhere, but also reach the aim, through uniformity of technical terminology, of a better understanding among non-teratologists and easier agreement among teratologists.