Abstract Palatogenesis involves various developmental events such as growth, elevation, elongation and fusion of opposing palatal shelves. Extrinsic factors such as mouth opening and subsequent tongue withdrawal are also needed for the horizontal elevation of palate shelves. Failure of any of these steps can lead to cleft palate, one of the most common birth defects in humans. It has been shown that retinoic acid (RA) plays important roles during palate development, but excess RA causes cleft palate in fetuses of both rodents and humans. Thus, the coordinated regulation of retinoid metabolism is essential for normal palatogenesis. The endogenous RA level is determined by the balance of RA-synthesizing (retinaldehyde dehydrogenases: RALDHs) and RA-degrading enzymes (CYP26s). Cyp26b1 is a key player in normal palatogenesis. In this review, we discuss recent progress in the study of the pathogenesis of RA-induced cleft palate, with special reference to the regulation of endogenous RA levels by RA-degrading enzymes.
Abstract Galectins are β-galactoside-binding lectins that participate in a wide range of biological processes. Galectins are distributed both inside and outside cells and are believed to have roles in both intra- and extracellular milieus. One of the well-recognized functions of galectins is stabilization of glycoproteins on the cell surface, thereby promoting stable signal transduction and transport of substances such as glucose. Glycoprotein-associated diseases, including congenital disorder of glycosylation (CDG, previously called carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndrome), comprise a disease family established only in the last decade. Although numerous in vitro glycobiology studies have been performed, including investigation of glycan-galectin interactions and of galectin action in cultured cells, a few in vivo studies have investigated molecular mechanisms of galectin actions in animal models. Both in vitro and in vivo studies are needed in order to better determine the biological significance of sugar chain recognition. Hitherto, some reports have focused on the role of impaired sugar chain recognition and galectin function in the development of diverse diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, colitis, and cancer. We recently focused on the function of galectins in immunity and embryogenesis, and in this review we summarize the diseases related to disorders of sugar chain-galectin interaction and discuss the role of galectins as potential risk factors for some congenital and acquired diseases. These diseases are disorders of immunity, metabolism, and cell differentiation. This approach to understanding the significance of sugar chain recognition by galectins may open up a new field into the nature of glycoprotein-related diseases, including CDG.
Abstract 1p36 deletion syndrome is one of the most common subtelomeric deletion syndromes. Obesity is frequently observed in patients with this syndrome. Thus, it is important to evaluate the growth status of an individual patient. For this purpose, we accumulated recorded growth data from 44 patients with this syndrome and investigated the growth patterns of patients. Most of the patients showed weight parameters within normal limits, whereas a few of these patients showed intrauterine growth delay and microcephaly. The length of the patients after birth was under the 50th centile in most patients. Many patients showed poor weight gain after birth, and only two female patients were overweight. These findings indicate two different phenotypes of the 1p36 deletion syndrome. The overweight patients with 1p36 deletion started excessive weight gain after two years of life. This characteristic of the patients with 1p36 deletion syndrome is similar to Prader-Willi syndrome.
Abstract Alterations in histoarchitecture of the brainstem were examined immunohistochemically in 4-week-old rats with a single whole body X-irradiation at a dose of 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 Gy on embryonic day (ED) 15 using anti-heat shock protein 25 (HSP25). HSP25 immunostaining was seen in the neuronal perikarya of cranial nerve motoneurons, that is, the motor and mesencephalic nuclei of the trigeminal nerve, facial nucleus, abducens nucleus and accessory facial nucleus in the pons, and the ambiguous nucleus, dorsal nucleus of vagus nerve and hypoglossus nucleus in the medulla oblongata of intact controls. In 0.5 to 1.5 Gy-irradiated rats, HSP25 immunostaining in those neurons was more intense than in controls, while the most intense immunostaining was marked in 1.5 Gy-irradiated rats. HSP25 immunostaining was also apparent in the spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve and facial nerve tracts in 0.5 to 1.5 Gy-irradiated rats, but was faint in controls. Interestingly, HSP25 immunostaining was aberrantly enhanced in dendritic arbors in the magnocellular region of medial vestibular nucleus of 0.5–1.5 Gy-irradiated rats. Those arbors were identified as excitatory secondary vestibulo-ocular neurons by double immunofluorescence for HSP25 and SMI-32. The results suggest an increase of HSP25 expression in cranial nerve motoneurons and their related fiber tracts from prenatal exposure to ionizing irradiation. This may be an adaptive response to chronic hypoxia due to malformed brain arteries caused by prenatal ionizing irradiation.
Abstract Cleft palate following cleft lip may include a developmental disorder during palatogenesis. CL/Fr mice fetuses, which develop cleft lip and palate spontaneously, have less capability for in vivo cell proliferation in palatal mesenchyme compared with CL/Fr normal fetuses. In order to know the changes of signaling molecules contributing to cleft palate morphogenesis following cleft lip, the mRNA expression profiles were compared in palatal shelves oriented vertically (before elevation) in CL/Fr fetuses with or without cleft lip. The changes in mRNA profile of cleft palate morphogenesis were presented in a microarray analysis, and genes were restricted to lists contributing to cleft palate development in CL/Fr fetuses with cleft lip. Four candidate genes (Ywhab, Nek2, Tacc1 and Frk) were linked in a gene network that associates with cell proliferation (cell cycle, MAPK, Wnt and Tgf beta pathways). Quantitative real-time RT-PCR highlighted the candidate genes that significantly changed in CL/Fr fetuses with cleft lip (Ywhab, Nek2 and Tacc1). The results of these molecular contributions will provide useful information for a better understanding of palatogenesis in cleft palate following cleft lip. Our data indicated the genetic contribution to cleft palate morphogenesis following cleft lip.
Abstract Mother-to-child infections cause congenital infection with disease and sequelae. To evaluate a state of maternal blood screening for mother-to-child infections in Japan, we for the first time conducted a nationwide survey on obstetric facilities where regular maternity checkups were carried out. A questionnaire assessment involved an annual number of deliveries, scale of facilities and a state of maternal blood screening for eight pathogens. A high rate (73.7%) of reply to the questionnaire was achieved from 1990 facilities, covering 75.1% of annual number of delivery in 2011. The performance rates of blood screening were more than 99% for rubella virus, Treponema pallidum, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus, while the rate was found to be only 4.5% for cytomegalovirus (CMV), and 48.5% for Toxoplasma gondii with large differences in regions. Most of the facilities performed blood tests for rubella virus, Treponema pallidum, HIV, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus once in early pregnancy, while approximately 28% of the facilities performed blood tests for HTLV-1 once during the 2nd or 3rd trimester. Most of the facilities used HA tests for Toxoplasma gondii, whereas there was a wide variation in antibody measurement methods for CMV. Generally, the obstetric facilities in Japan have performed maternal blood screening properly according to the current recommendations. The results of this survey involve important information and are helpful for clinical practitioners.
Abstract In the Morioka cataract (MCT) mice, lens opacity appears at 6 to 8 weeks of age, and swollen lens fiber is electron-microscopically observed at 3 weeks after birth. The present study was designed to characterize the expression of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) in the lens epithelium of the MCT mice. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the expression of TGFβ in the lens epithelium of the MCT mice was stronger than that of the wild-type ddY mice at 2 and 4 weeks after birth. The expression of TGFβ receptors (TGFβRI and TGFβRII) and FGF2 in the lens epithelium of the MCT mice was stronger than that of the wild-type ddY mice at 4 weeks and weaker than that of the wild-type ddY mice at 15 weeks after birth. Using real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed that expression of TGFβ1 and TGFβ2 mRNA in the lens of 2-week-old MCT mice was significantly higher compared to age-matched wild-type ddY mice. These findings indicate that the lens epithelium of MCT mice has increased expression of TGFβ before cataract affection and that changes in the expression of FGF2 as well as TGFβ may contribute to the progression of the cataract in the mice.
Abstract The birth prevalence of hypospadias increased in Hungary during the last decades, thus the aim of this study was to analyze the possible role of maternal risk factors in the origin of isolated hypospadias (IHS). The incidence/prevalence of acute and chronic maternal diseases with related drug treatments were compared in the mothers of cases with IHS, population controls without defect and malformed controls affected with other isolated abnormalities in the population-based Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities including 3038 cases with IHS, 24 814 population male controls without any defects and 11 096 malformed male controls with other isolated defect. Among exposures, prospective medically recorded chronic diseases and medically recorded or retrospective maternal information regarding acute diseases and drug treatments were evaluated in the study groups. Maternal epilepsy due to the treatment of valproate (odds ratio [OR] with 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.97, 1.07–3.61) and cervical erosion (4.09, 1.84–9.12) were associated with a higher risk of IHS. In addition, there was an association of oral nystatin (1.94, 1.22–3.09), lynestrenol (26.66, 8.69–81.80) and ethynilestradiol (3.51, 1.61–7.67) treatments in the mothers of cases with a higher risk for IHS. In conclusion, maternal cervical erosion, valproate, nystatin, lynestrenol and ethynilestradiol associated with a higher risk for IHS.
Abstract This study was performed to clarify the involvement of impaired labyrinth zone (LZ) of the placenta in the developmental toxicity of diethylstilbestrol (DES). DES at 10 μg/kg per day was administered orally to mice on days 4 through 8 of gestation. Histological observation of the LZ and determination of blood glucose levels in dam and fetus were performed on day 13. A high frequency of embryonic death was observed in the DES group. DES induced the underdevelopment of the plexus vasculosus, extensive maternal blood space and the decreased expression of glucose transporters in the LZ, and a reduction of the glucose level in embryos. These findings suggest that impaired LZ development may be related to the embryolethality of DES.
Abstract Two unusual cases of anterior urethral valves (AUV) without diverticulae are presented. The first case is a male child born with prenatal diagnosis of bilateral hydronephrosis. On cystoscopy, iris-like diaphragm valves were encountered about 3 mm distal to the skeletal sphincter. In the second case, an 18-month-old male child was investigated for recurrent febrile urinary tract infections and obstructed urinary symptoms. Cystoscopy confirmed the presence of slit-like valves 5 mm distal to the skeletal sphincter. Fulguration of the AUVs was performed in both cases. It may be worthwhile to review all cases of anterior urethral obstruction collectively and re-categorize them appropriately to include the unusual AUVs without diverticulum in that classification.