Abstract Low birthweight resulting from a non-optimal fetal environment is correlated epidemiologically to a higher risk of adult diseases, and which has also been demonstrated using animal models for maternal undernutrition. In this study, we subjected pregnant mice to 50% food restriction (FR), and profiled gene expression and promoter DNA methylation genome-wide using the fetal livers. The fact that effect of food restriction is opposite between before and after birth encouraged us to hunt for genes that are expressed oppositely to adult calorie restriction (CR) using the maternal livers. Among oppositely regulated genes, we identified trib1 (tribbles homolog 1). Using genetically modified mice, trib1 has been shown to have a demonstrable contribution to a risk of hypertriglyceridaemia and insulin resistance. Our data showed that the trib1 expression and its promoter DNA methylation could be affected physiologically (by maternal nutrition), and therefore might be a strong candidate gene for developmental origins of adult diseases. Furthermore, lepr (leptin receptor) gene was downregulated by maternal FR, indicating its potential role in induction of obesity and diabetes. Gene expression as well as promoter DNA methylation profiling revealed that glucocorticoid receptor target genes were regulated by maternal FR. This supports previous studies that suggest an important role of fetal glucocorticoid exposure in the mechanism of developmental origins of diseases. Our transcriptomics profiling data also suggested that maternal FR impaired development of the immune system. An inventory of candidate genes responsible for developmental origins of health and disease is presented and discussed in this study.
Abstract A new type of learning and memory test using a finger maze was conducted in infant cynomolgus monkeys that were exposed to thiamazole (2 and 3.5 mg/kg per day to pregnant animals orally) during the fetal period (gestational days 120 to 150). We modified Tsuchida's original finger maze test method by reducing the number of trials per day and simplifying the criteria for achievement of training, and we added a long-term memory test. In the memory test, thiamazole-exposed infants required greater time to complete the finger maze test than the control infants although no effect was noted in the training or learning test. The results suggest that an impaired long-term memory could be detected by our modified finger maze test.
Abstract To reveal the relation between intellectual disability and the deleted intervals in Williams syndrome, we performed an array comparative genomic hybridization analysis and standardized developmental testing for 11 patients diagnosed as having Williams syndrome based on fluorescent in situ hybridization testing. One patient had a large 4.2-Mb deletion spanning distally beyond the common 1.5-Mb intervals observed in 10/11 patients. We formulated a linear equation describing the developmental age of the 10 patients with the common deletion; the developmental age of the patient with the 4.2-Mb deletion was significantly below the expectation (developmental age = 0.51 × chronological age). The large deletion may account for the severe intellectual disability; therefore, the use of array comparative genomic hybridization may provide practical information regarding individuals with Williams syndrome.
Abstract Prenatal diagnosis of thanatophoric dysplasia (TD) type II presenting in the first trimester with increased nuchal translucency (NT) and cloverleaf skull (Kleeblattschaedel) have been scantly reported in the medical record. Abnormal choroid plexus has been seen in association with fetal anomalies. Here we described a case of increased NT associated with indented choroid plexuses, early onset hydrocephalus and cloverleaf skull in a fetus subsequently diagnosed at early second trimester to carry a de novo mutation encoding for TD type II. The findings of dysmorphic choroid plexus, early onset hydrocephalus and cloverleaf skull at first trimester scan may be early, useful ultrasound markers of TD type II. Molecular analysis to control for possible overlapping syndromes were performed and resulted negative. Postmortem X-ray and 3D-CT scan confirmed the cloverleaf skull, narrow thorax, straight femur with rhizomelic shortening of the limbs and the presence of a communicating hydrocephalus.
Abstract The Majewski syndrome or short rib-polydactyly syndrome (SRPS) type II is a lethal skeletal dysplasia characterized by severe IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) and dysmorphic face, polydactyly, relatively proportionate head size at birth with later progression to microcephaly. A case of second trimester ultrasound diagnosis of SRPS type II is reported with review of the medical record of previous observed cases. Postmortem examination and radiogram confirmed the clinical diagnosis. Histological examination of the femoral epypheseal chondral plate showed an expanded and irregular hypertrophic zone. Moreover, characteristic cortico-medullary cysts of both kidneys and portal fibrosis were also demonstrated; findings consistent with the broad phenotypic spectrum of this rare skeletal disease.
Abstract Poland syndrome and Gerbode-type defect are both very rare congenital malformations. A combination of them is extremely uncommon and no literature has reported this before. We herein present a case of this combination in a 9-year-old boy. Besides the reconstruction of the chest wall, a device closure of the Gerbode-type defect was also planned due to the risk of infective endocarditis. In order to minimize the injury, an innovative hybrid therapeutic strategy was chosen to treat two anomalies simultaneously in one incision.
Abstract We present a case of a patient whose L1CAM gene in X-chromosome has a C924T transition. Her first son's ventriculomegaly was prenatally detected. A mature infant was born, his head circumference was large, and thumbs were bilaterally adducted. X-linked hydrocephalus (XLH) was suspected. The DNA examination revealed that both her and boy's LICAM gene had a C924T transition. She became pregnant 5 years later and amniocentesis was performed. The results of cytogenetic analysis revealed that the fetus was female. She continued her pregnancy and delivered a healthy girl. She again became pregnant 3 years later. The chromosomal analysis revealed that the fetus was male. Fetal DNA analysis determined that the fetus had the inherited mutation. She chose to terminate the pregnancy. A C924T mutation can be disease causing for XLH, and the detection of this mutation would aid in genetic counseling for the prenatal diagnosis of XLH.
Abstract A co-existing right congenital diaphragmatic hernia and omphalocele is rare. We present images of a fetus diagnosed with this rare combination of anomalies. Early neonatal death occurred immediately after full-term birth due to severe respiratory insufficiency. In this case, disturbance of chest wall development due to the omphalocele rather than the diaphragmatic hernia was considered as the main cause of lung hypoplasia. Our experience suggests that caution should be exercised for severe respiratory insufficiency in a neonate with an omphalocele and diaphragmatic hernia, even in the absence of an intra-thoracic liver, one of the indicators of poor outcome for congenital diaphragmatic hernia.