Welcome to the 2014 Embryology Course!
- Each week the individual assessment questions will be displayed in the practical class pages and also added here.
- Copy the assessment items to your own page and provide your answer.
- Note - Some guest assessments may require completion of a worksheet that will be handed in in class with your student name and ID.
|Individual Lab Assessment|
|Lab 12 - Stem Cell Presentation Assessment||More Info|
- Lab 1 --Z3417843 (talk) 12:45, 6 August 2014 (EST)
- Lab 2 --Z3417843 (talk) 11:06, 13 August 2014 (EST)
- Lab 3 --Z3417843 (talk) 11:10, 20 August 2014 (EST)
- Lab 4 --Z3417843 (talk) 12:16, 27 August 2014 (EST)
- Lab 5 --Z3417843 (talk) 12:52, 3 September 2014 (EST)
- Lab 6 --Z3417843 (talk) 11:19, 10 September 2014 (EST)
- Lab 7 --Z3417843 (talk) 11:06, 17 September 2014 (EST)
- Lab 8 --Z3417843 (talk) 11:01, 24 September 2014 (EST)
- Lab 9 --Z3417843 (talk) 12:00, 8 October 2014 (EST)
- Lab 10 --Z3417843 (talk) 11:12, 15 October 2014 (EST)
- Lab 11 --Z3417843 (talk) 11:52, 22 October 2014 (EST)
- Lab 12 --Z3417843 (talk) 11:34, 29 October 2014 (EST)
Individual Online Assessment
Effect of vitamin D status on clinical pregnancy rates following in vitro fertilization.
Vitamin D plays an essential role in the process of human reproduction. Women in their reproductive age are more prone to vitamin D deficiency. In recent studies, the levels of vitamin D in the body is somewhat correlated to the prevalence of vitamin deficiency in the population. For example, 79% of women undergoing IVF is suffering from vitamin deficiency. In a different study, female rats were tested for the link between vitamin D deficiency and infertility. Two groups of female rats were given different diets, one rich in vitamin D and the other low in vitamin D. Female rats fed with the vitamin D deficient diet had 75% reduced fertility and 30 % smaller litter sizes compared to the group fed with vitamin D rich diet.
The goal of this study is to investigate the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and lower rates of clinical pregnancy after IVF in women. Serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin D, 25(OH)D, is a marker for vitamin D levels. 173 women gave consent to participate in the experiment. The serum was used to determine the vitamin D level of each and were segregated in terms of their 25(OH)D levels, whether they are sufficient or insufficient.
It is unclear how vitamin D affects fertility in women. However, it is likely that vitamin D has an effect on the implantation process. Findings show that women in the sufficient group had higher rates of clinical pregnancy after IVF as well as implantation rates. It also suggested that vitamin D supplementation is an easy and cost-effective way of combatting vitamin D insufficiency. Furthermore, it suggested that vitamin D status should be taken into consideration when assessing for infertility in women.
Neurotensin Enhances Sperm Capacitation and Acrosome Reaction in Mice.
In order for a spermatozoa to be fertile, it has to undergo capacitation. Capacitation refers to the change in the physiology of spermatozoa when inside the uterus, which allows them to penetrate and fertilise the oocyte. While in the uterus, these cells are subject to influence by various factors that affect sperm function, Neurotensin (NT) is a hormone known to have multiple functions. It can function as a neurotransmitter and even participate in gastrointestinal motility and secretion. NT stimulation results to the production of secondary messengers such as cAMP and Ca2-, which are important for fertility in sperm. However, its function relating to reproduction is still unknown. This study is aimed to clarify the role and function of NT in the capacitation and acrosome reaction in spermatozoa.
Sperm were gathered from the epididymis of male mice, aged more than 12 weeks. To test for the effect of NT on acrosome reaction, the suspension of spermatozoa capacitated in HTF medium were divided into microtubules and given varying amounts of NT stock solution. Under a fluorescence microscope, the sperm that underwent acrosome reaction were identified and the acrosome reaction rate was calculated. To test for NT concentration, cumulus oocyte-complexes (COCs) were cultured in media with FSH and EGF.
The study’s results showed a rapid increase in the rate of acrosome reaction in sperm depending on the dosage of NT stock solution introduced. Acrosome reaction is triggered by the increase in levels of calcium ion (Ca2+), which occurs when NTR1 is stimulated. However, it is still unsure whether this is the direct cause for acrosome reaction in the spermatozoa. For the NT concentration test, it showed that the addition of FSH and EGF stimulated the production of NT in cumulus cells. All together, these evidences show that neurotensin play a role in the capacitation of spermatozoa and acrosome reaction.
--Mark Hill These are good summaries (5/5).
--Mark Hill All the information is associated with the file, with some minor format issues, the reference link should also be on your own page. You should have also used a file name that describes the image not File:Heartfibertracttractography.png which is not identifiable. (4/5)
--Mark Hill These are relevant articles, but you have not identified your project sub-section or explained in a sentence why you have selected these references (4/5).
Migration and Differentiation of Human Umbilical Cord Stem Cells After Heart Injury in Chicken Embryos
With the increasing cases of myocardial infarction, or heart attack, the heart is a popular organ for regenerative cell therapy. Stem cells are known for their ability to differentiate and form into different organs, given the right signalling and stimulation, including myocardial structures. Because of this, stem cells are widely used in regenerative cell therapy. Cardiac injuries in animal models have been treated with the use of stem cells, including a few clinical trials of patients suffering myocardial infarction. Evidence shows that in a myocardial injury, stem cells are activated. Although, there is still little knowledge on the mechanisms and signalling pathways regarding the differentiation of stem cells. This study aims to analyse human umbilical cord blood stem cells (scHUCBs) and their behaviour when grafted onto the hearts of chicken embryos, whether normal (control) or damaged.
Stem cells where extracted by processing the whole blood from a human umbilical cord. The chicken eggs used were incubated and windowed to give access to the embryo. With a microinjector, scHUCBs were injected into the epicardium of the left or right ventricle of the chicken embryo’s heart. Some hearts were injured, specifically at the myocardial wall, using a needle. Experimental hearts, i.e. hearts with the microinjuries, had the stem cells introduced at the farthest site of the contralateral ventricle to test for the migration of scHUCBs. In addition to that, stem cells were grafted at different times (6hr, 12hr, 24hr later), to test for the effect of time on the result of this regenerative procedures.
The study’s results showed that the stem cells spread throughout the heart walls and it’s chamber’s walls. Stem cells have differentiated into myocardiocytes and were also seen within the lumen of blood vessels, suggesting that the stem cells have differentiated into endothelial cells as well. Majority (95%) of the grafted cells, introduced to the injured heart, migrated to the injury. This evidence proves that signals may promote the migration and differentiation of stem cells towards sites of injury and other parts of the organ. Grafted cells that were introduced 6hr after the injury showed a similar migration pattern; whereas grafted cells introduced 24hr later showed no signs of migration at all. This evidence shows that the gap between the ischaemic event and grafting could affect and predict the likely result of regenerative cell therapy.
There are three vascular shunts in the vasculature of the fetus:
- foramen ovale - passage of blood from the right atrium to the left atrium, which bypasses blood flow to the right ventricle
- ductus arterioles - passage of blood from the pulmonary trunk to the aorta, which bypasses blood flow to the lungs
- ductus venous - passage of blood from the umbilical vein to the inferior vena cava, which bypasses blood flow to the liver
--Mark Hill Very good, and shunts are fine. (5/5)
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS) is a rare condition in neonates, that could lead to death if untreated or failed to be detected. It occurs when a foetus aspirates meconium-stained amniotic fluid (MSAF) during development, i.e. before or during labour. Meconium refers to the first stool of the infant, which consists of the contents of foetal gastrointestinal tract during development. This is excreted as a greenish-brown material in utero or post birth. In response to stress, e.g. hypoxia-ischaemia, stimulation of the GIT can occur, which results to peristalsis and relaxation of the anal sphincter. This will then result to the release of meconium by the foetus to the amniotic fluid, which contaminates it and is now meconium-stained. Foetal gasping is also a reflex in response to stress. This reflex leads to the aspiration of MSAF and result to MAS. This process allows the meconium to enter the foetal upper airway and eventually, the distal airways. A foetus may be hypoxic due to abnormal patterns in the heart rate.
In return, meconium aspiration can cause hypoxia in neonates via:
- airway obstruction
- surfactant dysfunction
- chemical pneumonitis
- pulmonary vasoconstriction
Signs of tachypnoea, cyanosis (when the neonate appears blue), and chest inflation are present in neonates with MAS. Further complications of this abnormality could lead to more serious diseases, such as atelectasis and pneumothorax, or respiratory failure. MAS can also result to chemical pneumonia and pneumonitis. There are currently a few methods of preventing or managing MAS, such as intratracheal intubation and suctioning, which was reported to have 100% survival. 
- Jane Yizhen Lim, S. Arulkumaran Meconium aspiration syndrome Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Reproductive Medicine: 2009, 18(4);106-109
- Benjamin J. Stenson, Allan D. Jackson Management of meconium aspiration syndrome Pediatrics and Child Health: 2009, 19(4);174-177
--Mark Hill Very good, why are 2 of the references not in PubMed? Would have liked some newer refs as well. (5/5)
The pituitary gland is an endocrine gland responsible for the secretion of multiple hormones, including luteinizing-hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and growth hormone (GH). Glucocorticoids are a class of steroids that have a role in the GH production in the pituitary gland. Adrenal glucocorticoid corticosterone (CORT) are essential for somatotrophic cell differentiation, which are the cells that produce GH. Another important factor for the differentiation of somatotrophic cells is cycloheximide (CHX), a protein synthesis inhibitor. In this research article, the authors study the effect of glucocorticoids on the gene expression of cells in the embryonic pituitary gland with the use of chicken embryos. With the use of a custom chicken embryo, the direct and indirect glucocorticoid-regulated genes were identified. This was conducted by determining the transcriptional profiles in pituitary cells influenced by CORT with or without CHX.
The presence of CHX blocks the induction of CORT to GH mRNA. This suggests that one or more protein is needed for the process to occur. Their findings show that the presence of CORT have diverse effects on the expression of 396 genes and that 11 of these were induced in the presence of CHX. The presence of CORT alone influenced the mRNA levels in these genes. DEXRASI and RASDVA, two of the identified genes, are believed to have a role in the regulation of CORT in GH mRNA. Another identified gene was FKBP5, which is involved in the stimulation of GH release in somatotrophic cells. The 11 genes that underwent GH induction, despite the presence of CHX, could be involved as a mediator on the effects of glucocorticoids on embryonic GH production.
The embryonic layers and tissues concerning the development of teeth include the ectoderm of the first pharyngeal arch and neural crest, ectomesenchymal cells. Odontoblasts are neural crest-derived mesenchymal cells that secrete predentin, which calcifies later in development to form the dentin of the teeth. Ameloblasts are cells that arise from the inner enamel epithelium, which produce the enamel of the teeth.
--Mark Hill Very good (5/5)
Break-time. No assessment for this lab.
Embryonic Development of the Testis In the embryo, gonads come from three sources: the mesothelium, underlying mesenchyme, and primordial germ cells. Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are undifferentiated sex cells. By week 3, they migrate to the primitive streak at the stage of gastrulation. At week 5, the mesothelium and underlying mesenchyme proliferate and forms a bulge on the medial side of the mesonephros. This structure is called the gonadal ridge. In the same week, the gonadal cords grow into the underlying mesenchyme. Both structures form an indifferent gonad and in XY embryos, this becomes the testis. By week 6, PGCs go to the hindgut yolk sac junctional region and then migrate to the gonadal ridge at early embryonic development.
After that, gametogenesis occurs, where PGCs enter the gonads and differentiate. The Y chromosome contains a protein-coding gene called sex-determining region Y gene, better known as SRY gene. This gene transforms supporting cells into Sertoli cells. Sertoli cells are responsible for signalling cells to undergo male gonadal differentiation. They secrete anti-Mullerian hormones, which have a role in the differentiation of internal genital organs, ducts, and gonads. They also transform sex-hormone-secreting cells into interstitial cells or Leydig cells, which are responsible for the release of testosterone. Sertoli cells also affect the differentiation of germ cells; however, this process is arrested until after birth. Testis-determining factor (TDF) is also regulated by the Y chromosome and is responsible for the differentiation of gonadal cords into seminiferous cords or testis cords.
By week 7, the testis starts to develop. As stated, anti-Mullerian hormones have a role in differentiation of gonads. In males, the paramesonephric duct degenerates in the presence of anti-Mullerian hormones. The mesonephric duct, a.k.a Wolffian duct, differentiates in the presence of testosterone. In the embryonic male gonads, there are two main portions, the mesonephric duct and the testis cords. The testis cords contain the Sertoli cells and germ cells. Later in development, it becomes the seminiferous tubules which are responsible for the production of spermatozoa. The mesonephric duct becomes the epididymis. In the mesonephric duct, projections appear that grow towards the testis cords. These projections become the rete testis. The remaining mesonephric duct outside the gonad becomes the ductus deferens. (Week 8)
Moore, K.L., Persaud, T.V.N. & Torchia, M.G. (2011). The developing human: clinically oriented embryology (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders.
|Embryology - 12 Dec 2019 Expand to Translate|
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|Embryology History | Historic Embryology Papers)|
Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, December 12) Embryology Z3417843. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/User:Z3417843
- © Dr Mark Hill 2019, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G
--Mark Hill Summary is OK, but I want you to use research literature not the textbook as a source. Historic image is fine. (4/5)
Group 1 This project was done really well. All key points, i.e. development, historic findings, etc., were clearly described. In terms of content, this group did a great job. It is very informative and all information they have included are relevant to the topic. There are a few mentions of embryonic stage but I do understand why, particularly for the development of the respiratory system. The developmental timeline is good but an image about the development would make it better. Historic findings section is very detailed and exceptional. Abnormalities is done well. A couple or more images would make this section really great. There are images that help with understanding the content. Try to find information on current treatments and/or management techniques for each disease.
However, some images have no captions and so some seem vague as to what they’re about. There are a few images missing copyright, specifically the 2nd photo on the project page and the historical image of lung development. From what I know, images from textbooks normally can’t be used because of copyright. The content is cited and referenced correctly. A bit messy with the references right now but I understand why. Just don’t forget to organise it before submission. Also, don’t forget to mention the other sections in the introduction. Overall, this project is done really well. It was very informative and easy to understand. In summary, just a few more images and correction of typos and this project would be remarkable. Well done!
Group 2 Really good introduction! It clearly outlines what is in the page. Most key points were done really well except for historic findings. There is a section on the Wikipage that has old books on embryology. It’s under the “Explore” tab and you’ll see “Historic embryo”. The developmental timeline would’ve been better if it was in a table, has an image showing the major steps in development, and is within the development section of the page. Regarding the development section, very detailed and informative. It clearly outlines the development of the renal system in the fetal stage. Dividing this section into the different organs is a very smart decision. It makes it a lot less confusing to the reader. Maybe try to breakdown some of the information and use dot points. There are lots of images to give the readers a visual of the developmental process. Also, the images have captions, which is great.
Great job on the current research section. The articles chosen for current research is highly relevant to the topic and to the project. This section is written concisely and very detailed. The image really helps to understand the findings of the research. The same can be said to the abnormalities section. Each disease was written concisely and is very informative. The images really help in terms of understanding the clinical manifestation/s of each disease. Try to find information on current treatments and/or management techniques for each disease.
Looking at the images included, all of them seems to be properly uploaded except for the “Kidney ascent.jpg”. It is missing its copyright information. From what I know, images from textbooks normally can’t be used because of copyright. Other than that, all the images are relevant and function as an aid to understanding what each section is about. In regards of citation and references, everything looks good. Each section was well-researched and properly cited. Great job on organising most of your references at the bottom of the page. The page looks very clean. In summary, focus on getting the historic findings section done and just minor fixes on images. Well done!
Group 3 A good introduction to the page but only outlines the developmental part of the project. Don’t forget to include other sections as well like current findings, abnormalities, etc. Also, no need for the hyphen for foregut, midgut, and hindgut. The development timeline is really good. Its very concise and well-referenced. It could be improved by tabulating the whole thing and maybe try to fuse the three sections together. Also, add an image or drawing of the development of the system. It will definitely help in terms of understanding what is happening at each stage. On recent findings, it’s not as good as the other groups but it’s definitely a start. Most groups write about 2-4 research articles for their current findings sections. As for the development section, each section is very detailed and informative. Maybe add a few images for the foregut section because images are really helpful. As for midgut, great to see images and student drawings. Good job on that. The same can be said for the hindgut section. It’s written well but maybe put the deformities in this section with the “Deformities” section. Deformities (abnormalities) section is good. It is detailed and the image used clearly shows what the disease is like. Maybe writing about 1-2 more abnormalities would make this section better.
It terms of citation and referencing, midgut section did the best job. I recommend the other sections to look for a lot more related material. I understand that this topic was divided depending on the region of the GIT, particularly the development section, but make sure to reorganise each section to make the page coherent. As for the images, most of them are well referenced. It wouldn’t hurt to add a few more. It’s great to see a lot of student drawings. Overall, a good project page very detailed in most areas but very little in referencing. In summary, focus on adding more references, making the whole page coherent, and a few more on the abnormalities.
Group 4 A great start on tabulating the information about the development of this system. There are references but I don’t see any in-text citations. The image used in this section is really good and relevant. It clearly shows the major processes in the development of the genital system. However, it is a bit pixelated so maybe try resizing the image to a smaller size. Maybe try uploading the image again with a different filename, change it to something more appropriate rather than “Image.jpg”. And also, if possible, try to include it in the table. Good job on embedding a video! I think this is the only group so far that has included a video. It’s a good video about the development, I just wish it had a voice-over explaining what is happening but that’s not really the group’s fault. Nonetheless, great job on the development section.
With the current research section, great use of dot points but a bit excessive. Maybe try to make paragraphs where it is appropriate. It is well-researched, very detailed and very informative. It’s good to see student drawings. Great job on that. I see that an image was not properly uploaded into the page, so just fix that. Good job on referencing. All research articles seem to be relevant to this section but try to incorporate some of the in-text citations of the remaining articles, not just the first three. Overall, really great job on the content of this section. It is evident that the person responsible for this section put a lot of effort in research.
As for historic findings, great job! I know this is probably the hardest of all the four sections in terms of finding information and this section is well-researched, very detailed, and very informative much like the current research section. Maybe try to use some dot points to lessen the bulk of this section. Great drawing included in this section. Try to add more, especially for the males since that is the bulk of this section.
Lastly, for abnormalities, great job on finding lots of abnormalities! Lots of references and each area of this section seems to be well-cited. The content of this section is very concise. All the important information about the disease is included, from the cause to the treatment. Good work! Try to find more images for the other abnormalities. It may be tedious but it will help in visualising the clinical manifestations of each disease. Overall, this group has done their research and did it well. Great job on the table for development and images. Their page is very clean and very organised, particularly the references. Don’t forget to write an introduction for your project’s page.
Group 6 Great job on doing the endocrine system! There are lots of content for each organ of this system, which is good. I can see that this system was broken down into organs and allocated to different members. The only problem I see with this format is that presentation could be incoherent. I suggest try to follow the outline Dr. Hill gave us like development, current findings, etc. and just break each section into sub-sections for each organ. If that’s too much, then maybe just a single timeline of the development of the whole system. Also try to have a uniform layout for the tables about the hormones secreted by each gland.
There aren’t many images used in the page so maybe try to add more images. They really help with getting the readers to understand the information. In terms of referencing and citations, good job on choosing the research articles. All of them seem to be relevant to the the project. Don’t forget to use in-text citations. Not only is it important but it will make the page look a lot cleaner. Also, try to get all the references into one bulk at the bottom of the page. Overall, there aren’t a lot of problems in terms of the content but mainly about organising the page, making it coherent, and cleaning it up. I think the parathyroid, pancreas, and adrenal sections were remarkable. Well done!
Group 7 Good introduction but I would move what happens in the embryonic development to the “development” section. Also, don’t forget any references and in-text citations for this section. Maybe add more on what the page is about and what the readers should be expecting. Nonetheless, it gives a good background of the key organs in this system. The diagram for the timeline of development is quite complex. Try to explain what is happening in this diagram within the “development” section. For example, maybe try to have the same headings (cell multiplication, cell migration, etc.) as the diagram for the “development” subheadings. Or, if you’re willing, make a timeline of your own. At least, you can make a simpler diagram where only relevant information is included. Good job on the “Visible Anatomical Details” table.
On current findings, good choice on research articles. They’re very relevant to the topic and to the project as well. Maybe try to add some images if possible. Also, try to add some dates or anything to show how recent these studies are. There is a bit of imbalance in terms of the amount of content for each study but nonetheless, this section was written well. Good job! As for “abnormalities”, this section was done well. Each disease was written with lots of detail but very concisely. I do suggest adding more images that show the clinical manifestation of each disease. Also, don’t just focus on the manifestations of each defects. Try to look for current treatments or techniques on managing the abnormality. Also, maybe look for more references.
On historic findings, where is it? There is a section on the Wikipage that has old books on embryology. It’s under the “Explore” tab and you’ll see “Historic embryo”.
I’ve check all the images and there are no issues with them in terms of copyright. I can see that you tried to add captions to each photo, which is good but you can format the image in a way so that the caption is framed with the photo. Check out the [Formatting] guide to do this. Overall, this page is very detailed and written very well. Just try to edit the page and make it look cleaner.
Group 8 Let me start by saying that the “Muscle Gains” section is funny but obviously very irrelevant to the project. Looking at the contents of this page, there seem to be a lot of focus on the development and very little on the other sections. The development section is well-researched and great job on the in-text citations! Some parts look a bit bulky though so maybe try to break some of them down into bulletpoints if possible. A timeline of development is also very helpful in this project.
On abnormalities, very concise and detailed. Try to write about 3-4 abnormalities and find information on how they’re treated or managed presently. As for historic findings, there is a section on the Wikipage that has old books on embryology. It’s under the “Explore” tab and you’ll see “Historic embryo”. Those books have a lot of information regarding that section. Don’t forget to write about current findings as well. Another thing, try to use images since these really help with understanding the content of the page. Overall, a lot of work has to be done before the due date. I do understand why because there are only two people in this group. Goodluck and I wish you the best in finishing this project!
--Mark Hill Excellent peer feedback (10/10)
The relationship between eye movement and vision develops before birth 
It has been suggested that despite the bulk of visual development occurring in the postnatal stage, there are parts of this sensory system that develops in the prenatal stage. This study aims to explore the link between eye movements and visual networks in the occipital region of the brain in prenatal babies. Seven foetuses between weeks 30-36 with normal brain were chosen as subjects for the study. The pregnant mothers underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), using SENSE (sensitivity encoding) cardiac coil with five elements. The slices the contained the eyes of the fetus were identified. Each pixel was analysed via random forest classifier to determine an estimated location of a part of the eye. For example, the lens of the eye, which was used to determine the view centre. The head axis served as a symmetrical axis between the two eyes.
The position of the eye and eye angles were calculated for each frame and sequenced. The sequences were used to track for eye movements. The event, when the eye angle changes, is called a time point and time points below 1.4 were discarded. CompCor approach was implemented to determine non-neural signals that may cause a confounding effect on the results. Nuisance regressors were also identified, e.g. change in head position and change in head angle.
Their results show that there is a link in fetal eye movements and the activation of visual areas of the brain. The areas of the brain showing the highest correlation with eye movement in the fetus are the angular, inferior parietal, superior frontal, and medial occipital gyri. This discovery may contribute to determining the time period the brain prepares for processing external sensory information. In previous research, four types of fetal eye movements have been identified:
- Type I - single, transient deviations and a slower return to resting position
- I.a - fast deviation, slower reposition
- I.b - fast deviation, fast reposition
- Type II - single, prolonged eye movements
- Type III - complex sequences of eye movements in different directions
- Type IV - repetitive nystagmoid movements
Slow eye movements correlates with neural activity in the deep-parieto-occipital cortex. Intentional focusing correlates with neural activity in the parietal-occipital region; however, only four out of the seven subjects showed this observation. There is little neural activity correlating with motor activity and this agrees with previous findings, i.e. fetal eye motion is controlled by the brainstem and midbrain. In this research, they identified for the first time the areas of the brain responsible for processing eye movements and vision in the fetus.
--Mark Hill (5/5)