Abnormal Development - Teratogens
|Embryology - 16 Jan 2018 Expand to Translate|
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|Educational Use Only - Embryology is an educational resource for learning concepts in embryological development, no clinical information is provided and content should not be used for any other purpose.|
How and why do things go wrong in development? Embryological development is a robust biological system able to cope with many stresses without long-term consequences. When development does go wrong there are generally 3 major types groups: Genetic (inherited), Environmental (maternal) derived and Unknown (not determined or known) abnormalities. Also often not considered, is that pregnancy itself can also expose abnormalities in the mother (congenital heart disease, diabetes, reproductive disorders) that until the pregnancy had gone undetected.
- Infections collectively grouped under the acronym TORCH for Toxoplasmosis, Other organisms (parvovirus, HIV, Epstein-Barr, herpes 6 and 8, varicella, syphilis, enterovirus) , Rubella, Cytomegalovirus and Hepatitis. See also the related topics on maternal hyperthermia and bacterial infections.
- Maternal diet the best characterised is the role of low folic acid and Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) see also abnormal neural development and Neural Tube Defects (NTDs). More recently the focus has been on dietary iodine levels and the role they also play on neural development.
- Maternal drugs effects either prescription drugs (therapeutic chemicals/agents, thalidomide limb development), non-prescription drugs (smoking), and illegal drugs (Cannabis/Marijuana, Methamphetamine/Amphetamine, Cocaine, Heroin, Lysergic Acid Diethylamide). Some therapeutic compounds have teratogenic effects because they are also naturally occurring developmental signals, for example retinoic acid.
- Environment (smoking, chemicals, heavy metals, radiation) and maternal endocrine function (maternal diabetes, thyroid development) and maternal stress.
- Teratogen synergism, different environmental effects can act individually or in combination on the same developing system. For example, neural development can be impacted upon by alcohol (fetal alcohol syndrome), viral infection (rubella) and/or inadequate dietry folate intake (neural tube defects). These effects may also not be seen as a direct effect on a system or systems but result in a reduced birth weight and the potential postnatal developmental effects. Consider also this in relation to the increasing support to the fetal origins hypothesis.
Use the page links below to explore specific teratogens.
|Bacterial Links: Syphilis | Gonorrhea | Tuberculosis | Listeria | TORCH Infections | Environmental | Category:Bacteria|
|Abnormality Links: Introduction | Genetic | Environmental | Unknown | Teratogens | Ectopic Implantation | Cardiovascular | Coelomic Cavity | Endocrine | Gastrointestinal Tract | Genital | Head | Integumentary | Musculoskeletal | Limb | Neural | Neural Crest | Renal | Respiratory | Placenta | Sensory | Hearing | Vision | Twinning | Developmental Origins of Health and Disease | ICD-10|
Some Recent Findings
|More recent papers|
This table shows an automated computer PubMed search using the listed sub-heading term.
References listed on the rest of the content page and the associated discussion page (listed under the publication year sub-headings) do include some editorial selection based upon both relevance and availability.
Caitlyn D Placek, Purnima Madhivanan, Edward H Hagen Innate food aversions and culturally transmitted food taboos in pregnant women in rural southwest India: separate systems to protect the fetus? Evol. Hum. Behav.: 2017, 38(6);714-728 PubMed 29333059
Nour Al-Muhtasib, Alberto Sepulveda-Rodriguez, Stefano Vicini, Patrick A Forcelli Neonatal phenobarbital exposure disrupts GABAergic synaptic maturation in rat CA1 neurons. Epilepsia: 2018; PubMed 29315524
K E Boschen, S M Keller, T L Roth, A Y Klintsova Epigenetic mechanisms in alcohol- and adversity-induced developmental origins of neurobehavioral functioning. Neurotoxicol Teratol: 2018; PubMed 29305195
Jamie Jiang, Jessica W Bertol, Walid D Fakhouri Mandibular Explant Assay for Investigating Extrinsic Stimuli on Bone and Cartilage Development. Bio Protoc: 2017, 7(23); PubMed 29302607
Yangsheng Chen, Li Xu, Heidi Q H Xie, Tuan Xu, Hualing Fu, Songyan Zhang, Rui Sha, Yingjie Xia, Bin Zhao Identification of differentially expressed genes response to TCDD in rat brain after long-term low-dose exposure. J Environ Sci (China): 2017, 62;92-99 PubMed 29289296
Critical Periods of Development
When studying this topic remember the concept of "critical periods of development" that will affect the overall impact of the above listed factors, as outlined in the table below. This can be extended to the potential differences between prenatal and postnatal effects, for example with infections and outcomes.
|Conceptus||Embryonic development (weeks)||Fetal period (weeks)|
|Loss||Major abnormalities||Functional and Minor abnormalities|
- Im Zomerdijk, R Ruiter, Lma Houweling, Rmc Herings, Smjm Straus, Bh Stricker Dispensing of potentially teratogenic drugs before conception and during pregnancy: a population-based study. BJOG: 2014; PubMed 25316196
- Yoav Mayshar, Ofra Yanuka, Nissim Benvenisty Teratogen screening using transcriptome profiling of differentiating human embryonic stem cells. J. Cell. Mol. Med.: 2011, 15(6);1393-401 PubMed 20561110
- Lim JH, Kim SH, Shin IS, Park NH, Moon C, Kang SS, Kim SH, Park SC, Kim JC. Maternal exposure to multi-wall carbon nanotubes does not induce embryo-fetal developmental toxicity in rats. Birth Defects Res (Part B) 92:69-76, 2011. PMID:21254368
- Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology
- Birth Defects Research Part B: Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology
- Part C: Embryo Today: Reviews
- A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols
Cite this page: Hill, M.A. 2018 Embryology Abnormal Development - Teratogens. Retrieved January 16, 2018, from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Abnormal_Development_-_Teratogens
- © Dr Mark Hill 2018, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G