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  1. Recent perspectives on the genetic background of neural tube defects with special regard to iniencephaly.

    PubMed

    Joó, József Gábor

    2009-04-01

    Iniencephaly is a rare and mostly lethal type of neural tube defect. The pattern of inheritance of this group of malformations is multifactorial, rendering the identification of the underlying causes. Numerous studies have been conducted to elucidate the genetic basis of human neurulation. Essential signaling pathways of the development of the CNS include the planar cell polarity pathway, which is important for the initiation of neural tube closure, as well as the sonic hedgehog pathway, which regulates the neural plate bending. Genes influencing the different stages of neurulation have been investigated for their eventual role in the development of these malformations. Among the environmental factors, folic acid seems to be the most important modifier of the risk of human neural tube defects. Genes of the folate metabolism pathways have also been investigated to identify mutations resulting in increased risk of neural tube defects. In this review we have attempted to summarize the knowledge on iniencephaly and neural tube defects, with special regard to genetic factors of the etiology.

  2. Neural Tube Defects

    MedlinePlus

    Neural tube defects are birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord. They happen in the first month ... she is pregnant. The two most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly. In spina ...

  3. Neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Greene, Nicholas D E; Copp, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs), including spina bifida and anencephaly, are severe birth defects of the central nervous system that originate during embryonic development when the neural tube fails to close completely. Human NTDs are multifactorial, with contributions from both genetic and environmental factors. The genetic basis is not yet well understood, but several nongenetic risk factors have been identified as have possibilities for prevention by maternal folic acid supplementation. Mechanisms underlying neural tube closure and NTDs may be informed by experimental models, which have revealed numerous genes whose abnormal function causes NTDs and have provided details of critical cellular and morphological events whose regulation is essential for closure. Such models also provide an opportunity to investigate potential risk factors and to develop novel preventive therapies.

  4. Genetic backgrounds and modifier genes of NTD mouse models: An opportunity for greater understanding of the multifactorial etiology of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Leduc, Renee Y M; Singh, Parmveer; McDermid, Heather E

    2016-10-21

    Neurulation, the early embryonic process of forming the presumptive brain and spinal cord, is highly complex and involves hundreds of genes in multiple genetic pathways. Mice have long served as a genetic model for studying human neurulation, and the resulting neural tube defects (NTDs) that arise when neurulation is disrupted. Because mice appear to show mostly single gene inheritance for NTDs and humans show multifactorial inheritance, mice sometimes have been characterized as a simpler model for the identification and study of NTD genes. But are they a simple model? When viewed on different genetic backgrounds, many genes show significant variation in the penetrance and expressivity of NTD phenotypes, suggesting the presence of modifier loci that interact with the target gene to affect the phenotypic expression. Looking at mutations on different genetic backgrounds provides us with an opportunity to explore these complex genetic interactions, which are likely to better emulate similar processes in human neurulation. Here, we review NTD genes known to show strain-specific phenotypic variation. We focus particularly on the gene Cecr2, which is studied using both a hypomorphic and a presumptive null mutation on two different backgrounds: one susceptible (BALB/c) and one resistant (FVB/N) to NTDs. This strain difference has led to a search for genetic modifiers within a region on murine chromosome 19. Understanding how genetic variants alter the phenotypic outcome in NTD mouse models will help to direct future studies in humans, particularly now that more genome wide sequencing approaches are being used. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Epidemiology of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Frey, Lauren; Hauser, W Allen

    2003-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs)-malformations secondary to abnormal neural tube closure between the third and fourth weeks of gestational age-have a complex and imperfectly understood etiology in which both genetic and environmental factors appear to be involved. A number of specific chromosomal or single-gene disorders, presumably not affected by environmental influences, are associated with the development of NTDs, but such syndromal cases account for a small proportion of NTDs in live-born infants. Analysis of recurrence patterns within families and of twin-concordance data provides evidence of a genetic influence in nonsyndromal cases, but factors such as socioeconomic status and geographic area (independent of race or ethnicity) are also associated with variations in the incidence of NTDs. The prevalence at birth of both anencephaly and spina bifida has decreased, but the advent of antenatal diagnosis and elective termination of affected pregnancies has undermined the reliability of birth prevalence rate as an estimate of incidence. Some occupational and other exposures, including maternal use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), are associated with increased risk for NTDs. Among women who have had an NTD-affected pregnancy, recurrence risk is markedly higher than the risk for a first NTD-affected pregnancy in the general population. There is strong evidence, overall, for a protective effect of adequate folate consumption. In some high-risk groups, however, such as women taking AEDs, folate supplementation has not been proven to reduce NTD risk.

  6. Ventrally emigrating neural tube (VENT) cells: a second neural tube-derived cell population.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Douglas P; Machnicki, Michal; Ali, Mohammed M; Zhang, Zhanying; Sohal, Gurkirpal S

    2004-08-01

    Two embryological fates for cells of the neural tube are well established. Cells from the dorsal part of the developing neural tube emigrate and become neural crest cells, which in turn contribute to the development of the peripheral nervous system and a variety of non-neural structures. Other neural tube cells form the neurons and glial cells of the central nervous system (CNS). This has led to the neural crest being treated as the sole neural tube-derived emigrating cell population, with the remaining neural tube cells assumed to be restricted to forming the CNS. However, this restriction has not been tested fully. Our investigations of chick, quail and duck embryos utilizing a variety of different labelling techniques (DiI, LacZ, GFP and quail chimera) demonstrate the existence of a second neural tube-derived emigrating cell population. These cells originate from the ventral part of the cranial neural tube, emigrate at the exit/entry site of the cranial nerves, migrate in association with the nerves and populate their target tissues. On the basis of its site of origin and route of migration we have named this cell population the ventrally emigrating neural tube (VENT) cells. VENT cells also differ from neural crest cells in that they emigrate considerably after the emigration of neural crest cells, and lack expression of the neural crest cell antigen HNK-1. VENT cells are multipotent, differentiating into cell types belonging to all four basic tissues in the body: the nerve, muscle, connective and epithelium. Thus, the neural tube provides at least two cell populations--neural crest and VENT cells--that contribute to the development of the peripheral nervous system and various non-neural structures. This review describes the origin of the idea of VENT cells, and discusses evidence for their existence and subsequent fates.

  7. Temperature Sensitivity of Neural Tube Defects in Zoep Mutants.

    PubMed

    Ma, Phyo; Swartz, Morgan R; Kindt, Lexy M; Kangas, Ashley M; Liang, Jennifer Ostrom

    2015-12-01

    Neural tube defects (NTD) occur when the flat neural plate epithelium fails to fold into the neural tube, the precursor to the brain and spinal cord. Squint (Sqt/Ndr1), a Nodal ligand, and One-eyed pinhead (Oep), a component of the Nodal receptor, are required for anterior neural tube closure in zebrafish. The NTD in sqt and Zoep mutants are incompletely penetrant. The penetrance of several defects in sqt mutants increases upon heat or cold shock. In this project, undergraduate students tested whether temperature influences the Zoep open neural tube phenotype. Single pairs of adults were spawned at 28.5°C, the normal temperature for zebrafish, and one half of the resulting embryos were moved to 34°C at different developmental time points. Analysis of variance indicated temperature and clutch/genetic background significantly contributed to the penetrance of the open neural tube phenotype. Heat shock affected the embryos only at or before the midblastula stage. Many factors, including temperature changes in the mother, nutrition, and genetic background, contribute to NTD in humans. Thus, sqt and Zoep mutants may serve as valuable models for studying the interactions between genetics and the environment during neurulation.

  8. Temperature Sensitivity of Neural Tube Defects in Zoep Mutants

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Phyo; Swartz, Morgan R.; Kindt, Lexy M.; Kangas, Ashley M.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Neural tube defects (NTD) occur when the flat neural plate epithelium fails to fold into the neural tube, the precursor to the brain and spinal cord. Squint (Sqt/Ndr1), a Nodal ligand, and One-eyed pinhead (Oep), a component of the Nodal receptor, are required for anterior neural tube closure in zebrafish. The NTD in sqt and Zoep mutants are incompletely penetrant. The penetrance of several defects in sqt mutants increases upon heat or cold shock. In this project, undergraduate students tested whether temperature influences the Zoep open neural tube phenotype. Single pairs of adults were spawned at 28.5°C, the normal temperature for zebrafish, and one half of the resulting embryos were moved to 34°C at different developmental time points. Analysis of variance indicated temperature and clutch/genetic background significantly contributed to the penetrance of the open neural tube phenotype. Heat shock affected the embryos only at or before the midblastula stage. Many factors, including temperature changes in the mother, nutrition, and genetic background, contribute to NTD in humans. Thus, sqt and Zoep mutants may serve as valuable models for studying the interactions between genetics and the environment during neurulation. PMID:26366681

  9. Epidemiology of neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Seidahmed, Mohammed Z.; Abdelbasit, Omar B.; Shaheed, Meeralebbae M.; Alhussein, Khalid A.; Miqdad, Abeer M.; Khalil, Mohamed I.; Al-Enazy, Naif M.; Salih, Mustafa A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: To find the prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs), and compare the findings with local and international data, and highlight the important role of folic acid supplementation and flour fortification with folic acid in preventing NTDs. Methods: This is a retrospective study of data retrieved from the medical records of live newborn infants admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Security Forces Hospital (SFH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with NTDs spanning 14 years (1996-2009). All pregnant women on their first antenatal visit to the primary care clinic were prescribed folic acid 0.5 mg daily, or 5 mg if there is a family history of NTD. The pre-fortification prevalence is compared to post-fortification, before and after excluding syndromic, genetic, and chromosomal causes. The results were compared with reports from other parts of Saudi Arabia and internationally, through a literature search using MEDLINE. Results: The prevalence of NTDs during the period was 1.2 per 1000 live births. The pre-fortification of flour with folic acid prevalence was 1.46 per 1000 live births. The post-fortification prevalence was 1.05 (p=0.103). After excluding syndromic, genetic, and chromosomal causes from calculation of the prevalence, there was a significant reduction in the prevalence, from 1.46 to 0.81 per 1000 live births (p=0.0088). Syndromic, genetic, and chromosomal causes were identified in 20 cases (19.4%). Only 2% of mothers received preconception folic acid, and only 10% of them received it during the first 4 weeks of gestation. Conclusion: Despite the implementation of fortification of flour with folic acid since 2001, the prevalence of NTDs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still high. This is due to the impact of genetic, syndromic, and chromosomal causes of NTD not preventable by folic acid. Other factors like unplanned pregnancy and lack of awareness of the role of folic acid in preventing nonsyndromic causes, play a significant role. PMID

  10. Folate receptors and neural tube closure.

    PubMed

    Saitsu, Hirotomo

    2017-02-28

    Neural tube defects (NTD) are among the most common human congenital malformations, affecting 0.5-8/1000 of live births. Human clinical trials have shown that periconceptional folate supplementation significantly decreases the occurrence of NTD in offspring. However, the mechanism by which folate acts on NTD remains largely unknown. Folate receptor (Folr) is one of the three membrane proteins that mediate cellular uptake of folates. Recent studies suggest that mouse Folr1 (formerly referred to as Fbp1) is essential for neural tube closure. Therefore, we examined spatial and temporal expression patterns of Folr1 in developing mouse embryos, showing a close association between Folr1 and anterior neural tube closure. Transient transgenic analysis was performed using lacZ as a reporter; we identified a 1.1-kb enhancer that directs lacZ expression in the neural tube and optic vesicle in a manner that is similar to endogenous Folr1. The 1.1-kb enhancer sequences were highly conserved between humans and mice, suggesting that human FOLR1 is associated with anterior neural tube closure in humans. Several experimental studies in mice and human epidemiological and genetics studies have suggested that folate receptor abnormalities are involved in a portion of human NTDs, although the solo defect of FOLR1 did not cause NTD.

  11. Are There Disorders or Conditions Associated with Neural Tube Defects?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Are there disorders or conditions associated with neural tube defects? Skip sharing on social media links Share this: Page Content Infants born with neural tube defects that are not immediately fatal may have ...

  12. Morphogenetic movements in the neural plate and neural tube: mouse.

    PubMed

    Massarwa, R'ada; Ray, Heather J; Niswander, Lee

    2014-01-01

    The neural tube (NT), the embryonic precursor of the vertebrate brain and spinal cord, is generated by a complex and highly dynamic morphological process. In mammals, the initially flat neural plate bends and lifts bilaterally to generate the neural folds followed by fusion of the folds at the midline during the process of neural tube closure (NTC). Failures in any step of this process can lead to neural tube defects (NTDs), a common class of birth defects that occur in approximately 1 in 1000 live births. These severe birth abnormalities include spina bifida, a failure of closure at the spinal level; craniorachischisis, a failure of NTC along the entire body axis; and exencephaly, a failure of the cranial neural folds to close which leads to degeneration of the exposed brain tissue termed anencephaly. The mouse embryo presents excellent opportunities to explore the genetic basis of NTC in mammals; however, its in utero development has also presented great challenges in generating a deeper understanding of how gene function regulates the cell and tissue behaviors that drive this highly dynamic process. Recent technological advances are now allowing researchers to address these questions through visualization of NTC dynamics in the mouse embryo in real time, thus offering new insights into the morphogenesis of mammalian NTC.

  13. Genetics and development of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Copp, Andrew J; Greene, Nicholas D E

    2010-01-01

    Congenital defects of neural tube closure (neural tube defects; NTDs) are among the commonest and most severe disorders of the fetus and newborn. Disturbance of any of the sequential events of embryonic neurulation produce NTDs, with the phenotype (eg anencephaly, spina bifida) varying depending on the region of neural tube that remains open. While mutation of > 200 genes is known to cause NTDs in mice, the pattern of occurrence in humans suggests a multifactorial polygenic or oligogenic aetiology. This emphasizes the importance of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in the origins of these defects. A number of cell biological functions are essential for neural tube closure, with defects of the cytoskeleton, cell cycle and molecular regulation of cell viability prominent among the mouse NTD mutants. Many transcriptional regulators and proteins that affect chromatin structure are also required for neural tube closure, although the downstream molecular pathways regulated by these proteins is unknown. Some key signalling pathways for NTDs have been identified: over-activation of sonic hedgehog signalling and loss of function in the planar cell polarity (non-canonical Wnt) pathway are potent causes of NTD, with requirements also for retinoid and inositol signalling. Folic acid supplementation is an effective method for primary prevention of a proportion of NTDs in both humans and mice, although the embryonic mechanism of folate action remains unclear. Folic acid-resistant cases can be prevented by inositol supplementation in mice, raising the possibility that this could lead to an additional preventive strategy for human NTDs in future.

  14. Microtubules, polarity and vertebrate neural tube morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cearns, Michael D; Escuin, Sarah; Alexandre, Paula; Greene, Nicholas D E; Copp, Andrew J

    2016-07-01

    Microtubules (MTs) are key cellular components, long known to participate in morphogenetic events that shape the developing embryo. However, the links between the cellular functions of MTs, their effects on cell shape and polarity, and their role in large-scale morphogenesis remain poorly understood. Here, these relationships were examined with respect to two strategies for generating the vertebrate neural tube: bending and closure of the mammalian neural plate; and cavitation of the teleost neural rod. The latter process has been compared with 'secondary' neurulation that generates the caudal spinal cord in mammals. MTs align along the apico-basal axis of the mammalian neuroepithelium early in neural tube closure, participating functionally in interkinetic nuclear migration, which indirectly impacts on cell shape. Whether MTs play other functional roles in mammalian neurulation remains unclear. In the zebrafish, MTs are important for defining the neural rod midline prior to its cavitation, both by localizing apical proteins at the tissue midline and by orienting cell division through a mirror-symmetric MT apparatus that helps to further define the medial localization of apical polarity proteins. Par proteins have been implicated in centrosome positioning in neuroepithelia as well as in the control of polarized morphogenetic movements in the neural rod. Understanding of MT functions during early nervous system development has so far been limited, partly by techniques that fail to distinguish 'cause' from 'effect'. Future developments will likely rely on novel ways to selectively impair MT function in order to investigate the roles they play.

  15. Neural Tube Defects, Folic Acid and Methylation

    PubMed Central

    Imbard, Apolline; Benoist, Jean-François; Blom, Henk J.

    2013-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common complex congenital malformations resulting from failure of the neural tube closure during embryogenesis. It is established that folic acid supplementation decreases the prevalence of NTDs, which has led to national public health policies regarding folic acid. To date, animal studies have not provided sufficient information to establish the metabolic and/or genomic mechanism(s) underlying human folic acid responsiveness in NTDs. However, several lines of evidence suggest that not only folates but also choline, B12 and methylation metabolisms are involved in NTDs. Decreased B12 vitamin and increased total choline or homocysteine in maternal blood have been shown to be associated with increased NTDs risk. Several polymorphisms of genes involved in these pathways have also been implicated in risk of development of NTDs. This raises the question whether supplementation with B12 vitamin, betaine or other methylation donors in addition to folic acid periconceptional supplementation will further reduce NTD risk. The objective of this article is to review the role of methylation metabolism in the onset of neural tube defects. PMID:24048206

  16. Neural tube defects, folic acid and methylation.

    PubMed

    Imbard, Apolline; Benoist, Jean-François; Blom, Henk J

    2013-09-17

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common complex congenital malformations resulting from failure of the neural tube closure during embryogenesis. It is established that folic acid supplementation decreases the prevalence of NTDs, which has led to national public health policies regarding folic acid. To date, animal studies have not provided sufficient information to establish the metabolic and/or genomic mechanism(s) underlying human folic acid responsiveness in NTDs. However, several lines of evidence suggest that not only folates but also choline, B12 and methylation metabolisms are involved in NTDs. Decreased B12 vitamin and increased total choline or homocysteine in maternal blood have been shown to be associated with increased NTDs risk. Several polymorphisms of genes involved in these pathways have also been implicated in risk of development of NTDs. This raises the question whether supplementation with B12 vitamin, betaine or other methylation donors in addition to folic acid periconceptional supplementation will further reduce NTD risk. The objective of this article is to review the role of methylation metabolism in the onset of neural tube defects.

  17. Microtubules, polarity and vertebrate neural tube morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Cearns, Michael D.; Escuin, Sarah; Alexandre, Paula; Greene, Nicholas D. E.; Copp, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Microtubules are key cellular components, long known to participate in morphogenetic events that shape the developing embryo. However, the links between the cellular functions of microtubules, their effects on cell shape and polarity and their role in large-scale morphogenesis remain poorly understood. Here, we examine these relationships with respect to two strategies for generating the vertebrate neural tube: bending and closure of the mammalian neural plate, and cavitation of the teleost neural rod. The latter process has been compared to ‘secondary’ neurulation that generates the caudal spinal cord in mammals. Microtubules align along the apico-basal axis of the mammalian neuroepithelium early in neural tube closure, participating functionally in interkinetic nuclear migration which indirectly impacts on cell shape. Whether microtubules play other functional roles in mammalian neurulation remains unclear. In the zebrafish, microtubules are important for defining the neural rod midline prior to its cavitation, both by localizing apical proteins at the tissue midline and by orienting cell division through a mirror-symmetric microtubule apparatus that helps to further define the medial localization of apical polarity proteins. Par proteins have been implicated in centrosome positioning in neuroepithelia as well as in the control of polarized morphogenetic movements in the neural rod. Understanding of microtubule functions during early nervous system development has so far been limited, partly by techniques that fail to distinguish ‘cause’ from ‘effect’. Future developments will likely rely on novel ways to selectively impair microtubule function in order to investigate the roles they play. PMID:27025884

  18. What Are the Treatments for Neural Tube Defects?

    MedlinePlus

    ... and Publications What are the treatments for neural tube defects? Skip sharing on social media links Share ... surgeon can implant a shunt—a small hollow tube to drain fluid—to relieve pressure on the ...

  19. Mouse models for neural tube closure defects.

    PubMed

    Juriloff, D M; Harris, M J

    2000-04-12

    Neural tube closure defects (NTDs), in particular anencephaly and spina bifida, are common human birth defects (1 in 1000), their genetics is complex and their risk is reduced by periconceptional maternal folic acid supplementation. There are > 60 mouse mutants and strains with NTDs, many reported within the past 2 years. Not only are NTD mutations at loci widely heterogeneous in function, but also most of the mutants demonstrate variable low penetrance and some show complex inheritance patterns (e.g. SELH/Bc, Abl / Arg, Mena / Profilin1 ). In most of these mouse models, the NTDs are exencephaly (equivalent to anencephaly) or spina bifida or both, reflecting failure of neural fold elevation in well defined, mechanistically distinct elevation zones. NTD risk is reduced in various models by different maternal nutrient supplements, including folic acid ( Pax3, Cart1, Cd mutants), inositol ( ct ) and methionine ( Axd ). Lack of de novo methylation in embryos ( Dnmt3b -null) leads to NTD risk, and we suggest a potential link between methylation and the observed female excess among cranial NTDs in several models. Some surprising NTD mutants ( Gadd45a, Terc, Trp53 ) suggest that genes with a basic mitotic function also have a function specific to neural fold elevation. The genes mutated in several mouse NTD models involve actin regulation ( Abl/Arg, Macs, Mena/Profilin1, Mlp, Shrm, Vcl ), support the postulated key role of actin in neural fold elevation, and may be a good candidate pathway to search for human NTD genes.

  20. Genetic, epigenetic, and environmental contributions to neural tube closure.

    PubMed

    Wilde, Jonathan J; Petersen, Juliette R; Niswander, Lee

    2014-01-01

    The formation of the embryonic brain and spinal cord begins as the neural plate bends to form the neural folds, which meet and adhere to close the neural tube. The neural ectoderm and surrounding tissues also coordinate proliferation, differentiation, and patterning. This highly orchestrated process is susceptible to disruption, leading to neural tube defects (NTDs), a common birth defect. Here, we highlight genetic and epigenetic contributions to neural tube closure. We describe an online database we created as a resource for researchers, geneticists, and clinicians. Neural tube closure is sensitive to environmental influences, and we discuss disruptive causes, preventative measures, and possible mechanisms. New technologies will move beyond candidate genes in small cohort studies toward unbiased discoveries in sporadic NTD cases. This will uncover the genetic complexity of NTDs and critical gene-gene interactions. Animal models can reveal the causative nature of genetic variants, the genetic interrelationships, and the mechanisms underlying environmental influences.

  1. Neural tube defects and folate: case far from closed.

    PubMed

    Blom, Henk J; Shaw, Gary M; den Heijer, Martin; Finnell, Richard H

    2006-09-01

    Neural tube closure takes place during early embryogenesis and requires interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Failure of neural tube closure is a common congenital malformation that results in morbidity and mortality. A major clinical achievement has been the use of periconceptional folic acid supplements, which prevents approximately 50-75% of cases of neural tube defects. However, the mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of folic acid is far from clear. Biochemical, genetic and epidemiological observations have led to the development of the methylation hypothesis, which suggests that folic acid prevents neural tube defects by stimulating cellular methylation reactions. Exploring the methylation hypothesis could direct us towards additional strategies to prevent neural tube defects.

  2. Neural tube defects and folate: case far from closed

    PubMed Central

    Blom, Henk J.; Shaw, Gary M.; Heijer, Martin den; Finnell, Richard H.

    2010-01-01

    Neural tube closure takes place during early embryogenesis and requires interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Failure of neural tube closure is a common congenital malformation that results in morbidity and mortality. A major clinical achievement has been the use of periconceptional folic acid supplements, which prevents ~50–75% of cases of neural tube defects. However, the mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of folic acid is far from clear. Biochemical, genetic and epidemiological observations have led to the development of the methylation hypothesis, which suggests that folic acid prevents neural tube defects by stimulating cellular methylation reactions. Exploring the methylation hypothesis could direct us towards additional strategies to prevent neural tube defects. PMID:16924261

  3. Neural tube closure: cellular, molecular and biomechanical mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Nikolopoulou, Evanthia; Galea, Gabriel L; Rolo, Ana; Greene, Nicholas D E; Copp, Andrew J

    2017-02-15

    Neural tube closure has been studied for many decades, across a range of vertebrates, as a paradigm of embryonic morphogenesis. Neurulation is of particular interest in view of the severe congenital malformations - 'neural tube defects' - that result when closure fails. The process of neural tube closure is complex and involves cellular events such as convergent extension, apical constriction and interkinetic nuclear migration, as well as precise molecular control via the non-canonical Wnt/planar cell polarity pathway, Shh/BMP signalling, and the transcription factors Grhl2/3, Pax3, Cdx2 and Zic2. More recently, biomechanical inputs into neural tube morphogenesis have also been identified. Here, we review these cellular, molecular and biomechanical mechanisms involved in neural tube closure, based on studies of various vertebrate species, focusing on the most recent advances in the field.

  4. Neural tube defects, folate, and immune modulation.

    PubMed

    Denny, Kerina J; Jeanes, Angela; Fathe, Kristin; Finnell, Richard H; Taylor, Stephen M; Woodruff, Trent M

    2013-09-01

    Periconceptional supplementation with folic acid has led to a significant worldwide reduction in the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs). However, despite increasing awareness of the benefits of folic acid supplementation and the implementation of food fortification programs in many countries, NTDs continue to be a leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality worldwide. Furthermore, there exists a significant subgroup of women who appear to be resistant to the protective effects of folic acid supplementation. The following review addresses emerging clinical and experimental evidence for a role of the immune system in the etiopathogenesis of NTDs, with the aim of developing novel preventative strategies to further reduce the incidence of NTD-affected pregnancies. In particular, recent studies demonstrating novel roles and interactions between innate immune factors such as the complement cascade, neurulation, and folate metabolism are explored.

  5. Neural tube defects: pathogenesis and folate metabolism.

    PubMed

    Pulikkunnel, Scaria T; Thomas, S V

    2005-02-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are a group of congenital malformations with worldwide distribution and complex aetio-pathogenesis. Animal studies indicate that there may be four sites of initiation of neural tube closure (NTC). Selective involvement of these sites may lead to defects varying from anencephaly to spina bifida. The NTC involves formation of medial and dorsolateral hinge points, convergent extension and a zipper release process. Proliferation and migration of neuroectodermal cells and its morphological changes brought about by microfilaments and other cytoskeletal proteins mediate NTC. Genetic, nutritional and teratogenic mechanisms have been implicated in the pathogenesis of NTDs. Folate is an important component in one carbon metabolism that provides active moieties for synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins. Several gene defects affecting enzymes and proteins involved in transport and metabolism of folate have been associated with NTDs. It may be possible in future, to identify individuals at higher risk of NTDs by genetic studies. Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown that dietary supplementation or food fortification with folic acid would reduce the incidence of NTDs. The protective effect of folic acid may be by overcoming these metabolic blocks through unidentified mechanisms. Genetic and biochemical studies on foetal cells may supplement currently available prenatal tests to diagnose NTDs. Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), particularly valproate and carbamazepine have been shown to increase the risk of NTDs by possibly increasing the oxidative stress and deranging the folate metabolism. Accordingly, it is recommended that all women taking AEDs may use 1-5 mg folic acid daily in the pre conception period and through pregnancy.

  6. Telomere shortening in mTR-/- embryos is associated with failure to close the neural tube.

    PubMed Central

    Herrera, E; Samper, E; Blasco, M A

    1999-01-01

    Mice genetically deficient for the telomerase RNA (mTR) can be propagated for only a limited number of generations. In particular, mTR-/- mice of a mixed C57BL6/129Sv genetic background are infertile at the sixth generation and show serious hematopoietic defects. Here, we show that a percentage of mTR-/- embryos do not develop normally and fail to close the neural tube, preferentially at the forebrain and midbrain. The penetrance of this defect increases with the generation number, with 30% of the mTR-/- embryos from the fifth generation showing the phenotype. Moreover, mTR-/- kindreds in a pure C57BL6 background are only viable up to the fourth generation and also show defects in the closing of the neural tube. Cells derived from mTR-/- embryos that fail to close the neural tube have significantly shorter telomeres and decreased viability than their mTR-/- littermates with a closed neural tube, suggesting that the neural tube defect is a consequence of the loss of telomere function. The fact that the main defect detected in mTR-/- embryos is in the closing of the neural tube, suggests that this developmental process is among the most sensitive to telomere loss and chromosomal instability. PMID:10064584

  7. Spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Northrup, H; Volcik, K A

    2000-01-01

    NTDs, resulting from failure of the neural tube to close during the fourth week of embryogenesis, are the most common severely disabling birth defects in the United States, with a frequency of approximately 1 of every 2000 births. Neural tube malformations involving the spinal cord and vertebral arches are referred to as spina bifida, with severe types of spina bifida involving protrusion of the spinal cord and/or meninges through a defect in the vertebral arch. Depending on the level of the lesion, interruption of the spinal cord at the site of the spina bifida defect causes paralysis of the legs, incontinence of urine and feces, anesthesia of the skin, and abnormalities of the hips, knees, and feet. Two additional abnormalities often seen in children with spina bifida include hydrocephalus and the Arnold-Chiari type II malformation. Despite the physical and particular learning disabilities children with spina bifida must cope with, participation in individualized educational programs can allow these children to develop skills necessary for autonomy in adulthood. Advances in research to uncover the molecular basis of NTDs is enhanced by knowledge of the link between both the environmental and genetic factors involved in the etiology of NTDs. The most recent development in NTD research for disease-causing genes is the discovery of a genetic link to the most well-known environmental cause of neural tube malformation, folate deficiency in pregnant women. Nearly a decade ago, periconceptional folic acid supplementation was proven to decrease both the recurrence and occurrence of NTDs. The study of folate and its association with NTDs is an ongoing endeavor that has led to numerous studies of different genes involved in the folate metabolism pathway, including the most commonly studied thermolabile mutation (C677T) in the MTHFR gene. An additional focus for NTD research involves mouse models that exhibit both naturally occurring NTDs, as well as those created by

  8. Neural tube defects at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana.

    PubMed

    Anyebuno, M; Amofa, G; Peprah, S; Affram, A

    1993-09-01

    This study involved a retrospective analysis of 19094 delivery records of all infants born at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana, between January 1991 to December 1992. During this two year period, the prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) was 1.15/1000 births. Anterior neural tube defects (anencephaly) accounted for 73% and posterior neural tube defects (spina bifida) accounted for 27% of all cases of NTDs. We conclude that NTDs occurs commonly in our subregion. Current available data strongly indicate that periconception folic acid supplementation significantly reduces the prevalence of NTDs. Some of this data is discussed. We strongly recommend preconception folate supplementation in our sub-region.

  9. Folate status and neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Molloy, A M; Mills, J L; Kirke, P N; Weir, D G; Scott, J M

    1999-01-01

    Periconceptional folic acid supplementation prevents approximately 70% of neural tube defects (NTDs). While most women carrying affected fetuses do not have deficient blood folate levels, the risk of having an NTD affected child is inversely correlated with pregnancy red cell folate levels. Current research is focused on the discovery of genetic abnormalities in folate related enzymes which might explain the role of folate in NTD prevention. The first candidate gene to emerge was the C677T variant of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. Normal subjects who are homozygous for the mutation (TT) have red cell folate status some 20% lower than expected. It is now established that the prevalence of the TT genotype is significantly higher among spina bifida cases and their parents. Nevertheless, our studies show that the variant does not account for the reduced blood folate levels in many NTD affected mothers. We conclude that low maternal folate status may in itself be the most important risk factor for NTDs and that food fortification may be the only population strategy of benefit in the effort to eliminate NTDs.

  10. Neural Tube Defects: From a Proteomic Standpoint

    PubMed Central

    Puvirajesinghe, Tania M.; Borg, Jean-Paul

    2015-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are congenital birth defects classified according to their resulting morphological characteristics in newborn patients. Current diagnosis of NTDs relies largely on the structural evaluation of fetuses using ultrasound imaging, with biochemical characterization used as secondary screening tools. The multigene etiology of NTDs has been aided by genetic studies, which have discovered panels of genes mutated in these diseases that encode receptors and cytoplasmic signaling molecules with poorly defined functions. Animal models ranging from flies to mice have been used to determine the function of these genes and identify their associated molecular cascades. More emphasis is now being placed on the identification of biochemical markers from clinical samples and model systems based on mass spectrometry, which open novel avenues in the understanding of NTDs at protein, metabolic and molecular levels. This article reviews how the use of proteomics can push forward the identification of novel biomarkers and molecular networks implicated in NTDs, an indispensable step in the improvement of patient management. PMID:25789708

  11. Aneuploidy among prenatally detected neural tube defects

    SciTech Connect

    Hume, R.F. Jr.; Lampinen, J.; Martin, L.S.; Johnson, M.P.; Evans, M.I.

    1996-01-11

    We have reported previously a 10% aneuploidy detection rate among 39 cases of fetal neural tube defects (NTD). Subsequently we amassed an additional experience of over 17,000 prenatal diagnosis cases over a 5-year period. During this period 106 cases of NTDs were identified; 44 with anencephaly, 62 with open spina bifida. The average maternal age of this population with NTDs was 29 years (15-40); 6 patients declined amniocentesis. Six of 100 cytogenetic studies were aneuploid; on anencephalic fetus had inherited a maternal marker chromosome, and 5 NTD cases had trisomy 18. The average maternal age of the aneuploid cases was 21 (19-40); 3 were 35 years or older. Four of 5 trisomy 18 cases had multiple congenital anomalies (MCA). The overall aneuploidy detection rate in our cohort was 5-6, while aneuploidy occurred in 2% of the isolated NTD cases, and 24% of the MCA cases. Combining the earlier experience, 4/39 aneuploidy (2 trisomy 18, 4p+, del 13q) yields an aneuploidy detection frequency of 10/145 (7%), of which most (7/10) had trisomy 18. These data support fetal karyotyping for accurate diagnosis, prognosis, and recurrence-risk counseling. 5 refs., 2 tabs.

  12. How Do Health Care Providers Diagnose Neural Tube Defects?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Information Clinical Trials Resources and Publications How do health care providers diagnose neural tube defects? Skip sharing on ... AFP, as well as high levels of acetylcholinesterase; health care providers might conduct this test to confirm high ...

  13. Neural tube defects: recent advances, unsolved questions, and controversies.

    PubMed

    Copp, Andrew J; Stanier, Philip; Greene, Nicholas D E

    2013-08-01

    Neural tube defects are severe congenital malformations affecting around one in every 1000 pregnancies. An innovation in clinical management has come from the finding that closure of open spina bifida lesions in utero can diminish neurological dysfunction in children. Primary prevention with folic acid has been enhanced through introduction of mandatory food fortification in some countries, although not yet in the UK. Genetic predisposition accounts for most of the risk of neural tube defects, and genes that regulate folate one-carbon metabolism and planar cell polarity have been strongly implicated. The sequence of human neural tube closure events remains controversial, but studies of mouse models of neural tube defects show that anencephaly, open spina bifida, and craniorachischisis result from failure of primary neurulation, whereas skin-covered spinal dysraphism results from defective secondary neurulation. Other malformations, such as encephalocele, are likely to be postneurulation disorders.

  14. [Folic acid: Primary prevention of neural tube defects. Literature Review].

    PubMed

    Llamas Centeno, M J; Miguélez Lago, C

    2016-03-01

    Neural tube defects (NTD) are the most common congenital malformations of the nervous system, they have a multifactorial etiology, are caused by exposure to chemical, physical or biological toxic agents, factors deficiency, diabetes, obesity, hyperthermia, genetic alterations and unknown causes. Some of these factors are associated with malnutrition by interfering with the folic acid metabolic pathway, the vitamin responsible for neural tube closure. Its deficit produce anomalies that can cause abortions, stillbirths or newborn serious injuries that cause disability, impaired quality of life and require expensive treatments to try to alleviate in some way the alterations produced in the embryo. Folic acid deficiency is considered the ultimate cause of the production of neural tube defects, it is clear the reduction in the incidence of Espina Bifida after administration of folic acid before conception, this leads us to want to further study the action of folic acid and its application in the primary prevention of neural tube defects. More than 40 countries have made the fortification of flour with folate, achieving encouraging data of decrease in the prevalence of neural tube defects. This paper attempts to make a literature review, which clarify the current situation and future of the prevention of neural tube defects.

  15. The green tea polyphenol EGCG alleviates maternal diabetes–induced neural tube defects by inhibiting DNA hypermethylation

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Jianxiang; Xu, Cheng; Albert Reece, E.; Yang, Peixin

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND Maternal diabetes increases the risk of neural tube defects in offspring. Our previous study demonstrated that the green tea polyphenol, Epigallocatechin gallate, inhibits high glucose-induced neural tube defects in cultured embryos. However, the therapeutic effect of Epigallocatechin gallate on maternal diabetes–induced neural tube defects is still unclear. OBJECTIVE We aimed to examine whether Epigallocatechin gallate treatment can reduce maternal diabetes–induced DNA methylation and neural tube defects. STUDY DESIGN Nondiabetic and diabetic pregnant mice at embryonic day 5.5 were given drinking water with or without 1 or 10 μM Epigallocatechin gallate. At embryonic day 8.75, embryos were dissected from the visceral yolk sac for the measurement of the levels and activity of DNA methyltransferases, the levels of global DNA methylation, and methylation in the CpG islands of neural tube closure essential gene promoters. embryonic day 10.5 embryos were examined for neural tube defect incidence. RESULTS Epigallocatechin gallate treatment did not affect embryonic development because embryos from nondiabetic dams treated with Epigallocatechin gallate did not exhibit any neural tube defects. Treatment with 1 μM Epigallocatechin gallate did not reduce maternal diabetes–induced neural tube defects significantly. Embryos from diabetic dams treated with 10 μM Epigallocatechin gallate had a significantly lower neural tube defect incidence compared with that of embryos without Epigallocatechin gallate treatment. Epigallocatechin gallate reduced neural tube defect rates from 29.5% to 2%, an incidence that is comparable with that of embryos from nondiabetic dams. Ten micromoles of Epigallocatechin gallate treatment blocked maternal diabetes–increased DNA methyltransferases 3a and 3b expression and their activities, leading to the suppression of global DNA hypermethylation. Additionally, 10 μM Epigallocatechin gallate abrogated maternal diabetes

  16. Folate receptor alpha is necessary for neural plate cell apical constriction during Xenopus neural tube formation.

    PubMed

    Balashova, Olga A; Visina, Olesya; Borodinsky, Laura N

    2017-03-02

    Folate supplementation prevents up to 70% of neural tube defects (NTDs), which result from a failure of neural tube closure during embryogenesis. The elucidation of the mechanisms underlying folate action has been challenging. This study introduces Xenopus laevis as a model to determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in folate action during neural tube formation. We show that knockdown of folate receptor-α (FRα) impairs neural tube formation and leads to NTDs. FRα knockdown in neural plate cells only is necessary and sufficient to induce NTDs. FRα-deficient neural plate cells fail to constrict, resulting in widening of the neural plate midline and defective neural tube closure. Pharmacological inhibition of folate action by methotrexate during neurulation induces NTDs by inhibiting folate interaction with its uptake systems. Our findings support a model for folate receptor interacting with cell adhesion molecules, thus regulating apical cell membrane remodeling and cytoskeletal dynamics necessary for neural plate folding. Further studies in this organism may unveil novel cellular and molecular events mediated by folate and lead to new means for preventing NTDs.

  17. Neural tube defects in Jamaica following Hurricane Gilbert.

    PubMed

    Duff, E M; Cooper, E S

    1994-03-01

    An increased incidence of obvious live-birth neural tube defects (i.e., spina bifida cystica and encephalocele) occurred in Jamaica 11 to 18 months after Hurricane Gilbert. The conceptions of the affected babies coincided with a rise in megaloblastic change in sickle cell patients, suggesting a wide-spread drop in dietary folate intake. A detailed history was taken from each of the 17 affected mothers (case subjects) and 51 unaffected mothers (matched control subjects). The case subjects reported a significantly lower mean intake of dietary folate in the periconceptional period (154 micrograms/day) than did the control subjects (254 micrograms/day). The temporary increase in neural tube defects was associated with a diet comparatively low in folate in the periconceptional period, suggesting the dietary level of folate that fails to protect against neural tube defects under natural conditions.

  18. Neural tube defects and drinking water disinfection by-products.

    PubMed

    Klotz, J B; Pyrch, L A

    1999-07-01

    We conducted a population-based case control study of neural tube defects and drinking water contaminants, specifically, disinfection by-products. We used public monitoring records concurrent with the first month of gestation to assess exposure. The prevalence odds ratios (PORs) for the highest tertile of total trihalomethanes compared with the lowest was 1.6 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.9-2.70). Surface water source was also associated with neural tube defects (POR = 1.5; 95% CI = 0.9-2.5). Sensitivity analyses restricted to isolated neural tube defect cases and mothers with known residence at conception yielded stronger associations [total trihalomethanes, POR = 2.1 (95% CI = 1.1-4.0); surface water, POR = 1.7 (95% CI = 0.9-3.2)]. Other major groups of disinfection by-products (haloacetic acids and haloacetonitriles) showed little relation to these defects.

  19. Periconceptional Folate Deficiency and Implications in Neural Tube Defects

    PubMed Central

    Safi, J.; Joyeux, L.; Chalouhi, G. E.

    2012-01-01

    Nutritional deficiencies are preventable etiological and epigenetic factors causing congenital abnormalities, first cause of infant mortality. Folate deficiency has a well-established teratogenic effect, leading to an increasing risk of neural tube defects. This paper highlights the most recent medical literature about folate deficiency, be it maternal or paternal. It then focuses on associated deficiencies as nutritional deficiencies are multiple and interrelated. Observational and interventional studies have all been consistent with a 50–70% protective effect of adequate women consumption of folates on neural tube defects. Since strategies to modify women's dietary habits and vitamin use have achieved little progress, scientific as well as political effort is mandatory in order to implement global preventive public health strategies aimed at improving the alimentation of women in reproductive age, especially folic acid supplementation. Even with the recent breakthrough of fetal surgery for myelomeningocele, the emphasis should still be on prevention as the best practice rather than treatment of neural tube defects. PMID:22900183

  20. Identification and characterization of secondary neural tube-derived embryonic neural stem cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Shaker, Mohammed R; Kim, Joo Yeon; Kim, Hyun; Sun, Woong

    2015-05-15

    Secondary neurulation is an embryonic progress that gives rise to the secondary neural tube, the precursor of the lower spinal cord region. The secondary neural tube is derived from aggregated Sox2-expressing neural cells at the dorsal region of the tail bud, which eventually forms rosette or tube-like structures to give rise to neural tissues in the tail bud. We addressed whether the embryonic tail contains neural stem cells (NSCs), namely secondary NSCs (sNSCs), with the potential for self-renewal in vitro. Using in vitro neurosphere assays, neurospheres readily formed at the rosette and neural-tube levels, but less frequently at the tail bud tip level. Furthermore, we identified that sNSC-generated neurospheres were significantly smaller in size compared with cortical neurospheres. Interestingly, various cell cycle analyses revealed that this difference was not due to a reduction in the proliferation rate of NSCs, but rather the neuronal commitment of sNSCs, as sNSC-derived neurospheres contain more committed neuronal progenitor cells, even in the presence of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). These results suggest that the higher tendency for sNSCs to spontaneously differentiate into progenitor cells may explain the limited expansion of the secondary neural tube during embryonic development.

  1. How Many People Are Affected By or Are at Risk for Neural Tube Defects?

    MedlinePlus

    ... are affected by or are at risk for neural tube defects? Skip sharing on social media links Share ... with spina bifida. 1 The other types of neural tube defects are less common. About 340 infants are ...

  2. Neural tube defect repair and ventriculoperitoneal shunting: indications and outcome.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Shandip K; Dhua, Anjan; Mathur, Mohit Kumar; Singh, Sudhir; Modi, Manoj; Ratan, Simmi K

    2012-01-01

    Neural tube defect with its global involvement of nervous system has lot of implications. There is cotroversy in terms of timing of repair, simultaneous or metachronous ventriculoperitoneal shunt and criteria for shunt surgery in neonatal age. We are reporting our approach and results of management of this disease in neonatal period.

  3. Policy statement on folic acid and neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Toriello, Helga V

    2011-06-01

    It now recognized that the use of folate fortification and/or supplementation before initiation of pregnancy can impact the risk of the fetus developing a neural tube defect. This document serves to update the policy statement issued by the American College of Medical Genetics and published in 2005.

  4. Fumonisins, Tortillas and Neural Tube Defects: Untangling a Complex Issue

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisin mycotoxins are found in corn and corn-based foods. Fumonisin B1 (FB1), the most common, disrupts sphingolipid metabolism thereby causing species-specific diseases in animals that include cancer in rodents and (birth) neural tube defects (NTD) in LM/Bc mice. Fumonisins’ affect on human heal...

  5. [Heliogeophysical risk factors of development of neural tube defects].

    PubMed

    Grigor'ev, P E

    2008-01-01

    The data of the monitoring of the birth defects of the neural tube for 1985-2007 years from Crimean Republic Medical Genetic Center has been analyzed. The group of comparison: 127 cases of the neural tube defects The control group: 127 cases of birth of healthy children closest by the time and place of birth (for each case from comparison group). By the method of superposed epochs the weekly values of the heliogeophysical indices (Ap index of geomagnetic activity, Wolf Numbers--index of Solar activity, interplanetary magnetic field polarity) during the gametogenesis and embryo period of prenatal development The statistical significance of the values of heliogeophysical indices in the comparison and control groups was calculated using the statistical Wilcoxon criterion for the independent groups. It was founded that during 12-18 days of embryogenesis embryos with neural tube defects the increased geomagnetic activity is probable, comparing with the control group. Since the forming of the major part of the neural tube defects takes place during 2-3 weeks of embryo growth, the increase of geomagnetic activity during or before this stage may be one of the ecological risk factors for this pathology.

  6. LRP2 mediates folate uptake in the developing neural tube.

    PubMed

    Kur, Esther; Mecklenburg, Nora; Cabrera, Robert M; Willnow, Thomas E; Hammes, Annette

    2014-05-15

    The low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor-related protein 2 (LRP2) is a multifunctional cell-surface receptor expressed in the embryonic neuroepithelium. Loss of LRP2 in the developing murine central nervous system (CNS) causes impaired closure of the rostral neural tube at embryonic stage (E) 9.0. Similar neural tube defects (NTDs) have previously been attributed to impaired folate metabolism in mice. We therefore asked whether LRP2 might be required for the delivery of folate to neuroepithelial cells during neurulation. Uptake assays in whole-embryo cultures showed that LRP2-deficient neuroepithelial cells are unable to mediate the uptake of folate bound to soluble folate receptor 1 (sFOLR1). Consequently, folate concentrations are significantly reduced in Lrp2(-/-) embryos compared with control littermates. Moreover, the folic-acid-dependent gene Alx3 is significantly downregulated in Lrp2 mutants. In conclusion, we show that LRP2 is essential for cellular folate uptake in the developing neural tube, a crucial step for proper neural tube closure.

  7. Classification, clinical features, and genetics of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Salih, Mustafa A; Murshid, Waleed R; Seidahmed, Mohammed Z

    2014-12-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) constitute a major health burden (0.5-2/1000 pregnancies worldwide), and remain a preventable cause of still birth, neonatal, and infant death, or significant lifelong handicaps. The malformations result from failure of the neural folds to fuse in the midline, and form the neural tube between the third and the fourth week of embryonic development. This review article discusses their classification, clinical features, and genetics. Most NTDs are sporadic and both genetic, and non-genetic environmental factors are involved in its etiology. Consanguinity was suggested to contribute to the high incidence of NTDs in several countries, including Saudi Arabia. Syndromes, often associated with chromosomal anomalies, account for <10% of all NTDs; but a higher proportion (20%) has been documented in Saudi Arabia. Genetic predisposition constitutes the major underlying risk factor, with a strong implication of genes that regulate folate one-carbon metabolism and planar cell polarity.

  8. Prevention of Neural Tube Defects. ARC Q&A #101-45.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arc, Arlington, TX.

    This fact sheet uses a question-and-answer format to summarize issues related to the prevention of neural tube defects. Questions and answers address the following topics: what neural tube defects are and the most common types (spina bifida and anencephaly); occurrence of neural tube defects during the first month of pregnancy; the frequency of…

  9. Fate Specification of Neural Plate Border by Canonical Wnt Signaling and Grhl3 is Crucial for Neural Tube Closure.

    PubMed

    Kimura-Yoshida, Chiharu; Mochida, Kyoko; Ellwanger, Kristina; Niehrs, Christof; Matsuo, Isao

    2015-06-01

    During primary neurulation, the separation of a single-layered ectodermal sheet into the surface ectoderm (SE) and neural tube specifies SE and neural ectoderm (NE) cell fates. The mechanisms underlying fate specification in conjunction with neural tube closure are poorly understood. Here, by comparing expression profiles between SE and NE lineages, we observed that uncommitted progenitor cells, expressing stem cell markers, are present in the neural plate border/neural fold prior to neural tube closure. Our results also demonstrated that canonical Wnt and its antagonists, DKK1/KREMEN1, progressively specify these progenitors into SE or NE fates in accord with the progress of neural tube closure. Additionally, SE specification of the neural plate border via canonical Wnt signaling is directed by the grainyhead-like 3 (Grhl3) transcription factor. Thus, we propose that the fate specification of uncommitted progenitors in the neural plate border by canonical Wnt signaling and its downstream effector Grhl3 is crucial for neural tube closure. This study implicates that failure in critical genetic factors controlling fate specification of progenitor cells in the neural plate border/neural fold coordinated with neural tube closure may be potential causes of human neural tube defects.

  10. Inositol, neural tube closure and the prevention of neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Kit‐Yi; Copp, Andrew J.

    2017-01-01

    Susceptibility to neural tube defects (NTDs), such as anencephaly and spina bifida is influenced by genetic and environmental factors including maternal nutrition. Maternal periconceptional supplementation with folic acid significantly reduces the risk of an NTD‐affected pregnancy, but does not prevent all NTDs, and “folic acid non‐responsive” NTDs continue to occur. Similarly, among mouse models of NTDs, some are responsive to folic acid but others are not. Among nutritional factors, inositol deficiency causes cranial NTDs in mice while supplemental inositol prevents spinal and cranial NTDs in the curly tail (Grhl3 hypomorph) mouse, rodent models of hyperglycemia or induced diabetes, and in a folate‐deficiency induced NTD model. NTDs also occur in mice lacking expression of certain inositol kinases. Inositol‐containing phospholipids (phosphoinositides) and soluble inositol phosphates mediate a range of functions, including intracellular signaling, interaction with cytoskeletal proteins, and regulation of membrane identity in trafficking and cell division. Myo‐inositol has been trialed in humans for a range of conditions and appears safe for use in human pregnancy. In pilot studies in Italy and the United Kingdom, women took inositol together with folic acid preconceptionally, after one or more previous NTD‐affected pregnancies. In nonrandomized cohorts and a randomized double‐blind study in the United Kingdom, no recurrent NTDs were observed among 52 pregnancies reported to date. Larger‐scale fully powered trials are needed to determine whether supplementation with inositol and folic acid would more effectively prevent NTDs than folic acid alone. Birth Defects Research 109:68–80, 2017. © 2016 The Authors Birth Defects Research Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27324558

  11. Artificial neural networks: theoretical background and pharmaceutical applications: a review.

    PubMed

    Wesolowski, Marek; Suchacz, Bogdan

    2012-01-01

    In recent times, there has been a growing interest in artificial neural networks, which are a rough simulation of the information processing ability of the human brain, as modern and vastly sophisticated computational techniques. This interest has also been reflected in the pharmaceutical sciences. This paper presents a review of articles on the subject of the application of neural networks as effective tools assisting the solution of various problems in science and the pharmaceutical industry, especially those characterized by multivariate and nonlinear dependencies. After a short description of theoretical background and practical basics concerning the computations performed by means of neural networks, the most important pharmaceutical applications of neural networks, with suitable references, are demonstrated. The huge role played by neural networks in pharmaceutical analysis, pharmaceutical technology, and searching for the relationships between the chemical structure and the properties of newly synthesized compounds as candidates for drugs is discussed.

  12. Cats, frogs, and snakes: early concepts of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Obladen, Michael

    2011-11-01

    Disturbed neurulation fascinated scientists of all times. In Egypt, anencephalic infants were venerated as animal-headed gods. Roman law required them to be killed. The medieval world held the mother responsible, either because of assumed imagination or "miswatching," or because of suspected intercourse with animals or devils. Modern embryology and teratology began with the use of the microscope by Malpighi in 1672. Details of neural tube closure were described by Koelliker in 1861 and by His in 1874. From 1822, genetic disease and familial recurrence due to insufficient nutrition were discerned and lower social class identified as a risk factor. It took a century to define the malnutrition as insufficient folate intake. The mandatory supplementation of folate in staple foods successfully reduced the incidence of neural tube defects in the United States, Australia, Canada, and Chile, but it was not adopted by most European countries.

  13. Etiology, pathogenesis and prevention of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Padmanabhan, Rengasamy

    2006-06-01

    Spina bifida, anencephaly, and encephalocele are commonly grouped together and termed neural tube defects (NTD). Failure of closure of the neural tube during development results in anencephaly or spina bifida aperta but encephaloceles are possibly post-closure defects. NTD are associated with a number of other central nervous system (CNS) and non-neural malformations. Racial, geographic and seasonal variations seem to affect their incidence. Etiology of NTD is unknown. Most of the non-syndromic NTD are of multifactorial origin. Recent in vitro and in vivo studies have highlighted the molecular mechanisms of neurulation in vertebrates but the morphologic development of human neural tube is poorly understood. A multisite closure theory, extrapolated directly from mouse experiments highlighted the clinical relevance of closure mechanisms to human NTD. Animal models, such as circle tail, curly tail, loop tail, shrm and numerous knockouts provide some insight into the mechanisms of NTD. Also available in the literature are a plethora of chemically induced preclosure and a few post-closure models of NTD, which highlight the fact that CNS malformations are of hetergeneitic nature. No Mendelian pattern of inheritance has been reported. Association with single gene defects, enhanced recurrence risk among siblings, and a higher frequency in twins than in singletons indicate the presence of a strong genetic contribution to the etiology of NTD. Non-availability of families with a significant number of NTD cases makes research into genetic causation of NTD difficult. Case reports and epidemiologic studies have implicated a number of chemicals, widely differing therapeutic drugs, environmental contaminants, pollutants, infectious agents, and solvents. Maternal hyperthermia, use of valproate by epileptic women during pregnancy, deficiency and excess of certain nutrients and chronic maternal diseases (e.g. diabetes mellitus) are reported to cause a manifold increase in the

  14. Epidemiology of the neural tube defects in Kashmir Valley

    PubMed Central

    Laharwal, Masood Ahmed; Sarmast, Arif Hussain; Ramzan, Altaf Umer; Wani, Abrar Ahad; Malik, Nayil Khursheed; Arif, Sajad Hussain; Rizvi, Masooma

    2016-01-01

    Introduction/Background: Neural tube defects (NTD) are the most common congenital malformations affecting the brain and spinal cord and have a multifactorial etiology. Genetic and environmental factors have been found to cause these defects, both individually and in combination. Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the incidence, types, demographics, risk factors, and other associated anomalies relevant to NTDs in Kashmir Valley. Materials and Methods: A 2-year hospital-based prospective study was carried out from November 2013 to October 2015. A detailed history of the mother was taken along with detailed clinical examination of neonate including measurement of head circumference and checking the status of fontanella, whether - lax/full/bulging/or tense, type of NTD. Investigations that were done included were X-ray skull: Anteroposterior (AP) and lateral, X-ray spine: AP and lateral, ultrasonography abdomen, magnetic resonance imaging: Spine and brain. Results: The total number of babies with NTD's was 125 with an overall incidence of 0.503. District Kupwara was having the highest incidence (1.047) and district Srinagar the lowest incidence of NTD's (0.197). The majority of NTD's (116 cases, 92.8%) were found in the rural areas. Among the different types of NTD's, spina bifida had an incidence of 0.342 (85 cases, 68%), and anencephaly had an incidence of 0.113 (28 cases, 22.4%). There was a slight preponderance of females over males with NTD's. There were70 females (56%) and 55 males (44%) respectively with a male:female ratio of 0.8:1. Conclusions: The incidence rates of NTDs are very high for Kashmir Valley. Geographical distribution of NTDs at this place confirms a relationship between the socioeconomic status, educational status, maternal age and environmental factors for the development of an NTD. The results of this study point to the importance establishing a health policy to prevent NTDs in Kashmir Valley. PMID:27857789

  15. Epidemiology of the neural tube defects in Kashmir Valley

    PubMed Central

    Laharwal, Masood Ahmed; Sarmast, Arif Hussain; Ramzan, Altaf Umer; Wani, Abrar Ahad; Malik, Nayil Khursheed; Arif, Sajad Hussain; Rizvi, Masooma

    2016-01-01

    Background: Neural tube defects (NTDs) are the most common congenital malformations affecting the brain and spinal cord and have a multifactorial etiology. Genetic and environmental factors have been found to cause these defects, both individually and in combination. Methods: A 2-year hospital-based prospective study was carried out from November 2013 to October 2015 to determine the incidence, types, demographics, risk factors, and other associated anamolies relevant to NTDs in Kashmir Valley. A detailed history of the mother was taken along with detailed clinical examination of neonate including measurement of head circumference and checking the status of fontanella, whether lax/full/bulging/or tense, type of NTD. Investigations that were done included were X-ray skull: Anterior-posterior (AP) and lateral, X-ray spine: AP and lateral, ultrasonography abdomen, magnetic resonance imaging: Spine and brain. Results: The total number of babies with NTD's was 125 with an overall incidence of 0.503. Kupwara district was having the highest incidence (1.047) and Srinagar district the lowest incidence of NTD's (0.197). Majority of NTD's (116 cases, 92.8%) were found in the rural areas. Among the different types of NTD's, spina bifida had an incidence of 0.342 (85 cases, 68%) and anencephaly had an incidence of 0.113 (28 cases, 22.4%). There was a slight preponderance of females over males with NTD's. There were 70 females (56%) and 55 males (44%), respectively, with a male: female ratio of 0.8:1 Conclusions: The incidence rates of NTDs is very high for Kashmir Valley. Geographical distribution of NTDs at this place confirms a relationship between the socioeconomic status, educational status, maternal too young or advanced age, and environmental factors for the development of a NTD. The results of this study point to the importance establishing a health policy to prevent NTD in Kashmir Valley. PMID:27127700

  16. Neural-tube defects in a prehistoric south-western Indian population.

    PubMed

    Devor, E J; Cordell, L S

    1981-01-01

    Concern with the frequency and patterning of the occurrence of midline neural-tube defects among contemporary human populations is widespread. These defects are, however, quite old and occur in unusually high numbers of prehistoric skeletons. A common explanation offered for such high incidence has been inbreeding among small, reproductively isolated populations. In a sample of 54 skeletons from the prehistoric south-western Indian site of Tijeras Pueblo in New Mexico, failure of neural-tube closure occurs in 10% of sacra recovered. While a more homogeneous genetic background and inbreeding may account for a portion of this elevated prevalence, the cause appears to lie with cultural-environmental factors. It is suggested that the aetiology of these conditions has become more complex in recent human history.

  17. Antenatal Diagnosis of a Rare Neural Tube Defect: Sincipital Encephalocele.

    PubMed

    Kehila, Mehdi; Ghades, Sana; Abouda, Hassine Saber; Masmoudi, Aida; Chanoufi, Mohamed Badis

    2015-01-01

    Context. Fetal sincipital encephalocele is one of the most serious congenital neural tube defects with a high risk of mortality and neonatal morbidity. Prenatal diagnosis of this malformation is important in fetal medicine. Case Report. We report a case of prenatal diagnosis of sincipital encephalocele using ultrasound and MRI imaging. The diagnosis was done at 25 weeks of gestation by identifying an anterior cephalic protrusion through a defect in the skull. Conclusion. Through this case, we discuss the differential diagnosis, management, and prognosis of such lesions.

  18. Folic acid, methylation and neural tube closure in humans.

    PubMed

    Blom, Henk J

    2009-04-01

    This review provides a brief description of folate use and folic acid metabolism in relation to neural tube defect (NTD) risk. First, a meta-analysis of reduction in NTD recurrence and occurrence risk with periconceptional folic acid supplementation is presented. Second, an overview of the complex folate metabolism is given. Third, SNPs for genes involved in folate and homocysteine metabolism that have been studied in relation to NTD riskare discussed. Fourth, the questions whether folate receptor autoantibodies or hampered methylation are mechanisms underlying NTDs are briefly discussed.

  19. Neural tube defects between folate metabolism and genetics

    PubMed Central

    Alfarra, Helmi Y.; Alfarra, Sabreen R.; Sadiq, Mai F.

    2011-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are the second most common severely disabling human congenital defects. Worldwide, NTDs incidence is approximately one per 1000 live births and varies between 0.78 and 12 per 1000 births in general populations. NTDs causation involves multiple genes, nutritional and environmental factors. Research in the next stage should include bigger populations and bigger studies that would be suitable to detect significant links and conclusions with relatively minor risk factors; analysis of multiple candidate genes to detect potential gene-gene interactions; detailed analysis of patient samples stratified by phenotype. PMID:22345982

  20. Recent studies on neural tube defects in embryos of diabetic pregnancy: an overview.

    PubMed

    Dheen, S Thameem; Tay, Samuel S W; Boran, Jiang; Ting, Loh Wan; Kumar, S Dinesh; Fu, Jiang; Ling, Eng-Ang

    2009-01-01

    Maternal diabetes develops in 2-6% of total pregnancies, depending on geographical and ethnic background. About 10% of fetuses from diabetic pregnancy display congenital malformations in various organ systems including cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, genitourinary and neurological systems, among which the neural tube defects (NTDs) such as anencephaly, holoprosencephaly and syntelencephaly were more frequently demonstrated. Recent studies by the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Research Group show that tight glycemic control early in pregnancy decreases the progression of a number of diabetic complications. However, it appears that the pre-existing tissue damage cannot be reversed even after normoglycemic levels are achieved during pregnancy. In recent years, considerable efforts have been made to investigate the etiology of birth defects among infants of diabetic mothers. It has been shown that diabetes-induced fetal abnormalities are accompanied by some metabolic disturbances including elevated superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, reduced levels of myoinositol and arachidonic acid and inhibition of the pentose phosphate shunt pathway. Moreover, the frequency of fetal malformations in diabetic pregnancy has been reported to be markedly reduced by dietary supplements of antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C and butylated hy- droxytoluene, suggesting that oxidative stress is involved in the etiology of fetal dysmorphogenesis. Furthermore, several experimental studies have shown that NTDs in embryos of diabetic mice are associated with altered expression of genes, which control development of the neural tube. In this review, recent findings of possible molecular mechanisms which cause morphological changes during neural tube development in embryos of diabetic pregnancy are discussed.

  1. Stretching cell morphogenesis during late neurulation and mild neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Korzh, Vladimir

    2014-08-01

    Neurulation is defined as a process of neural tube closure. Recent reports suggested that upon completion of this process the major factors of neurulation remain in force at least until the central canal of the neural tube is formed. Hence, an idea has been put forward to define the two periods of neurulation: early neurulation corresponds to the period of neural tube closure and late neurulation corresponds to the period of formation of the central canal. These ideas are discussed in a context of neural tube defects that may affect late neurulation and result in distention of the central canal.

  2. Dynamic behaviors of the non-neural ectoderm during mammalian cranial neural tube closure.

    PubMed

    Ray, Heather J; Niswander, Lee A

    2016-08-15

    The embryonic brain and spinal cord initially form through the process of neural tube closure (NTC). NTC is thought to be highly similar between rodents and humans, and studies of mouse genetic mutants have greatly increased our understanding of the molecular basis of NTC with relevance for human neural tube defects. In addition, studies using amphibian and chick embryos have shed light into the cellular and tissue dynamics underlying NTC. However, the dynamics of mammalian NTC has been difficult to study due to in utero development until recently when advances in mouse embryo ex vivo culture techniques along with confocal microscopy have allowed for imaging of mouse NTC in real time. Here, we have performed live imaging of mouse embryos with a particular focus on the non-neural ectoderm (NNE). Previous studies in multiple model systems have found that the NNE is important for proper NTC, but little is known about the behavior of these cells during mammalian NTC. Here we utilized a NNE-specific genetic labeling system to assess NNE dynamics during murine NTC and identified different NNE cell behaviors as the cranial region undergoes NTC. These results bring valuable new insight into regional differences in cellular behavior during NTC that may be driven by different molecular regulators and which may underlie the various positional disruptions of NTC observed in humans with neural tube defects.

  3. Air Pollution, Neighbourhood Socioeconomic Factors and Neural Tube Defects in the San Joaquin Valley of California

    PubMed Central

    Padula, Amy M.; Yang, Wei; Carmichael, Suzan L.; Tager, Ira B.; Lurmann, Frederick; Hammond, S. Katharine; Shaw, Gary M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Environmental pollutants and neighbourhood socioeconomic factors have been associated with neural tube defects, but the potential impact of interaction between ambient air pollution and neighbourhood socioeconomic factors on the risks of neural tube defects is not well understood. Methods We used data from the California Center of the National Birth Defects Study and the Children’s Health and Air Pollution Study to investigate whether associations between air pollutant exposure in early gestation and neural tube defects were modified by neighbourhood socioeconomic factors in the San Joaquin Valley of California, 1997–2006. Five pollutant exposures, three outcomes and 9 neighbourhood socioeconomic factors were included for a total of 135 investigated associations. Estimates were adjusted for maternal race-ethnicity, education and multivitamin use. Results We present below odds ratios that exclude 1 and a chi-square test of homogeneity p-value of <0.05. We observed increased odds of spina bifida comparing the highest to lowest quartile of particulate matter <10 micrometres (PM10) among those living in a neighbourhood with: a) median household income of less than $30,000 per year (OR 5.1, 95% CI 1.7, 15.3); b) more than 20% living below the federal poverty level (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1, 6.0); and c) more than 30% with less than or equal to a high school education (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.4, 7.4). The ORs were not statistically significant among those higher SES neighbourhoods. Conclusions Our results demonstrate effect modification by neighbourhood socioeconomic factors in the association of particulate matter and neural tube defects in California. PMID:26443985

  4. Human neural tube defects: genetic causes and prevention.

    PubMed

    De Marco, Patrizia; Merello, Elisa; Cama, Armando; Kibar, Zoha; Capra, Valeria

    2011-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are severe congenital malformations affecting 1-2 in 1,000 live births, whose etiology is multifactorial, involving environmental and genetic factors. NTDs arise as consequence of the failure of fusion of the neural tube early during embryogenesis. NTDs' pathogenesis has been linked to genes involved in folate metabolism, consistent with an epidemiologic evidence that 70% of NTDs can be prevented by maternal periconceptional supplementation. However, polymorphisms in such genes are not linked in all populations, suggesting that other genetic factors and environmental factors could be involved. Animal models have provided crucial mechanistic information and possible candidate genes to explain susceptibility to NTDs. A crucial role has been assigned to the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, a highly conserved, non-canonical Wnt-frizzled-dishevelled signaling cascade that plays a key role in establishing and maintaining polarity in the plane of the epithelium and in the process of convergent extension during gastrulation and neurulation in vertebrates. The Loop-tail (Lp) mouse that develops craniorachischisis carry missense mutations in the PCP core gene Vangl2, that is the mammalian homolog of the Drosophila Strabismus/Van gogh (Stbm/Vang). The presence of mutations in human VANGL1 and VANGL2 genes encourages us to extend the investigation to other PCP genes that, with VANGL, play an essential role in neurulation during development.

  5. Professor John Scott, folate and neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Hoffbrand, A Victor

    2014-02-01

    John Scott (1940-2013) was born in Dublin where he was to spend the rest of his career, both as an undergraduate and subsequently Professor of Biochemistry and Nutrition at Trinity College. His research with the talented group of scientists and clinicians that he led has had a substantial impact on our understanding of folate metabolism, mechanisms of its catabolism and deficiency. His research established the leading theory of folate involvement with vitamin B12 in the pathogenesis of vitamin B12 neuropathy. He helped to establish the normal daily intake of folate and the increased requirements needed either in food or as a supplement before and during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects. He also suggested a dietary supplement of vitamin B12 before and during pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. It would be an appropriate epitaph if fortification of food with folic acid became mandatory in the UK and Ireland, as it is in over 70 other countries.

  6. Associated anomalies with neural tube defects in fetal autopsies.

    PubMed

    Toru, Havva Serap; Sanhal, Cem Yasar; Uzun, Özlem Ceren; Ocak, Guzide Ayse; Mendilcioğlu, İnanç; Karaveli, Fatma Şeyda

    2016-03-01

    Neural tube defects (NTD), the consequences of aberrant neural tube closure during embryogenesis, have been mostly investigated in terms of their high prevalence, rate of mortalities and serious morbidities. A proper prenatal outcome counseling of couples coming across a fetal anomaly necessitates the detection and categorization of the primer abnormality, all the co-existing malformations. The aim of this work is to study the incidence and relevance of associated malformations in order to offer a complete pathology report with a true diagnosis. In this study, among 542 fetal autopsy 62 (%11.4) cases with NTD was recorded by the Akdeniz University Pathology Department between January 2006 and June 2012. Twenty (32.4%) NTD cases were associated with anomaly. Twelve cases of associated groups consisted of a congenital syndrome/association, spondylothoracic dysplasia, amniotic band syndrome, Meckel-Gruber syndrome, schisis association. The frequency of associated NTD was 32%, this result was higher than previous reports. NTDs have a significant genetic component to their etiology that interacts with environmental risk factors, which might pose Turkey to be a country with high prevalence of NTD. We want to emphasize that intensive screening, documentation of co-existent abnormalities of NTD, should be conducted in order to exhibit certain diagnosis, to perform proper prenatal genetic counseling of parents for on-going/future pregnancies.

  7. Slit/Robo1 signaling regulates neural tube development by balancing neuroepithelial cell proliferation and differentiation

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Guang; Li, Yan; Wang, Xiao-yu; Han, Zhe; Chuai, Manli; Wang, Li-jing; Ho Lee, Kenneth Ka; Geng, Jian-guo; Yang, Xuesong

    2013-05-01

    Formation of the neural tube is the morphological hallmark for development of the embryonic central nervous system (CNS). Therefore, neural tube development is a crucial step in the neurulation process. Slit/Robo signaling was initially identified as a chemo-repellent that regulated axon growth cone elongation, but its role in controlling neural tube development is currently unknown. To address this issue, we investigated Slit/Robo1 signaling in the development of chick neCollege of Life Sciences Biocentre, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, UKural tube and transgenic mice over-expressing Slit2. We disrupted Slit/Robo1 signaling by injecting R5 monoclonal antibodies into HH10 neural tubes to block the Robo1 receptor. This inhibited the normal development of the ventral body curvature and caused the spinal cord to curl up into a S-shape. Next, Slit/Robo1 signaling on one half-side of the chick embryo neural tube was disturbed by electroporation in ovo. We found that the morphology of the neural tube was dramatically abnormal after we interfered with Slit/Robo1 signaling. Furthermore, we established that silencing Robo1 inhibited cell proliferation while over-expressing Robo1 enhanced cell proliferation. We also investigated the effects of altering Slit/Robo1 expression on Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) and Pax7 expression in the developing neural tube. We demonstrated that over-expressing Robo1 down-regulated Shh expression in the ventral neural tube and resulted in the production of fewer HNK-1{sup +} migrating neural crest cells (NCCs). In addition, Robo1 over-expression enhanced Pax7 expression in the dorsal neural tube and increased the number of Slug{sup +} pre-migratory NCCs. Conversely, silencing Robo1 expression resulted in an enhanced Shh expression and more HNK-1{sup +} migrating NCCs but reduced Pax7 expression and fewer Slug{sup +} pre-migratory NCCs were observed. In conclusion, we propose that Slit/Robo1 signaling is involved in regulating neural tube

  8. Background rejection in NEXT using deep neural networks

    DOE PAGES

    Renner, J.; Farbin, A.; Vidal, J. Muñoz; ...

    2017-01-16

    Here, we investigate the potential of using deep learning techniques to reject background events in searches for neutrinoless double beta decay with high pressure xenon time projection chambers capable of detailed track reconstruction. The differences in the topological signatures of background and signal events can be learned by deep neural networks via training over many thousands of events. These networks can then be used to classify further events as signal or background, providing an additional background rejection factor at an acceptable loss of efficiency. The networks trained in this study performed better than previous methods developed based on the usemore » of the same topological signatures by a factor of 1.2 to 1.6, and there is potential for further improvement.« less

  9. Background rejection in NEXT using deep neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renner, J.; Farbin, A.; Muñoz Vidal, J.; Benlloch-Rodríguez, J. M.; Botas, A.; Ferrario, P.; Gómez-Cadenas, J. J.; Álvarez, V.; Azevedo, C. D. R.; Borges, F. I. G.; Cárcel, S.; Carrión, J. V.; Cebrián, S.; Cervera, A.; Conde, C. A. N.; Díaz, J.; Diesburg, M.; Esteve, R.; Fernandes, L. M. P.; Ferreira, A. L.; Freitas, E. D. C.; Goldschmidt, A.; González-Díaz, D.; Gutiérrez, R. M.; Hauptman, J.; Henriques, C. A. O.; Hernando Morata, J. A.; Herrero, V.; Jones, B.; Labarga, L.; Laing, A.; Lebrun, P.; Liubarsky, I.; López-March, N.; Lorca, D.; Losada, M.; Martín-Albo, J.; Martínez-Lema, G.; Martínez, A.; Monrabal, F.; Monteiro, C. M. B.; Mora, F. J.; Moutinho, L. M.; Nebot-Guinot, M.; Novella, P.; Nygren, D.; Palmeiro, B.; Para, A.; Pérez, J.; Querol, M.; Ripoll, L.; Rodríguez, J.; Santos, F. P.; dos Santos, J. M. F.; Serra, L.; Shuman, D.; Simón, A.; Sofka, C.; Sorel, M.; Toledo, J. F.; Torrent, J.; Tsamalaidze, Z.; Veloso, J. F. C. A.; White, J.; Webb, R.; Yahlali, N.; Yepes-Ramírez, H.

    2017-01-01

    We investigate the potential of using deep learning techniques to reject background events in searches for neutrinoless double beta decay with high pressure xenon time projection chambers capable of detailed track reconstruction. The differences in the topological signatures of background and signal events can be learned by deep neural networks via training over many thousands of events. These networks can then be used to classify further events as signal or background, providing an additional background rejection factor at an acceptable loss of efficiency. The networks trained in this study performed better than previous methods developed based on the use of the same topological signatures by a factor of 1.2 to 1.6, and there is potential for further improvement.

  10. Coordinating cell and tissue behavior during zebrafish neural tube morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Araya, Claudio; Ward, Laura C; Girdler, Gemma C; Miranda, Miguel

    2016-03-01

    The development of a vertebrate neural epithelium with well-organized apico-basal polarity and a central lumen is essential for its proper function. However, how this polarity is established during embryonic development and the potential influence of surrounding signals and tissues on such organization has remained less understood. In recent years the combined superior transparency and genetics of the zebrafish embryo has allowed for in vivo visualization and quantification of the cellular and molecular dynamics that govern neural tube structure. Here, we discuss recent studies revealing how co-ordinated cell-cell interactions coupled with adjacent tissue dynamics are critical to regulate final neural tissue architecture. Furthermore, new findings show how the spatial regulation and timing of orientated cell division is key in defining precise lumen formation at the tissue midline. In addition, we compare zebrafish neurulation with that of amniotes and amphibians in an attempt to understand the conserved cellular mechanisms driving neurulation and resolve the apparent differences among animals. Zebrafish neurulation not only offers fundamental insights into early vertebrate brain development but also the opportunity to explore in vivo cell and tissue dynamics during complex three-dimensional animal morphogenesis.

  11. A practical clinical classification of spinal neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    McComb, J Gordon

    2015-10-01

    Current commonly used terminology to describe neural tube defects (NTD) is inconsistent, overlapping, contradictory and, at times, inaccurate making it difficult to convey the nature of the malformation and what needs to be done to optimally treat patients with these congenital abnormalities.NTD can be broadly divided into those that are open with exposed neural tissue and leaking cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and those that are closed with no exposed neural tissue nor loss of CSF. It appears that the loss of CSF during development is the underlying factor that leads to the entire central nervous system involvement with an open NTD and lack thereof with a closed NTD, wherein only the spinal cord is malformed. There are, however, rare transitional cases that bridge the gap between the two forms.Agreeing on a nomenclature that is used in a standard fashion would be of help in addressing this group of congenital anomalies that have a great deal of variability and, at times, can be quite complex.

  12. Nutri-epigenomic Studies Related to Neural Tube Defects: Does Folate Affect Neural Tube Closure Via Changes in DNA Methylation?

    PubMed

    Rochtus, Anne; Jansen, Katrien; Van Geet, Chris; Freson, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs), affecting 1-2 per 1000 pregnancies, are severe congenital malformations that arise from the failure of neurulation during early embryonic development. The methylation hypothesis suggests that folate prevents NTDs by stimulating cellular methylation reactions. Folate is central to the one-carbon metabolism that produces pyrimidines and purines for DNA synthesis and for the generation of the methyldonor S-adenosyl-methionine. This review focuses on the relation between the folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism, DNA methylation and NTDs. Studies will be discussed that investigated global or locus-specific DNA methylation differences in patients with NTDs. Folate deficiency may increase NTD risk by decreasing DNA methylation, but to date, human studies vary widely in study design in terms of analyzing different clinical subtypes of NTDs, using different methylation quantification assays and using DNA isolated from diverse types of tissues. Some studies have focused mainly on global DNA methylation differences while others have quantified specific methylation differences for imprinted genes, transposable elements and DNA repair enzymes. Findings of global DNA hypomethylation and LINE-1 hypomethylation suggest that epigenetic alterations may disrupt neural tube closure. However, current research does not support a linear relation between red blood cell folate concentration and DNA methylation. Further studies are required to better understand the interaction between folate, DNA methylation changes and NTDs.

  13. Changes in the osmolarity of the embryonic microenvironment induce neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yi-Mei; Wang, Guang; Zhang, Nuan; Wei, Yi-Fan; Li, Shuai; Chen, You-Peng; Chuai, Manli; Lee, Henry Siu Sum; Hocher, Berthold; Yang, Xuesong

    2015-05-01

    Many maternal disorders that modify the embryonic microenvironment, such as a change in osmolarity, can affect development, but how these changes influence the early embryo remains obscure. Neural tube defects, for example, are common congenital disorders found in fetus and neonates. In this study, we investigated the impact of anisotonic osmolarity (unequal osmotic pressures) on neural tube development in the early chick embryo, finding that neuronal cell differentiation was impaired in the neural tube due to enhanced apoptosis and repressed cell proliferation. Anisotonic osmolarity also affected normal development of the neural crest, which in turn influenced abnormal development of the neural tube. As neural tube development is highly dependent on the proper expression of bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4), paired box 7 (PAX7), and sonic hedgehog (SHH) genes in the dorsal and ventral regions along the tube, we investigated the impact of anisotonic osmolarity on their expression. Indeed, small changes in osmolarity could positively and negatively impact the expression of these regulatory genes, which profoundly affected neural tube development. Thus, both the central and peripheral nervous systems were perturbed by anisotonic consitions as a consequence of the abnormal expression of key genes within the developing neural tube.

  14. Epidemiology, prenatal management, and prevention of neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Salih, Mustafa A.; Murshid, Waleed R.; Seidahmed, Mohammed Z.

    2014-01-01

    This review article discusses the epidemiology, risk factors, prenatal screening, diagnosis, prevention potentials, and epidemiologic impact of neural tube defects (NTDs). The average incidence of NTDs is 1/1000 births, with a marked geographic variation. In the developed countries, the incidence of NTDs has fallen over recent decades. However, it still remains high in the less-developed countries in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Far East (>1 to 11/1000 births). Recognized NTDs risks include maternal diabetes, obesity, lower socioeconomic status, hyperthermia, and exposure to certain teratogens during the periconceptional period. Periconceptional folic acid supplementation decreased the prevalence of NTDs by 50-70%, and an obligatory folic acid fortification of food was adopted in several countries to reach women with unplanned pregnancies and those facing social deprivation. Prevention of NTDs can be accelerated if more, especially low income countries, adopted fortification of the staple food in their communities. PMID:25551106

  15. Neural tube morphogenesis in synthetic 3D microenvironments

    PubMed Central

    Ranga, Adrian; Girgin, Mehmet; Meinhardt, Andrea; Eberle, Dominic; Caiazzo, Massimiliano; Tanaka, Elly M.; Lutolf, Matthias P.

    2016-01-01

    Three-dimensional organoid constructs serve as increasingly widespread in vitro models for development and disease modeling. Current approaches to recreate morphogenetic processes in vitro rely on poorly controllable and ill-defined matrices, thereby largely overlooking the contribution of biochemical and biophysical extracellular matrix (ECM) factors in promoting multicellular growth and reorganization. Here, we show how defined synthetic matrices can be used to explore the role of the ECM in the development of complex 3D neuroepithelial cysts that recapitulate key steps in early neurogenesis. We demonstrate how key ECM parameters are involved in specifying cytoskeleton-mediated symmetry-breaking events that ultimately lead to neural tube-like patterning along the dorsal–ventral (DV) axis. Such synthetic materials serve as valuable tools for studying the discrete action of extrinsic factors in organogenesis, and allow for the discovery of relationships between cytoskeletal mechanobiology and morphogenesis. PMID:27742791

  16. Birth order and neural tube defects: a reappraisal.

    PubMed

    Vieira, Alexandre R

    2004-01-15

    There is evidence that late birth order is associated with some complex disorders. For neural tube defects (NTDs) there is no consensus as to whether first or increased birth order is associated or not. A meta-analysis of published data on NTDs was carried out to ascertain whether there is an increased risk for children first born or of high birth order to have NTDs. All data available with information regarding the frequency of live births and NTDs cases by birth order (1, 2, 3, and 4 or more) were included in the analysis. Effect sizes calculations were performed. Children with higher birth order are more likely to have spina bifida but not anencephaly. This same effect was also seen for all NTDs combined, which probably reflects the association with spina bifida. These results suggest the compilation of anencephaly and spina bifida data can be the explanation for the controversies seen in the literature.

  17. Ovulation induction and risk of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Werler, M M; Louik, C; Shapiro, S; Mitchell, A A

    1994-08-13

    The relation between use of ovulation-inducing drugs and risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) was studied in a case-control surveillance programme. The frequency of any use of such drugs during the 6 months before the last menstrual period or during pregnancy was 3.0% for 1034 mothers of infants and fetuses with NTDs (cases) and 2.8% for 4081 mothers of those with other major congenital malformations (controls) (relative risk 1.1, 95% CI 0.8-1.7). Relative risks for clomiphene and for hormones were 0.8 (0.5-1.3) and 1.5 (0.7-3.4), respectively. These data suggest that use of ovulation-inducing drugs before conception does not increase the risk of NTDs.

  18. Maternal herpes labialis in pregnancy and neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Nørgård, Bente; Nørgaard, Mette; Czeizel, Andrew E; Puhó, Erzsébet; Sørensen, Henrik T

    2006-08-01

    According to previous case reports, some congenital abnormalities (CAs) of the brain, such as microcephaly, are a result of intrauterine herpes simplex virus infection. A population-based case-control study was conducted to determine the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) after maternal herpes labialis infection during pregnancy. Data were taken from the Hungarian Case-Control Surveillance of Congenital Abnormalities from 1980 to 1996, which included 1202 children with NTDs and 21641 comparison children with CAs other than NTDs. The adjusted relative risks (odds ratio [OR]) for NTDs associated with maternal herpes labialis in the first trimester of pregnancy was OR 1.19 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.68-2.06), and in the entire pregnancy was OR 0.94 (95% CI 0.61-1.44). Self-reported maternal herpes labialis during pregnancy was not associated with a substantially increased risk of NTDs in infants.

  19. The Relationship of Aluminium and Silver to Neural Tube Defects; a Case Control

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez-Altamirano, María de Jesús; Fenton-Navarro, Patricia; Sivet-Chiñas, Elvira; Harp-Iturribarria, Flor de María; Martínez-Cruz, Ruth; Cruz, Pedro Hernández; Cruz, Margarito Martínez; Pérez-Campos, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    Objective The purpose of this study was to identify the relationship of neurotoxic inorganic elements in the hair of patients with the diagnosis of Neural Tube Defects. Our initial hypothesis was that neurotoxic inorganic elements were associated with Neural Tube Defects. Methods Twenty-three samples of hair from newborns were obtained from the General Hospital, “Aurelio Valdivieso” in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico. The study group included 8 newborn infants with neural tube pathology. The control group was composed of 15 newborns without this pathology. The presence of inorganic elements in the hair samples was determined by inductively-coupled plasma spectroscopy (spectroscopic emission of the plasma). Findings The population of newborns with Neural Tube Defects showed significantly higher values of the following elements than the control group: Aluminium, Neural Tube Defects 152.77±51.06 µg/g, control group 76.24±27.89 µg/g; Silver, Neural Tube Defects 1.45±0.76, control group 0.25±0.53 µg/g; Potassium, Neural Tube Defects 553.87±77.91 µg/g, control group 341.13±205.90 µg/g. Association was found at 75 percentile between aluminium plus silver, aluminium plus potassium, silver plus potassium, and potassium plus sodium. Conclusion In the hair of newborns with Neural Tube Defects, the following metals were increased: aluminium, silver. Given the neurotoxicity of the same, and association of Neural Tube Defects with aluminum and silver, one may infer that they may be participating as factors in the development of Neural Tube Defects. PMID:23400307

  20. Understanding the causes and prevention of neural tube defects: Insights from the splotch mouse model.

    PubMed

    Greene, Nicholas D E; Massa, Valentina; Copp, Andrew J

    2009-04-01

    Splotch mutant mice develop neural tube defects (NTDs), comprising exencephaly and/or spina bifida, as well as neural crest-related defects and abnormalities of limb musculature. Defects in splotch mice result from mutations in Pax3, and some human NTDs may also result from mutations in the human PAX3 gene. Pax3 encodes a transcription factor whose function may influence expression of multiple downstream genes associated with a variety of cellular properties (including apoptosis, adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation), that could be important for neural tube closure. The frequency of NTDs varies between mutant alleles and is also influenced by genetic background and environmental factors. Notably, splotch provides a model for folic acid-preventable NTDs, and conversely, dietary folate deficiency exacerbates NTDs. Understanding the molecular and cellular basis of splotch NTDs, as well as the mechanisms by which the frequency of defects is influenced by genetic and environmental factors (such as sub-optimal folate status), may provide insight into the causation of these severe congenital malformations in humans.

  1. Nucleotide precursors prevent folic acid-resistant neural tube defects in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Leung, Kit-Yi; De Castro, Sandra C P; Savery, Dawn; Copp, Andrew J; Greene, Nicholas D E

    2013-09-01

    Closure of the neural tube during embryogenesis is a crucial step in development of the central nervous system. Failure of this process results in neural tube defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly, which are among the most common birth defects worldwide. Maternal use of folic acid supplements reduces risk of neural tube defects but a proportion of cases are not preventable. Folic acid is thought to act through folate one-carbon metabolism, which transfers one-carbon units for methylation reactions and nucleotide biosynthesis. Hence suboptimal performance of the intervening reactions could limit the efficacy of folic acid. We hypothesized that direct supplementation with nucleotides, downstream of folate metabolism, has the potential to support neural tube closure. Therefore, in a mouse model that exhibits folic acid-resistant neural tube defects, we tested the effect of specific combinations of pyrimidine and purine nucleotide precursors and observed a significant protective effect. Labelling in whole embryo culture showed that nucleotides are taken up by the neurulating embryo and incorporated into genomic DNA. Furthermore, the mitotic index was elevated in neural folds and hindgut of treated embryos, consistent with a proposed mechanism of neural tube defect prevention through stimulation of cellular proliferation. These findings may provide an impetus for future investigations of supplemental nucleotides as a means to prevent a greater proportion of human neural tube defects than can be achieved by folic acid alone.

  2. Isolation and culture of neural crest cells from embryonic murine neural tube.

    PubMed

    Pfaltzgraff, Elise R; Mundell, Nathan A; Labosky, Patricia A

    2012-06-02

    The embryonic neural crest (NC) is a multipotent progenitor population that originates at the dorsal aspect of the neural tube, undergoes an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and migrates throughout the embryo, giving rise to diverse cell types. NC also has the unique ability to influence the differentiation and maturation of target organs. When explanted in vitro, NC progenitors undergo self-renewal, migrate and differentiate into a variety of tissue types including neurons, glia, smooth muscle cells, cartilage and bone. NC multipotency was first described from explants of the avian neural tube. In vitro isolation of NC cells facilitates the study of NC dynamics including proliferation, migration, and multipotency. Further work in the avian and rat systems demonstrated that explanted NC cells retain their NC potential when transplanted back into the embryo. Because these inherent cellular properties are preserved in explanted NC progenitors, the neural tube explant assay provides an attractive option for studying the NC in vitro. To attain a better understanding of the mammalian NC, many methods have been employed to isolate NC populations. NC-derived progenitors can be cultured from post-migratory locations in both the embryo and adult to study the dynamics of post-migratory NC progenitors, however isolation of NC progenitors as they emigrate from the neural tube provides optimal preservation of NC cell potential and migratory properties. Some protocols employ fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) to isolate a NC population enriched for particular progenitors. However, when starting with early stage embryos, cell numbers adequate for analyses are difficult to obtain with FACS, complicating the isolation of early NC populations from individual embryos. Here, we describe an approach that does not rely on FACS and results in an approximately 96% pure NC population based on a Wnt1-Cre activated lineage reporter. The method presented here is adapted from

  3. G-protein-coupled receptor signaling and neural tube closure defects.

    PubMed

    Shimada, Issei S; Mukhopadhyay, Saikat

    2017-01-30

    Disruption of the normal mechanisms that mediate neural tube closure can result in neural tube defects (NTDs) with devastating consequences in affected patients. With the advent of next-generation sequencing, we are increasingly detecting mutations in multiple genes in NTD cases. However, our ability to determine which of these genes contribute to the malformation is limited by our understanding of the pathways controlling neural tube closure. G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) comprise the largest family of transmembrane receptors in humans and have been historically favored as drug targets. Recent studies implicate several GPCRs and downstream signaling pathways in neural tube development and closure. In this review, we will discuss our current understanding of GPCR signaling pathways in pathogenesis of NTDs. Notable examples include the orphan primary cilia-localized GPCR, Gpr161 that regulates the basal suppression machinery of sonic hedgehog pathway by means of activation of cAMP-protein kinase A signaling in the neural tube, and protease-activated receptors that are activated by a local network of membrane-tethered proteases during neural tube closure involving the surface ectoderm. Understanding the role of these GPCR-regulated pathways in neural tube development and closure is essential toward identification of underlying genetic causes to prevent NTDs. Birth Defects Research 109:129-139, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Mechanical roles of apical constriction, cell elongation, and cell migration during neural tube formation in Xenopus.

    PubMed

    Inoue, Yasuhiro; Suzuki, Makoto; Watanabe, Tadashi; Yasue, Naoko; Tateo, Itsuki; Adachi, Taiji; Ueno, Naoto

    2016-12-01

    Neural tube closure is an important and necessary process during the development of the central nervous system. The formation of the neural tube structure from a flat sheet of neural epithelium requires several cell morphogenetic events and tissue dynamics to account for the mechanics of tissue deformation. Cell elongation changes cuboidal cells into columnar cells, and apical constriction then causes them to adopt apically narrow, wedge-like shapes. In addition, the neural plate in Xenopus is stratified, and the non-neural cells in the deep layer (deep cells) pull the overlying superficial cells, eventually bringing the two layers of cells to the midline. Thus, neural tube closure appears to be a complex event in which these three physical events are considered to play key mechanical roles. To test whether these three physical events are mechanically sufficient to drive neural tube formation, we employed a three-dimensional vertex model and used it to simulate the process of neural tube closure. The results suggest that apical constriction cued the bending of the neural plate by pursing the circumference of the apical surface of the neural cells. Neural cell elongation in concert with apical constriction further narrowed the apical surface of the cells and drove the rapid folding of the neural plate, but was insufficient for complete neural tube closure. Migration of the deep cells provided the additional tissue deformation necessary for closure. To validate the model, apical constriction and cell elongation were inhibited in Xenopus laevis embryos. The resulting cell and tissue shapes resembled the corresponding simulation results.

  5. Endocytic recycling protein EHD1 regulates primary cilia morphogenesis and SHH signaling during neural tube development.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Sohinee; Rainey, Mark A; Arya, Priyanka; Dutta, Samikshan; George, Manju; Storck, Matthew D; McComb, Rodney D; Muirhead, David; Todd, Gordon L; Gould, Karen; Datta, Kaustubh; Gelineau-van Waes, Janee; Band, Vimla; Band, Hamid

    2016-02-17

    Members of the four-member C-terminal EPS15-Homology Domain-containing (EHD) protein family play crucial roles in endocytic recycling of cell surface receptors from endosomes to the plasma membrane. In this study, we show that Ehd1 gene knockout in mice on a predominantly B6 background is embryonic lethal. Ehd1-null embryos die at mid-gestation with a failure to complete key developmental processes including neural tube closure, axial turning and patterning of the neural tube. We found that Ehd1-null embryos display short and stubby cilia on the developing neuroepithelium at embryonic day 9.5 (E9.5). Loss of EHD1 also deregulates the ciliary SHH signaling with Ehd1-null embryos displaying features indicative of increased SHH signaling, including a significant downregulation in the formation of the GLI3 repressor and increase in the ventral neuronal markers specified by SHH. Using Ehd1-null MEFS we found that EHD1 protein co-localizes with the SHH receptor Smoothened in the primary cilia upon ligand stimulation. Under the same conditions, EHD1 was shown to co-traffic with Smoothened into the developing primary cilia and we identify EHD1 as a direct binding partner of Smoothened. Overall, our studies identify the endocytic recycling regulator EHD1 as a novel regulator of the primary cilium-associated trafficking of Smoothened and Hedgehog signaling.

  6. Endocytic recycling protein EHD1 regulates primary cilia morphogenesis and SHH signaling during neural tube development

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Sohinee; Rainey, Mark A; Arya, Priyanka; Dutta, Samikshan; George, Manju; Storck, Matthew D.; McComb, Rodney D.; Muirhead, David; Todd, Gordon L.; Gould, Karen; Datta, Kaustubh; Waes, Janee Gelineau-van; Band, Vimla; Band, Hamid

    2016-01-01

    Members of the four-member C-terminal EPS15-Homology Domain-containing (EHD) protein family play crucial roles in endocytic recycling of cell surface receptors from endosomes to the plasma membrane. In this study, we show that Ehd1 gene knockout in mice on a predominantly B6 background is embryonic lethal. Ehd1-null embryos die at mid-gestation with a failure to complete key developmental processes including neural tube closure, axial turning and patterning of the neural tube. We found that Ehd1-null embryos display short and stubby cilia on the developing neuroepithelium at embryonic day 9.5 (E9.5). Loss of EHD1 also deregulates the ciliary SHH signaling with Ehd1-null embryos displaying features indicative of increased SHH signaling, including a significant downregulation in the formation of the GLI3 repressor and increase in the ventral neuronal markers specified by SHH. Using Ehd1-null MEFS we found that EHD1 protein co-localizes with the SHH receptor Smoothened in the primary cilia upon ligand stimulation. Under the same conditions, EHD1 was shown to co-traffic with Smoothened into the developing primary cilia and we identify EHD1 as a direct binding partner of Smoothened. Overall, our studies identify the endocytic recycling regulator EHD1 as a novel regulator of the primary cilium-associated trafficking of Smoothened and Hedgehog signaling. PMID:26884322

  7. Genetic, chromosomal, and syndromic causes of neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Seidahmed, Mohammed Z.; Abdelbasit, Omer B.; Shaheed, Meeralebbae M.; Alhussein, Khalid A.; Miqdad, Abeer M.; Samadi, Abdulmohsen S.; Khalil, Mohammed I.; Al-Mardawi, Elham; Salih, Mustafa A.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To ascertain the incidence, and describe the various forms of neural tube defects (NTDs) due to genetic, chromosomal, and syndromic causes. Methods: We carried out a retrospective analysis of data retrieved from the medical records of newborn infants admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with NTDs and their mothers spanning 14 years (1996-2009) at the Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The cases were ascertained by a perinatologist, neonatologist, geneticist, radiologist, and neurologist. The literature was reviewed via a MEDLINE search. Only liveborn babies were included. Permission from the Educational Committee at the Security Forces Hospital was obtained prior to the collection of data. Results: Out of 103 infants with NTDs admitted during this period, 20 (19.4%) were found to have an underlying genetic syndromic, chromosomal and/or other anomalies. There were 5 cases of Meckel-Gruber syndrome, 2 Joubert syndrome, one Waardenburg syndrome, one Walker-Warburg syndrome, 2 chromosomal disorders, 2 caudal regression, one amniotic band disruption sequence, one associated with omphalocele, one with diaphragmatic hernia, and 4 with multiple congenital anomalies. Conclusions: There is a high rate of underlying genetic syndromic and/or chromosomal causes of NTDs in the Saudi Arabian population due to the high consanguinity rate. Identification of such association can lead to more accurate provisions of genetic counseling to the family including preimplantation genetic diagnosis or early termination of pregnancies associated with lethal conditions. PMID:25551112

  8. Neural Tube Defects In Mice Exposed To Tap Water

    PubMed Central

    Mallela, Murali K; Werre, Stephen R; Hrubec, Terry C

    2010-01-01

    In May of 2006 we suddenly began to observe neural tube defects (NTDs) in embryos of untreated control mice. We hypothesized the mice were being exposed unknowingly to a teratogenic agent and investigated the cause. Our results suggested that NTDs were not resulting from bedding material, feed, strain or source of the mice. Additionally, mice were negative for routine and comprehensive screens of pathogens. To further test whether the NTDs resulted from infectious or genetic cause localized to our facility, we obtained three strains of timed pregnant mice from commercial suppliers located in 4 different states. All strains and sources of mice arrived in our laboratory with NTDs, implying that commercially available mice were possibly exposed to a teratogen prior to purchase. Our investigation eventually concluded that exposure to tap water was causing the NTDs. The incidence of NTDs was greatest in purchased mice provided tap water and lowest in purchased mice provided distilled deionized water (DDI). Providing mice DDI water for two generations (F2-DDI) eliminated the NTDs. When F2-DDI mice were provided tap water from three different urban areas prior to breeding, their offspring again developed NTDs. Increased length of exposure to tap water significantly increased the incidence of NTDs. These results indicate that a contaminant in municipal tap water is likely causing NTDs in mice. The unknown teratogen appears to have a wide geographic distribution but has not yet been identified. Water analysis is currently underway to identify candidate contaminants that might be responsible for the malformations. PMID:20549630

  9. Abnormal folate metabolism in foetuses affected by neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Dunlevy, Louisa P E; Chitty, Lyn S; Burren, Katie A; Doudney, Kit; Stojilkovic-Mikic, Taita; Stanier, Philip; Scott, Rosemary; Copp, Andrew J; Greene, Nicholas D E

    2007-04-01

    Folic acid supplementation can prevent many cases of neural tube defects (NTDs), whereas suboptimal maternal folate status is a risk factor, suggesting that folate metabolism is a key determinant of susceptibility to NTDs. Despite extensive genetic analysis of folate cycle enzymes, and quantification of metabolites in maternal blood, neither the protective mechanism nor the relationship between maternal folate status and susceptibility are understood in most cases. In order to investigate potential abnormalities in folate metabolism in the embryo itself, we derived primary fibroblastic cell lines from foetuses affected by NTDs and subjected them to the dU suppression test, a sensitive metabolic test of folate metabolism. Significantly, a subset of NTD cases exhibited low scores in this test, indicative of abnormalities in folate cycling that may be causally linked to the defect. Susceptibility to NTDs may be increased by suppression of the methylation cycle, which is interlinked with the folate cycle. However, reduced efficacy in the dU suppression test was not associated with altered abundance of the methylation cycle intermediates, s-adenosylmethionine and s-adenosylhomocysteine, suggesting that a methylation cycle defect is unlikely to be responsible for the observed abnormality of folate metabolism. Genotyping of samples for known polymorphisms in genes encoding folate-associated enzymes did not reveal any correlation between specific genotypes and the observed abnormalities in folate metabolism. These data suggest that as yet unrecognized genetic variants result in embryonic abnormalities of folate cycling that may be causally related to NTDs.

  10. Chromosomal abnormalities in fetuses with ultrasonographically detected neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Kanit, Hakan; Özkan, Azra Arici; Öner, Soner Recai; Ispahi, Ciğdem; Endrikat, Jan Siegfried; Ertan, Kubilay

    2011-10-01

    We analyzed the karyotype of fetuses with ultrasonographically detected neural tube defects (NTDs). In our study, we included a total of 194 fetuses with NTDs. We analyzed the type of NTD, the karyotype, maternal age, fetal gestational age at diagnosis, and fetal sex. Of the 194 fetuses with NTDs, 87 were anencephalic and 107 had other, nonanencephalic, NTDs. A total of 12 fetuses were shown to have chromosomal abnormalities. Three of 87 anencephalic fetuses (3.45%) had chromosomal abnormalities. The sex ratio for anencephalic fetuses was 65.5% : 34.5% for female and male fetuses. Nine of 107 fetuses with other NTDs (8.41%) had chromosomal abnormalities. Seven fetuses had isolated NTDs and a further seven fetuses had additional ultrasonographic anomalies. Two of the latter had abnormal karyotypes. The sex ratio of all other NTD cases was 67.3% : 32.7% for female and male fetuses. The high number of chromosomal abnormalities justifies prenatal karyotyping in all fetuses with ultrasonographically diagnosed NTDs.

  11. Folate receptor gene variants and neural tube defect occurrence

    SciTech Connect

    Finnell, R.; Greer, K.; Lammer, E.

    1994-09-01

    Recent epidemiological evidence shows that periconceptional use of folic acid supplements may prevent 40-50% of neural tube defects (NTDs). The FDA has subsequently recommended folic acid supplementation of all women of childbearing potential, even though the mechanism by which folic acid prevents NTDs is unknown. We investigated genetic variation of a candidate gene, the 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MeTHF) receptor, that may mediate this preventive effect. The receptor concentrates folate within cells and we have localized its mRNA to neuroepithelial cells during neurulation. Our hypothesis is that dysfunctional 5-MeTHF receptors inadequately concentrate folate intracellularly, predisposing infants to NTDs. We have completed SSCP analysis on 3 of the 4 coding exons of the 5-MeTHF receptor gene of 474 infants participating in a large population-based epidemiological case-control study of NTDs in California; genotyping of another 500 infants is ongoing. Genomic DNA was extracted from residual blood spots from newborn screening samples of cases and controls. Genotyping was done blinded to case status. Polymorphisms have been detected for exons 4 and 5; fourteen percent of the infants have exon 5 polymorphisms. Data will be presented on the prevalence of 5-MeTHF receptor polymorphisms among cases and controls. Relationships among the polymorphisms and NTD occurrence may shed light on how folic acid supplementation prevents NTDs.

  12. Insights into metabolic mechanisms underlying folate-responsive neural tube defects: a minireview.

    PubMed

    Beaudin, Anna E; Stover, Patrick J

    2009-04-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs), including anencephaly and spina bifida, arise from the failure of neurulation during early embryonic development. Neural tube defects are common birth defects with a heterogenous and multifactorial etiology with interacting genetic and environmental risk factors. Although the mechanisms resulting in failure of neural tube closure are unknown, up to 70% of NTDs can be prevented by maternal folic acid supplementation. However, the metabolic mechanisms underlying the association between folic acid and NTD pathogenesis have not been identified. This review summarizes our current understanding of the mechanisms by which impairments in folate metabolism might ultimately lead to failure of neural tube closure, with an emphasis on untangling the relative contributions of nutritional deficiency and genetic risk factors to NTD pathogenesis.

  13. Slit/Robo1 signaling regulates neural tube development by balancing neuroepithelial cell proliferation and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guang; Li, Yan; Wang, Xiao-yu; Han, Zhe; Chuai, Manli; Wang, Li-jing; Ho Lee, Kenneth Ka; Geng, Jian-guo; Yang, Xuesong

    2013-05-01

    Formation of the neural tube is the morphological hallmark for development of the embryonic central nervous system (CNS). Therefore, neural tube development is a crucial step in the neurulation process. Slit/Robo signaling was initially identified as a chemo-repellent that regulated axon growth cone elongation, but its role in controlling neural tube development is currently unknown. To address this issue, we investigated Slit/Robo1 signaling in the development of chick neCollege of Life Sciences Biocentre, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, UKural tube and transgenic mice over-expressing Slit2. We disrupted Slit/Robo1 signaling by injecting R5 monoclonal antibodies into HH10 neural tubes to block the Robo1 receptor. This inhibited the normal development of the ventral body curvature and caused the spinal cord to curl up into a S-shape. Next, Slit/Robo1 signaling on one half-side of the chick embryo neural tube was disturbed by electroporation in ovo. We found that the morphology of the neural tube was dramatically abnormal after we interfered with Slit/Robo1 signaling. Furthermore, we established that silencing Robo1 inhibited cell proliferation while over-expressing Robo1 enhanced cell proliferation. We also investigated the effects of altering Slit/Robo1 expression on Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) and Pax7 expression in the developing neural tube. We demonstrated that over-expressing Robo1 down-regulated Shh expression in the ventral neural tube and resulted in the production of fewer HNK-1(+) migrating neural crest cells (NCCs). In addition, Robo1 over-expression enhanced Pax7 expression in the dorsal neural tube and increased the number of Slug(+) pre-migratory NCCs. Conversely, silencing Robo1 expression resulted in an enhanced Shh expression and more HNK-1(+) migrating NCCs but reduced Pax7 expression and fewer Slug(+) pre-migratory NCCs were observed. In conclusion, we propose that Slit/Robo1 signaling is involved in regulating neural tube development by tightly

  14. Identifying Regulators of Morphogenesis Common to Vertebrate Neural Tube Closure and Caenorhabditis elegans Gastrulation

    PubMed Central

    Sullivan-Brown, Jessica L.; Tandon, Panna; Bird, Kim E.; Dickinson, Daniel J.; Tintori, Sophia C.; Heppert, Jennifer K.; Meserve, Joy H.; Trogden, Kathryn P.; Orlowski, Sara K.; Conlon, Frank L.; Goldstein, Bob

    2016-01-01

    Neural tube defects including spina bifida are common and severe congenital disorders. In mice, mutations in more than 200 genes can result in neural tube defects. We hypothesized that this large gene set might include genes whose homologs contribute to morphogenesis in diverse animals. To test this hypothesis, we screened a set of Caenorhabditis elegans homologs for roles in gastrulation, a topologically similar process to vertebrate neural tube closure. Both C. elegans gastrulation and vertebrate neural tube closure involve the internalization of surface cells, requiring tissue-specific gene regulation, actomyosin-driven apical constriction, and establishment and maintenance of adhesions between specific cells. Our screen identified several neural tube defect gene homologs that are required for gastrulation in C. elegans, including the transcription factor sptf-3. Disruption of sptf-3 in C. elegans reduced the expression of early endodermally expressed genes as well as genes expressed in other early cell lineages, establishing sptf-3 as a key contributor to multiple well-studied C. elegans cell fate specification pathways. We also identified members of the actin regulatory WAVE complex (wve-1, gex-2, gex-3, abi-1, and nuo-3a). Disruption of WAVE complex members reduced the narrowing of endodermal cells’ apical surfaces. Although WAVE complex members are expressed broadly in C. elegans, we found that expression of a vertebrate WAVE complex member, nckap1, is enriched in the developing neural tube of Xenopus. We show that nckap1 contributes to neural tube closure in Xenopus. This work identifies in vivo roles for homologs of mammalian neural tube defect genes in two manipulable genetic model systems. PMID:26434722

  15. Identifying Regulators of Morphogenesis Common to Vertebrate Neural Tube Closure and Caenorhabditis elegans Gastrulation.

    PubMed

    Sullivan-Brown, Jessica L; Tandon, Panna; Bird, Kim E; Dickinson, Daniel J; Tintori, Sophia C; Heppert, Jennifer K; Meserve, Joy H; Trogden, Kathryn P; Orlowski, Sara K; Conlon, Frank L; Goldstein, Bob

    2016-01-01

    Neural tube defects including spina bifida are common and severe congenital disorders. In mice, mutations in more than 200 genes can result in neural tube defects. We hypothesized that this large gene set might include genes whose homologs contribute to morphogenesis in diverse animals. To test this hypothesis, we screened a set of Caenorhabditis elegans homologs for roles in gastrulation, a topologically similar process to vertebrate neural tube closure. Both C. elegans gastrulation and vertebrate neural tube closure involve the internalization of surface cells, requiring tissue-specific gene regulation, actomyosin-driven apical constriction, and establishment and maintenance of adhesions between specific cells. Our screen identified several neural tube defect gene homologs that are required for gastrulation in C. elegans, including the transcription factor sptf-3. Disruption of sptf-3 in C. elegans reduced the expression of early endodermally expressed genes as well as genes expressed in other early cell lineages, establishing sptf-3 as a key contributor to multiple well-studied C. elegans cell fate specification pathways. We also identified members of the actin regulatory WAVE complex (wve-1, gex-2, gex-3, abi-1, and nuo-3a). Disruption of WAVE complex members reduced the narrowing of endodermal cells' apical surfaces. Although WAVE complex members are expressed broadly in C. elegans, we found that expression of a vertebrate WAVE complex member, nckap1, is enriched in the developing neural tube of Xenopus. We show that nckap1 contributes to neural tube closure in Xenopus. This work identifies in vivo roles for homologs of mammalian neural tube defect genes in two manipulable genetic model systems.

  16. Reconstitution of a Patterned Neural Tube from Single Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Ishihara, Keisuke; Ranga, Adrian; Lutolf, Matthias P; Tanaka, Elly M; Meinhardt, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    The recapitulation of tissue development and patterning in three-dimensional (3D) culture is an important dimension of stem cell research. Here, we describe a 3D culture protocol in which single mouse ES cells embedded in Matrigel under neural induction conditions clonally form a lumen containing, oval-shaped epithelial structure within 3 days. By Day 7 an apicobasally polarized neuroepithelium with uniformly dorsal cell identity forms. Treatment with retinoic acid at Day 2 results in posteriorization and self-organization of dorsal-ventral neural tube patterning. Neural tube organoid growth is also supported by pure laminin gels as well as poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based artificial extracellular matrix hydrogels, which can be fine-tuned for key microenvironment characteristics. The rapid generation of a simple, patterned tissue in well-defined culture conditions makes the neural tube organoid a tractable model for studying neural stem cell self-organization.

  17. Alx3-deficient mice exhibit folic acid-resistant craniofacial midline and neural tube closure defects.

    PubMed

    Lakhwani, Sita; García-Sanz, Patricia; Vallejo, Mario

    2010-08-15

    Neural tube closure defects are among the most frequent congenital malformations in humans. Supplemental maternal intake of folic acid before and during pregnancy reduces their incidence significantly, but the mechanism underlying this preventive effect is unknown. As a number of genes that cause neural tube closure defects encode transcriptional regulators in mice, one possibility is that folic acid could induce the expression of transcription factors to compensate for the primary genetic defect. We report that folic acid is required in mouse embryos for the specific expression of the homeodomain gene Alx3 in the head mesenchyme, an important tissue for cranial neural tube closure. Alx3-deficient mice exhibit increased failure of cranial neural tube closure and increased cell death in the craniofacial region, two effects that are also observed in wild type embryos developing in the absence of folic acid. Folic acid cannot prevent these defects in Alx3-deficient embryos, indicating that one mechanism of folic acid action is through induced expression of Alx3. Thus, Alx3 emerges as a candidate gene for human neural tube defects and reveals the existence of induced transcription factor gene expression as a previously unknown mechanism by which folic acid prevents neural tube closure defects.

  18. Genetic analysis of disheveled 2 and disheveled 3 in human neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    De Marco, Patrizia; Merello, Elisa; Consales, Alessandro; Piatelli, Gianluca; Cama, Armando; Kibar, Zoha; Capra, Valeria

    2013-03-01

    Neural tube defects are severe malformations affecting 1/1,000 live births. The planar cell polarity pathway controls the neural tube closure and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects both in animal models and human cohorts. In mouse disruption of Dvl2 alone (Dvl2 (-/-)) or Dvl2 and Dvl3 (Dvl2 (-/-); Dvl3 (+/-), Dvl2 (+/-); Dvl3 (-/-)) results in incomplete neurulation, suggesting a role for Disheveled in neural tube closure. Disheveled is a multifunctional protein that is involved in both the canonical Wnt signaling and the noncanonical planar cell polarity pathway. In this study, we analyzed the role of the human orthologs DVL2 and DVL3 in a cohort of 473 patients with neural tube defects. Rare variants were genotyped in 639 ethnically matched controls. We identified seven rare missense mutations that were absent in all controls analyzed. Two of these mutations, p.Tyr667Cys and p.Ala53Val, identified in DVL2 were predicted to be detrimental in silico. Significantly, a 1-bp insertion (c.1801_1802insG) in exon 15 of DVL2 predicted to lead to the truncation of the protein was identified in a patient with a complex form of caudal agenesis. In summary, we demonstrate a possible role for rare variants in DVL2 gene as risk factors for neural tube defects.

  19. RFX7 is required for the formation of cilia in the neural tube.

    PubMed

    Manojlovic, Zarko; Earwood, Ryan; Kato, Akiko; Stefanovic, Branko; Kato, Yoichi

    2014-05-01

    Regulatory Factor X (RFX) transcription factors are important for development and are likely involved in the pathogenesis of serious human diseases including ciliopathies. While seven RFX genes have been identified in vertebrates and several RFX transcription factors have been reported to be regulators of ciliogenesis, the role of RFX7 in development including ciliogenesis is not known. Here we show that RFX7 in Xenopus laevis is expressed in the neural tube, eye, otic vesicles, and somites. Knockdown of RFX7 in Xenopus embryos resulted in a defect of ciliogenesis in the neural tube and failure of neural tube closure. RFX7 controlled the formation of cilia by regulating the expression of RFX4 gene, which has been reported to be required for ciliogenesis in the neural tube. Moreover, ectopic expression of Foxj1, which is a master regulator of motile cilia formation, suppressed the expression of RFX4 but not RFX7. Taken together, RFX7 plays an important role in the process of neural tube closure at the top of the molecular cascade which controls ciliogenesis in the neural tube.

  20. Localization and distribution of superoxide dismutase-1 in the neural tube morphogenesis of chick embryo.

    PubMed

    Dhage, Prajakta A; Kamble, Lekha K; Bhargava, Shobha Y

    2017-02-01

    Superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD- 1) is an antioxidant enzyme that regulates the levels of Reactive oxygen species (ROS) by catalyzing the conversion of superoxide radical into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and oxygen. ROS are known to play a significant role in various cellular processes, via redox modification of a variety of molecules that participate in signaling pathways involved in this processes. As the levels of ROS in cells are controlled by the levels of antioxidant enzymes, thus SOD-1 may be indirectly involved in regulating different cellular processes by maintaining the required levels of H2O2. Therefore, in the present study we have investigated the possible involvement of SOD- 1 in the neurulation during the development of chick embryo. During gastrulation, SOD- 1 immunoreactivity was observed throughout the ectoderm and cauda mesoderm areas, however, its presence during neurulation was restricted to certain areas of neural tube particularly in the dorsal neural tube where neural tube closure takes place. Assaying enzyme activity revealed a significant increase in the SOD activity during neurulation. Further, inhibition of SOD- 1 by Diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC) induced abnormalities in the development of the neural tube. SOD- 1 inhibition specifically affected the closure of neural tube in the anterior region. Thus, here we report the presence of SOD- 1 mainly in the ectoderm and tissues of ectodermal origin during gastrulation to neurulation which suggests that it may be involved in the regulating the cellular processes during neural tube morphogenesis.

  1. ACAM, a novel member of the neural IgCAM family, mediates anterior neural tube closure in a primitive chordate.

    PubMed

    Morales Diaz, Heidi; Mejares, Emil; Newman-Smith, Erin; Smith, William C

    2016-01-01

    The neural IgCAM family of cell adhesion molecules, which includes NCAM and related molecules, has evolved via gene duplication and alternative splicing to allow for a wide range of isoforms with distinct functions and homophilic binding properties. A search for neural IgCAMs in ascidians (Ciona intestinalis, Ciona savignyi, and Phallusia mammillata) has identified a novel set of truncated family members that, unlike the known members, lack fibronectin III domains and consist of only repeated Ig domains. Within the tunicates this form appears to be unique to the ascidians, and it was designated ACAM, for Ascidian Cell Adhesion Molecule. In C. intestinalis ACAM is expressed in the developing neural plate and neural tube, with strongest expression in the anterior sensory vesicle precursor. Unlike the two other conventional neural IgCAMs in C. intestinalis, which are expressed maternally and throughout the morula and blastula stages, ACAM expression initiates at the gastrula stage. Moreover, C. intestinalis ACAM is a target of the homeodomain transcription factor OTX, which plays an essential role in the development of the anterior central nervous system. Morpholino (MO) knockdown shows that ACAM is required for neural tube closure. In MO-injected embryos neural tube closure was normal caudally, but the anterior neuropore remained open. A similar phenotype was seen with overexpression of a secreted version of ACAM. The presence of ACAM in ascidians highlights the diversity of this gene family in morphogenesis and neurodevelopment.

  2. High incidence of neural tube defects in Northern part of India

    PubMed Central

    Rai, Sunil Kumar; Singh, Royana; Pandey, Sharad; Singh, Kulwant; Shinde, Neeraj; Rai, Sangita; Prasad, Rajniti; Shama, Satya Narayan

    2016-01-01

    Background: In the absence of primary care and prevailing associated social stigma, many patients of neural tube defects (NTDs) from remote areas die without getting any treatment. The high number of such untreated cases and unregistered deaths in these areas made us ponders to the fact that tertiary care center-based studies do not represent the true incidence of NTDs. Materials and Methods: We did a population-based survey for NTDs births of rural areas from Jaunpur to Ghazipur district in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. These districts are among the least developed areas of Northern India in Uttar Pradesh among other 17. Results: The data show an incidence of 7.48 per 1000 live births. Conclusion: Besides of unawareness regarding periconceptional folate supplementation, intensive effort is required to design adequately powered studies to search other key factors responsible for high prevalence of NTDs. PMID:27695536

  3. Misexpression of BRE gene in the developing chick neural tube affects neurulation and somitogenesis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guang; Li, Yan; Wang, Xiao-Yu; Chuai, Manli; Yeuk-Hon Chan, John; Lei, Jian; Münsterberg, Andrea; Lee, Kenneth Ka Ho; Yang, Xuesong

    2015-03-01

    The brain and reproductive expression (BRE) gene is expressed in numerous adult tissues and especially in the nervous and reproductive systems. However, little is known about BRE expression in the developing embryo or about its role in embryonic development. In this study, we used in situ hybridization to reveal the spatiotemporal expression pattern for BRE in chick embryo during development. To determine the importance of BRE in neurogenesis, we overexpressed BRE and also silenced BRE expression specifically in the neural tube. We established that overexpressing BRE in the neural tube indirectly accelerated Pax7(+) somite development and directly increased HNK-1(+) neural crest cell (NCC) migration and TuJ-1(+) neurite outgrowth. These altered morphogenetic processes were associated with changes in the cell cycle of NCCs and neural tube cells. The inverse effect was obtained when BRE expression was silenced in the neural tube. We also determined that BMP4 and Shh expression in the neural tube was affected by misexpression of BRE. This provides a possible mechanism for how altering BRE expression was able to affect somitogenesis, neurogenesis, and NCC migration. In summary, our results demonstrate that BRE plays an important role in regulating neurogenesis and indirectly somite differentiation during early chick embryo development.

  4. An FGF3-BMP Signaling Axis Regulates Caudal Neural Tube Closure, Neural Crest Specification and Anterior-Posterior Axis Extension.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Matthew J; Schimmang, Thomas; Lewandoski, Mark

    2016-05-01

    During vertebrate axis extension, adjacent tissue layers undergo profound morphological changes: within the neuroepithelium, neural tube closure and neural crest formation are occurring, while within the paraxial mesoderm somites are segmenting from the presomitic mesoderm (PSM). Little is known about the signals between these tissues that regulate their coordinated morphogenesis. Here, we analyze the posterior axis truncation of mouse Fgf3 null homozygotes and demonstrate that the earliest role of PSM-derived FGF3 is to regulate BMP signals in the adjacent neuroepithelium. FGF3 loss causes elevated BMP signals leading to increased neuroepithelium proliferation, delay in neural tube closure and premature neural crest specification. We demonstrate that elevated BMP4 depletes PSM progenitors in vitro, phenocopying the Fgf3 mutant, suggesting that excessive BMP signals cause the Fgf3 axis defect. To test this in vivo we increased BMP signaling in Fgf3 mutants by removing one copy of Noggin, which encodes a BMP antagonist. In such mutants, all parameters of the Fgf3 phenotype were exacerbated: neural tube closure delay, premature neural crest specification, and premature axis termination. Conversely, genetically decreasing BMP signaling in Fgf3 mutants, via loss of BMP receptor activity, alleviates morphological defects. Aberrant apoptosis is observed in the Fgf3 mutant tailbud. However, we demonstrate that cell death does not cause the Fgf3 phenotype: blocking apoptosis via deletion of pro-apoptotic genes surprisingly increases all Fgf3 defects including causing spina bifida. We demonstrate that this counterintuitive consequence of blocking apoptosis is caused by the increased survival of BMP-producing cells in the neuroepithelium. Thus, we show that FGF3 in the caudal vertebrate embryo regulates BMP signaling in the neuroepithelium, which in turn regulates neural tube closure, neural crest specification and axis termination. Uncovering this FGF3-BMP signaling axis is

  5. An FGF3-BMP Signaling Axis Regulates Caudal Neural Tube Closure, Neural Crest Specification and Anterior-Posterior Axis Extension

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Matthew J.; Schimmang, Thomas; Lewandoski, Mark

    2016-01-01

    During vertebrate axis extension, adjacent tissue layers undergo profound morphological changes: within the neuroepithelium, neural tube closure and neural crest formation are occurring, while within the paraxial mesoderm somites are segmenting from the presomitic mesoderm (PSM). Little is known about the signals between these tissues that regulate their coordinated morphogenesis. Here, we analyze the posterior axis truncation of mouse Fgf3 null homozygotes and demonstrate that the earliest role of PSM-derived FGF3 is to regulate BMP signals in the adjacent neuroepithelium. FGF3 loss causes elevated BMP signals leading to increased neuroepithelium proliferation, delay in neural tube closure and premature neural crest specification. We demonstrate that elevated BMP4 depletes PSM progenitors in vitro, phenocopying the Fgf3 mutant, suggesting that excessive BMP signals cause the Fgf3 axis defect. To test this in vivo we increased BMP signaling in Fgf3 mutants by removing one copy of Noggin, which encodes a BMP antagonist. In such mutants, all parameters of the Fgf3 phenotype were exacerbated: neural tube closure delay, premature neural crest specification, and premature axis termination. Conversely, genetically decreasing BMP signaling in Fgf3 mutants, via loss of BMP receptor activity, alleviates morphological defects. Aberrant apoptosis is observed in the Fgf3 mutant tailbud. However, we demonstrate that cell death does not cause the Fgf3 phenotype: blocking apoptosis via deletion of pro-apoptotic genes surprisingly increases all Fgf3 defects including causing spina bifida. We demonstrate that this counterintuitive consequence of blocking apoptosis is caused by the increased survival of BMP-producing cells in the neuroepithelium. Thus, we show that FGF3 in the caudal vertebrate embryo regulates BMP signaling in the neuroepithelium, which in turn regulates neural tube closure, neural crest specification and axis termination. Uncovering this FGF3-BMP signaling axis is

  6. Isolation of Human Neural Stem Cells from the Amniotic Fluid with Diagnosed Neural Tube Defects.

    PubMed

    Chang, Yu-Jen; Su, Hong-Lin; Hsu, Lee-Feng; Huang, Po-Jui; Wang, Tzu-Hao; Cheng, Fu-Chou; Hsu, Li-Wen; Tsai, Ming-Song; Chen, Chih-Ping; Chang, Yao-Lung; Chao, An-Shine; Hwang, Shiaw-Min

    2015-08-01

    Human neural stem cells (NSCs) are particularly valuable for the study of neurogenesis process and have a therapeutic potential in treating neurodegenerative disorders. However, current progress in the use of human NSCs is limited due to the available NSC sources and the complicated isolation and culture techniques. In this study, we describe an efficient method to isolate and propagate human NSCs from the amniotic fluid with diagnosed neural tube defects (NTDs), specifically, anencephaly. These amniotic fluid-derived NSCs (AF-NSCs) formed neurospheres and underwent long-term expansion in vitro. In addition, these cells showed normal karyotypes and telomerase activity and expressed NSC-specific markers, including Nestin, Sox2, Musashi-1, and the ATP-binding cassette G2 (ABCG2). AF-NSCs displayed typical morphological patterns and expressed specific markers that were consistent with neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and dopaminergic neurons after proper induction conditions. Furthermore, grafted AF-NSCs improved the physiological functions in a rat stroke model. The ability to isolate and bank human NSCs from this novel source provides a unique opportunity for translational studies of neurological disorders.

  7. Dynamic imaging and quantitative analysis of cranial neural tube closure in the mouse embryo using optical coherence tomography

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shang; Garcia, Monica D.; Lopez, Andrew L.; Overbeek, Paul A.; Larin, Kirill V.; Larina, Irina V.

    2016-01-01

    Neural tube closure is a critical feature of central nervous system morphogenesis during embryonic development. Failure of this process leads to neural tube defects, one of the most common forms of human congenital defects. Although molecular and genetic studies in model organisms have provided insights into the genes and proteins that are required for normal neural tube development, complications associated with live imaging of neural tube closure in mammals limit efficient morphological analyses. Here, we report the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for dynamic imaging and quantitative assessment of cranial neural tube closure in live mouse embryos in culture. Through time-lapse imaging, we captured two neural tube closure mechanisms in different cranial regions, zipper-like closure of the hindbrain region and button-like closure of the midbrain region. We also used OCT imaging for phenotypic characterization of a neural tube defect in a mouse mutant. These results suggest that the described approach is a useful tool for live dynamic analysis of normal neural tube closure and neural tube defects in the mouse model. PMID:28101427

  8. Dynamic imaging and quantitative analysis of cranial neural tube closure in the mouse embryo using optical coherence tomography.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shang; Garcia, Monica D; Lopez, Andrew L; Overbeek, Paul A; Larin, Kirill V; Larina, Irina V

    2017-01-01

    Neural tube closure is a critical feature of central nervous system morphogenesis during embryonic development. Failure of this process leads to neural tube defects, one of the most common forms of human congenital defects. Although molecular and genetic studies in model organisms have provided insights into the genes and proteins that are required for normal neural tube development, complications associated with live imaging of neural tube closure in mammals limit efficient morphological analyses. Here, we report the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for dynamic imaging and quantitative assessment of cranial neural tube closure in live mouse embryos in culture. Through time-lapse imaging, we captured two neural tube closure mechanisms in different cranial regions, zipper-like closure of the hindbrain region and button-like closure of the midbrain region. We also used OCT imaging for phenotypic characterization of a neural tube defect in a mouse mutant. These results suggest that the described approach is a useful tool for live dynamic analysis of normal neural tube closure and neural tube defects in the mouse model.

  9. Modeling anterior development in mice: diet as modulator of risk for neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Kappen, Claudia

    2013-11-01

    Head morphogenesis is a complex process that is controlled by multiple signaling centers. The most common defects of cranial development are craniofacial defects, such as cleft lip and cleft palate, and neural tube defects, such as anencephaly and encephalocoele in humans. More than 400 genes that contribute to proper neural tube closure have been identified in experimental animals, but only very few causative gene mutations have been identified in humans, supporting the notion that environmental influences are critical. The intrauterine environment is influenced by maternal nutrition, and hence, maternal diet can modulate the risk for cranial and neural tube defects. This article reviews recent progress toward a better understanding of nutrients during pregnancy, with particular focus on mouse models for defective neural tube closure. At least four major patterns of nutrient responses are apparent, suggesting that multiple pathways are involved in the response, and likely in the underlying pathogenesis of the defects. Folic acid has been the most widely studied nutrient, and the diverse responses of the mouse models to folic acid supplementation indicate that folic acid is not universally beneficial, but that the effect is dependent on genetic configuration. If this is the case for other nutrients as well, efforts to prevent neural tube defects with nutritional supplementation may need to become more specifically targeted than previously appreciated. Mouse models are indispensable for a better understanding of nutrient-gene interactions in normal pregnancies, as well as in those affected by metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.

  10. Modeling Anterior Development in Mice: Diet as Modulator of Risk for Neural Tube Defects

    PubMed Central

    Kappen, Claudia

    2014-01-01

    Head morphogenesis is a complex process that is controlled by multiple signaling centers. The most common defects of cranial development are craniofacial defects, such as cleft lip and cleft palate, and neural tube defects, such as anencephaly and encephalocoele in humans. More than 400 genes that contribute to proper neural tube closure have been identified in experimental animals, but only very few causative gene mutations have been identified in humans, supporting the notion that environmental influences are critical. The intrauterine environment is influenced by maternal nutrition, and hence, maternal diet can modulate the risk for cranial and neural tube defects. This article reviews recent progress toward a better understanding of nutrients during pregnancy, with particular focus on mouse models for defective neural tube closure. At least four major patterns of nutrient responses are apparent, suggesting that multiple pathways are involved in the response, and likely in the underlying pathogenesis of the defects. Folic acid has been the most widely studied nutrient, and the diverse responses of the mouse models to folic acid supplementation indicate that folic acid is not universally beneficial, but that the effect is dependent on genetic configuration. If this is the case for other nutrients as well, efforts to prevent neural tube defects with nutritional supplementation may need to become more specifically targeted than previously appreciated. Mouse models are indispensable for a better understanding of nutrient–gene interactions in normal pregnancies, as well as in those affected by metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. PMID:24124024

  11. An update to the list of mouse mutants with neural tube closure defects and advances toward a complete genetic perspective of neural tube closure.

    PubMed

    Harris, Muriel J; Juriloff, Diana M

    2010-08-01

    The number of mouse mutants and strains with neural tube defects (NTDs) now exceeds 240, including 205 representing specific genes, 30 for unidentified genes, and 9 multifactorial strains. These mutants identify genes needed for embryonic neural tube closure. Reports of 50 new NTD mutants since our 2007 review (Harris and Juriloff, 2007) were considered in relation to the previously reviewed mutants to obtain new insights into mechanisms of NTD etiology. In addition to null mutations, some are hypomorphs or conditional mutants. Some mutations do not cause NTDs on their own, but do so in digenic, trigenic, and oligogenic combinations, an etiology that likely parallels the nature of genetic etiology of human NTDs. Mutants that have only exencephaly are fourfold more frequent than those that have spina bifida aperta with or without exencephaly. Many diverse cellular functions and biochemical pathways are involved; the NTD mutants draw new attention to chromatin modification (epigenetics), the protease-activated receptor cascade, and the ciliopathies. Few mutants directly involve folate metabolism. Prevention of NTDs by maternal folate supplementation has been tested in 13 mutants and reduces NTD frequency in six diverse mutants. Inositol reduces spina bifida aperta frequency in the curly tail mutant, and three new mutants involve inositol metabolism. The many NTD mutants are the foundation for a future complete genetic understanding of the processes of neural fold elevation and fusion along mechanistically distinct cranial-caudal segments of the neural tube, and they point to several candidate processes for study in human NTD etiology.

  12. Helium Background in the D0 Detector Related to the Photomultiplier Tubes

    SciTech Connect

    Rucinski, R.; /Fermilab

    1998-04-09

    Helium is present in the earth's atmosphere at about 5 parts per million. (ref. Technology of liquid helium, NBS monograph 111). The D-Zero detector uses helium for the cryogenic cooling of its superconducting magnet and visible light photon counter (VLPC) electronics chips. In addition, the tevatron accelerator has superconducting magnets that use helium Due to the possibility of leaks or releases of helium from these helium lines and components, the background helium level in the collision hall may exceed the natural level of 5 ppm. This engineering note will quantify the probability and level of helium background in the D-Zero detector. The photomultiplier tubes used in the D-Zero detector are sensitive to an elevated helium atmosphere. This is due to the permeation rate of helium gas through the glass tube, into the vacuum space inside. It is very important for the helium atmosphere surrounding the photomultiplier tubes is known and controlled. If the level of helium in the vacuum tube reaches a level above 5 ppm, then the photomuliplier tube may no longer work as designed. The process is an irreversible one.

  13. Spontaneous neural tube defects in splotch mice supplemented with selected micronutrients

    SciTech Connect

    Wlodarczyk, Bogdan J. . E-mail: bwlodarczyk@ibt.tamhsc.edu; Tang, Louisa S.; Triplett, Aleata; Aleman, Frank; Finnell, Richard H.

    2006-05-15

    Splotch (Sp/Sp) mice homozygous for a mutation in the Pax3 gene inevitably present with neural tube defects (NTDs), along with other associated congenital anomalies. The affected mutant embryos usually die by gestation days (E) 12-13. In the present study, the effect of modifier genes from a new genetic background (CXL-Sp) and periconceptional supplementation with selected micronutrients (folic acid, 5-formyltetrahydrofolate, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, methionine, myoinositol, thiamine, thymidine, and {alpha}-tocopherol) was determined with respect to the incidence of NTDs. In order to explore how different exposure parameters (time, dose, and route of compound administration) modulate the beneficial effects of micronutrient supplementation, female mice received either short- or long-term nutrient supplements via enteral or parenteral routes. Embryos were collected on E12.5 and examined for the presence of anterior or posterior NTDs. Additionally, whole mount in situ hybridization studies were conducted in order to reveal/confirm normal expression patterns of the Pax3 gene during neurulation in the wild-type and Sp/Sp homozygous mutant mouse embryos utilized in this study. A strong Pax3 signal was demonstrated in CXL-Sp embryos during neural tube closure (E9.5 to E10.5). The intensity and spatial pattern of expression were similar to other Splotch mutant mice. Of all the micronutrients tested, only supplementation with folic acid or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate rescued the normal phenotype in Sp/Sp embryos. When the folate supplementation dose was increased to 200 mg/kg in the diet, the incidence of rescued splotch homozygotes reached 30%; however, this was accompanied by six-fold increased resorption rate.

  14. Genetic interactions between planar cell polarity genes cause diverse neural tube defects in mice.

    PubMed

    Murdoch, Jennifer N; Damrau, Christine; Paudyal, Anju; Bogani, Debora; Wells, Sara; Greene, Nicholas D E; Stanier, Philip; Copp, Andrew J

    2014-10-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are among the commonest and most severe forms of developmental defect, characterized by disruption of the early embryonic events of central nervous system formation. NTDs have long been known to exhibit a strong genetic dependence, yet the identity of the genetic determinants remains largely undiscovered. Initiation of neural tube closure is disrupted in mice homozygous for mutations in planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway genes, providing a strong link between NTDs and PCP signaling. Recently, missense gene variants have been identified in PCP genes in humans with NTDs, although the range of phenotypes is greater than in the mouse mutants. In addition, the sequence variants detected in affected humans are heterozygous, and can often be detected in unaffected individuals. It has been suggested that interactions between multiple heterozygous gene mutations cause the NTDs in humans. To determine the phenotypes produced in double heterozygotes, we bred mice with all three pairwise combinations of Vangl2(Lp), Scrib(Crc) and Celsr1(Crsh) mutations, the most intensively studied PCP mutants. The majority of double-mutant embryos had open NTDs, with the range of phenotypes including anencephaly and spina bifida, therefore reflecting the defects observed in humans. Strikingly, even on a uniform genetic background, variability in the penetrance and severity of the mutant phenotypes was observed between the different double-heterozygote combinations. Phenotypically, Celsr1(Crsh);Vangl2(Lp);Scrib(Crc) triply heterozygous mutants were no more severe than doubly heterozygous or singly homozygous mutants. We propose that some of the variation between double-mutant phenotypes could be attributed to the nature of the protein disruption in each allele: whereas Scrib(Crc) is a null mutant and produces no Scrib protein, Celsr1(Crsh) and Vangl2(Lp) homozygotes both express mutant proteins, consistent with dominant effects. The variable outcomes of these genetic

  15. Genetic interactions between planar cell polarity genes cause diverse neural tube defects in mice

    PubMed Central

    Murdoch, Jennifer N.; Damrau, Christine; Paudyal, Anju; Bogani, Debora; Wells, Sara; Greene, Nicholas D. E.; Stanier, Philip; Copp, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are among the commonest and most severe forms of developmental defect, characterized by disruption of the early embryonic events of central nervous system formation. NTDs have long been known to exhibit a strong genetic dependence, yet the identity of the genetic determinants remains largely undiscovered. Initiation of neural tube closure is disrupted in mice homozygous for mutations in planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway genes, providing a strong link between NTDs and PCP signaling. Recently, missense gene variants have been identified in PCP genes in humans with NTDs, although the range of phenotypes is greater than in the mouse mutants. In addition, the sequence variants detected in affected humans are heterozygous, and can often be detected in unaffected individuals. It has been suggested that interactions between multiple heterozygous gene mutations cause the NTDs in humans. To determine the phenotypes produced in double heterozygotes, we bred mice with all three pairwise combinations of Vangl2Lp, ScribCrc and Celsr1Crsh mutations, the most intensively studied PCP mutants. The majority of double-mutant embryos had open NTDs, with the range of phenotypes including anencephaly and spina bifida, therefore reflecting the defects observed in humans. Strikingly, even on a uniform genetic background, variability in the penetrance and severity of the mutant phenotypes was observed between the different double-heterozygote combinations. Phenotypically, Celsr1Crsh;Vangl2Lp;ScribCrc triply heterozygous mutants were no more severe than doubly heterozygous or singly homozygous mutants. We propose that some of the variation between double-mutant phenotypes could be attributed to the nature of the protein disruption in each allele: whereas ScribCrc is a null mutant and produces no Scrib protein, Celsr1Crsh and Vangl2Lp homozygotes both express mutant proteins, consistent with dominant effects. The variable outcomes of these genetic interactions are

  16. Maternal Antenatal Bereavement and Neural Tube Defect in Live-Born Offspring: A Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Ingstrup, Katja Glejsted; Wu, Chun Sen; Olsen, Jørn; Nohr, Ellen Aagaard; Bech, Bodil Hammer; Li, Jiong

    2016-01-01

    Background Maternal emotional stress during pregnancy has previously been associated with congenital neural malformations, but most studies are based on data collected retrospectively. The objective of our study was to investigate associations between antenatal maternal bereavement due to death of a close relative and neural tube defects (NTDs) in the offspring. Methods We performed a register-based cohort study including all live-born children (N = 1,734,190) from 1978–2008. Exposure was bereavement due to loss of a close relative from one year before conception to the end of the first trimester of pregnancy. The outcome was NTDs in the offspring according to the International Classification of Disease. We used multivariate logistic regression to estimate prevalence odds ratios (ORs). Results A total of 2% children were born to mothers who lost a close relative prenatally. During 30 years of follow-up, 1,115 children were diagnosed with any NTDs: spina bifida (n = 889), anencephaly (n = 85) and encephalocele (n = 164). And 23 children were diagnosed with two types of NTDs. Overall, when comparing bereaved mothers to non-bereaved mothers, no significant increased prevalence of NTDs in the offspring was seen (OR = 0.84; 95% confidence interval: 0.52–1.33). Conclusion Overall maternal bereavement in the antenatal period was not related to NTDs in liveborn offspring. PMID:27685943

  17. [Fortification of food with folic acid diminishes the number of neural tube defects].

    PubMed

    Brouwer, I A

    2008-01-26

    A recent study from a research group from Quebec showed a strong decrease in the number of births affected by a neural tube defect since folic acid fortification was introduced in Canada. The prevalence decreased from 1.58 neural tube defects per 1000 births before the introduction of folic acid fortification to 0.86 per 1000 births in the period of complete fortification. Although folic acid fortification of staple food is probably the most effective way to decrease the incidence of neural tube defects, more knowledge about possible health risks should be obtained before fortification is introduced. More research is needed to determine which population groups are at risk of possible negative effects of folic acid fortification and at which level of fortification. Until then, it is important to generate more attention and publicity in order to increase awareness and knowledge concerning folic acid and to promote its use before and after conception.

  18. Novel Mode of Defective Neural Tube Closure in the Non-Obese Diabetic (NOD) Mouse Strain.

    PubMed

    Salbaum, J Michael; Kruger, Claudia; MacGowan, Jacalyn; Herion, Nils J; Burk, David; Kappen, Claudia

    2015-11-23

    Failure to close the neural tube results in birth defects, with severity ranging from spina bifida to lethal anencephaly. Few genetic risk factors for neural tube defects are known in humans, highlighting the critical role of environmental risk factors, such as maternal diabetes. Yet, it is not well understood how altered maternal metabolism interferes with embryonic development, and with neurulation in particular. We present evidence from two independent mouse models of diabetic pregnancy that identifies impaired migration of nascent mesodermal cells in the primitive streak as the morphogenetic basis underlying the pathogenesis of neural tube defects. We conclude that perturbed gastrulation not only explains the neurulation defects, but also provides a unifying etiology for the broad spectrum of congenital malformations in diabetic pregnancies.

  19. Association of neural tube defects and folic acid food fortification in Canada.

    PubMed

    Ray, Joel G; Meier, Chris; Vermeulen, Marian J; Boss, Sheila; Wyatt, Philip R; Cole, David E C

    Many women do not receive folic acid supplements before conception. In response, most of Canada's cereal grain products were being fortified with folic acid by January, 1998, thereby providing an additional 0.1-0.2 mg per day of dietary folate to the Canadian population. We assessed the effect of supplementation on prevalence of open neural tube defects in the province of Ontario. Among 336 963 women who underwent maternal serum screening over 77 months, the prevalence of open neural tube defects declined from 1.13 per 1000 pregnancies before fortification to 0.58 per 1000 pregnancies thereafter (prevalence ratio 0.52, 95% CI 0.40-0.67, p<0.0001). At a population level, folic acid food fortification is associated with a pronounced reduction in open neural tube defects.

  20. Syndecan 4 interacts genetically with Vangl2 to regulate neural tube closure and planar cell polarity

    PubMed Central

    Escobedo, Noelia; Contreras, Osvaldo; Muñoz, Rosana; Farías, Marjorie; Carrasco, Héctor; Hill, Charlotte; Tran, Uyen; Pryor, Sophie E.; Wessely, Oliver; Copp, Andrew J.; Larraín, Juan

    2013-01-01

    Syndecan 4 (Sdc4) is a cell-surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) that regulates gastrulation, neural tube closure and directed neural crest migration in Xenopus development. To determine whether Sdc4 participates in Wnt/PCP signaling during mouse development, we evaluated a possible interaction between a null mutation of Sdc4 and the loop-tail allele of Vangl2. Sdc4 is expressed in multiple tissues, but particularly in the non-neural ectoderm, hindgut and otic vesicles. Sdc4;Vangl2Lp compound mutant mice have defective spinal neural tube closure, disrupted orientation of the stereocilia bundles in the cochlea and delayed wound healing, demonstrating a strong genetic interaction. In Xenopus, co-injection of suboptimal amounts of Sdc4 and Vangl2 morpholinos resulted in a significantly greater proportion of embryos with defective neural tube closure than each individual morpholino alone. To probe the mechanism of this interaction, we overexpressed or knocked down Vangl2 function in HEK293 cells. The Sdc4 and Vangl2 proteins colocalize, and Vangl2, particularly the Vangl2Lp mutant form, diminishes Sdc4 protein levels. Conversely, Vangl2 knockdown enhances Sdc4 protein levels. Overall HSPG steady-state levels were regulated by Vangl2, suggesting a molecular mechanism for the genetic interaction in which Vangl2Lp/+ enhances the Sdc4-null phenotype. This could be mediated via heparan sulfate residues, as Vangl2Lp/+ embryos fail to initiate neural tube closure and develop craniorachischisis (usually seen only in Vangl2Lp/Lp) when cultured in the presence of chlorate, a sulfation inhibitor. These results demonstrate that Sdc4 can participate in the Wnt/PCP pathway, unveiling its importance during neural tube closure in mammalian embryos. PMID:23760952

  1. Syndecan 4 interacts genetically with Vangl2 to regulate neural tube closure and planar cell polarity.

    PubMed

    Escobedo, Noelia; Contreras, Osvaldo; Muñoz, Rosana; Farías, Marjorie; Carrasco, Héctor; Hill, Charlotte; Tran, Uyen; Pryor, Sophie E; Wessely, Oliver; Copp, Andrew J; Larraín, Juan

    2013-07-01

    Syndecan 4 (Sdc4) is a cell-surface heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) that regulates gastrulation, neural tube closure and directed neural crest migration in Xenopus development. To determine whether Sdc4 participates in Wnt/PCP signaling during mouse development, we evaluated a possible interaction between a null mutation of Sdc4 and the loop-tail allele of Vangl2. Sdc4 is expressed in multiple tissues, but particularly in the non-neural ectoderm, hindgut and otic vesicles. Sdc4;Vangl2(Lp) compound mutant mice have defective spinal neural tube closure, disrupted orientation of the stereocilia bundles in the cochlea and delayed wound healing, demonstrating a strong genetic interaction. In Xenopus, co-injection of suboptimal amounts of Sdc4 and Vangl2 morpholinos resulted in a significantly greater proportion of embryos with defective neural tube closure than each individual morpholino alone. To probe the mechanism of this interaction, we overexpressed or knocked down Vangl2 function in HEK293 cells. The Sdc4 and Vangl2 proteins colocalize, and Vangl2, particularly the Vangl2(Lp) mutant form, diminishes Sdc4 protein levels. Conversely, Vangl2 knockdown enhances Sdc4 protein levels. Overall HSPG steady-state levels were regulated by Vangl2, suggesting a molecular mechanism for the genetic interaction in which Vangl2(Lp/+) enhances the Sdc4-null phenotype. This could be mediated via heparan sulfate residues, as Vangl2(Lp/+) embryos fail to initiate neural tube closure and develop craniorachischisis (usually seen only in Vangl2(Lp/Lp)) when cultured in the presence of chlorate, a sulfation inhibitor. These results demonstrate that Sdc4 can participate in the Wnt/PCP pathway, unveiling its importance during neural tube closure in mammalian embryos.

  2. Mutations in the planar cell polarity gene, Fuzzy, are associated with neural tube defects in humans.

    PubMed

    Seo, Jung Hwa; Zilber, Yulia; Babayeva, Sima; Liu, Jiajia; Kyriakopoulos, Paulina; De Marco, Patrizia; Merello, Elisa; Capra, Valeria; Gros, Philippe; Torban, Elena

    2011-11-15

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are a heterogeneous group of common severe congenital anomalies which affect 1-2 infants per 1000 births. Most genetic and/or environmental factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of human NTDs are unknown. Recently, however, pathogenic mutations of VANGL1 and VANGL2 genes have been associated with some cases of human NTDs. Vangl genes encode proteins of the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway that regulates cell behavior during early stages of neural tube formation. Homozygous disruption of PCP genes in mice results in a spectrum of NTDs, including defects that affect the entire neural axis (craniorachischisis), cranial NTDs (exencephaly) and spina bifida. In this paper, we report the dynamic expression of another PCP gene, Fuzzy, during neural tube formation in mice. We also identify non-synonymous Fuzzy amino acid substitutions in some patients with NTDs and demonstrate that several of these Fuzzy mutations affect formation of primary cilia and ciliary length or affect directional cell movement. Since Fuzzy knockout mice exhibit both NTDs and defective primary cilia and Fuzzy is expressed in the emerging neural tube, we propose that mutations in Fuzzy may account for a subset of NTDs in humans.

  3. β-catenin regulates Pax3 and Cdx2 for caudal neural tube closure and elongation.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Tianyu; Gan, Qini; Stokes, Arjun; Lassiter, Rhonda N T; Wang, Yongping; Chan, Jason; Han, Jane X; Pleasure, David E; Epstein, Jonathan A; Zhou, Chengji J

    2014-01-01

    Non-canonical Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling plays a primary role in the convergent extension that drives neural tube closure and body axis elongation. PCP signaling gene mutations cause severe neural tube defects (NTDs). However, the role of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling in neural tube closure and NTDs remains poorly understood. This study shows that conditional gene targeting of β-catenin in the dorsal neural folds of mouse embryos represses the expression of the homeobox-containing genes Pax3 and Cdx2 at the dorsal posterior neuropore (PNP), and subsequently diminishes the expression of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling target genes T, Tbx6 and Fgf8 at the tail bud, leading to spina bifida aperta, caudal axis bending and tail truncation. We demonstrate that Pax3 and Cdx2 are novel downstream targets of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Transgenic activation of Pax3 cDNA can rescue the closure defect in the β-catenin mutants, suggesting that Pax3 is a key downstream effector of β-catenin signaling in the PNP closure process. Cdx2 is known to be crucial in posterior axis elongation and in neural tube closure. We found that Cdx2 expression is also repressed in the dorsal PNPs of Pax3-null embryos. However, the ectopically activated Pax3 in the β-catenin mutants cannot restore Cdx2 mRNA in the dorsal PNP, suggesting that the presence of both β-catenin and Pax3 is required for regional Cdx2 expression. Thus, β-catenin signaling is required for caudal neural tube closure and elongation, acting through the transcriptional regulation of key target genes in the PNP.

  4. Lipid mediators link cells progression with placental and neural tube defects after maternal fumonisin exposure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a mycotoxin produced by a common fungal contaminant of maize. Increased risk for neural tube defects (NTDs) is observed in populations that rely on maize as a dietary staple. FB1 inhibits ceramide synthase, resulting in altered pools of biologically active sphingolipids. FB1...

  5. Gene-environment interactions in susceptibility to fumonisin-induced neural tube defects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a mycotoxin produced by a common fungal contaminant of corn. In populations that rely on maize-based foods as a dietary staple, consumption of FB1-contaminated food during early pregnancy is associated with increased risk for neural tube defects (NTDs). Administration of FB1 ...

  6. Looking for causes of neural tube defects: where does the environment fit in?

    PubMed Central

    Sever, L E

    1995-01-01

    The neural tube defects anencephaly and spina bifida are important causes of infant mortality and morbidity. Recent studies suggest that many of these defects can be prevented by the periconceptional use of folic acid. At the same time, we do not know what causes most cases of neural tube defects and there is evidence to suggest that they are etiologically heterogeneous. Additional research needs to be directed toward the role of occupational and environmental exposures in the etiology of these defects. Importantly, studies need to examine embryologically and anatomically specific types of defects and develop accurate information on biologically relevant exposures. Exposures toward which attention needs to be directed include organic solvents; agricultural chemicals, including pesticides; water nitrates; heavy metals such as mercury; ionizing radiation; and water disinfection by products. We also recommend that additional attention be paid to mechanisms of neural tube closure and to the potential role of genetic heterogeneity in the absorption and metabolism of xenobiotics and in their effects on the neural tube. PMID:8549468

  7. Identification of novel rare mutations of DACT1 in human neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Shi, Yan; Ding, Yi; Lei, Yun-Ping; Yang, Xue-Yan; Xie, Guo-Ming; Wen, Jun; Cai, Chun-Quan; Li, Hong; Chen, Ying; Zhang, Ting; Wu, Bai-Lin; Jin, Li; Chen, Ye-Guang; Wang, Hong-Yan

    2012-10-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) constitute the second most frequent cause of human congenital abnormalities. Complex multigenetic causes have been suggested to contribute to NTDs. The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway plays a critical role in neural tube closure in model organisms and in human. Knockout of Dact1 (Dapper, Frodo) leads to deregulated PCP signaling with defective neural tube in mice. Here, we report that five missense heterozygote mutations of the DACT1 gene are specifically identified in 167 stillborn or miscarried Han Chinese fetuses with neural tube defects. Our biochemical analyses revealed that among the five mutations, N356K and R45W show loss-of-function or reduced activities in inducing Dishevelled2 (DVL2) degradation and inhibiting jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation, implicating mutated DACT1 as a risk factor for human NTDs. Our findings, together with early reports, suggest that rare mutations of the PCP-related genes may constitute a great contribution to human NTDs.

  8. Maternal fumonisin exposure as a risk factor for neural tube defects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisins are mycotoxins produced by the fungus F. verticillioides, a common contaminant of maize (corn) worldwide. Maternal consumption of fumonisin B1-contaminated maize during early pregnancy has recently been associated with increased risk for neural tube defects (NTDs) in human populations th...

  9. Placental and neural tube defects after maternal fumonisin or FRY720 exposure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a mycotoxin produced by a common fungal contaminant of maize. Increased neural tube defect (NTD) risk is observed in human populations that rely heavily on maize as a dietary staple. FB1 inhibition of ceramide synthase results in elevated sphingoid bases. FTY720 is a sphingoid ...

  10. Epidemiologic and Genetic Aspects of Spina Bifida and Other Neural Tube Defects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Au, Kit Sing; Ashley-Koch, Allison; Northrup, Hope

    2010-01-01

    The worldwide incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs) ranges from 1.0 to 10.0 per 1,000 births with almost equal frequencies between two major categories: anencephaly and spina bifida (SB). Epidemiological studies have provided valuable insight for (a) researchers to identify nongenetic and genetic factors contributing to etiology, (b) public…

  11. dNTP deficiency induced by HU via inhibiting ribonucleotide reductase affects neural tube development.

    PubMed

    Guan, Zhen; Wang, Xiuwei; Dong, Yanting; Xu, Lin; Zhu, Zhiqiang; Wang, Jianhua; Zhang, Ting; Niu, Bo

    2015-02-03

    Exposure to environmental toxic chemicals in utero during the neural tube development period can cause developmental disorders. To evaluate the disruption of neural tube development programming, the murine neural tube defects (NTDs) model was induced by interrupting folate metabolism using methotrexate in our previous study. The present study aimed to examine the effects of dNTP deficiency induced by hydroxyurea (HU), a specific ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) inhibitor, during murine neural tube development. Pregnant C57BL/6J mice were intraperitoneally injected with various doses of HU on gestation day (GD) 7.5, and the embryos were checked on GD 11.5. RNR activity and deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) levels were measured in the optimal dose. Additionally, DNA damage was examined by comet analysis and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay. Cellular behaviors in NTDs embryos were evaluated with phosphorylation of histone H3 (PH-3) and caspase-3 using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. The results showed that NTDs were observed mostly with HU treatment at an optimal dose of 225 mg/kg b/w. RNR activity was inhibited and dNTP levels were decreased in HU-treated embryos with NTDs. Additionally, increased DNA damage, decreased proliferation, and increased caspase-3 were significant in NTDs embryos compared to the controls. Results indicated that HU induced murine NTDs model by disturbing dNTP metabolism and further led to the abnormal cell balance between proliferation and apoptosis.

  12. Genetic interaction between members of the Vangl family causes neural tube defects in mice

    PubMed Central

    Torban, Elena; Patenaude, Anne-Marie; Leclerc, Severine; Rakowiecki, Staci; Gauthier, Susan; Andelfinger, Gregor; Epstein, Douglas J.; Gros, Philippe

    2008-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are very frequent congenital abnormalities in humans. Recently, we have documented independent association of Vangl1 and Vangl2 gene mutations with NTDs. In the Looptail mouse, homozygosity (but not heterozygosity) for loss-of-function alleles at Vangl2 causes the severe NTD craniorachischisis, whereas heterozygosity for mutant variants of VANGL1 is associated with NTDs in a human cohort of sporadic and familial cases. To understand the role of Vangl1 in normal development, we created a mouse mutant with an inactivating mutation at Vangl1 (Vangl1gt). Vangl1 shows a dynamic pattern of expression in the developing neural tube and notochord at the time of neural tube closure. Vangl1gt/+ heterozygotes and Vangl1gt/gt homozygotes are viable and fertile, although Vangl1gt/gt display subtle alterations in polarity of inner hair cells of the cochlea. Remarkably, and as opposed to healthy Vangl1gt/+ and Vangl2lp/+ heterozygotes, Vangl1gt/+;Vangl2lp/+ double heterozygotes show profound developmental defects that include severe craniorachischisis, inner ear defects (disorganization of the stereociliary bundles of hair cells of the organ of Corti), and cardiac abnormality (aberrant right subclavian artery). These results show that genetic interaction between Vangl1 and Vangl2 genes causes neural tube defects and raise the possibility that interaction between individual Vangl genes and other genetic loci and/or environmental factors may additionally contribute to the etiology of NTDs. PMID:18296642

  13. From the Cover: Exposing Imidacloprid Interferes With Neurogenesis Through Impacting on Chick Neural Tube Cell Survival.

    PubMed

    Liu, Meng; Wang, Guang; Zhang, Shi-Yao; Zhong, Shan; Qi, Guo-Long; Wang, Chao-Jie; Chuai, Manli; Lee, Kenneth Ka Ho; Lu, Da-Xiang; Yang, Xuesong

    2016-09-01

    As a neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid is widely used to control insects in agriculture and fleas on domestic animals. However, it is not known whether imidacloprid exposure negatively affects neurogenesis during embryonic development. In this study, using a chick embryo model, we investigated the effects of imidacloprid exposure on neurogenesis at the earliest stage and during late-stage embryo development. Exposing HH0 chick embryos to imidacloprid in EC culture caused neural tube defects (NTDs) and neuronal differentiation dysplasia as determined by NF/Tuj1 labeling. Furthermore, we found that F-actin accumulation on the apical side of the neural tube was suppressed by exposure to imidacloprid, and the expression of BMP4 and Shh on the dorsal and ventral sides of the neural tubes, respectively, were also reduced, which in turn affects the dorsolateral hinge points during bending of the neural plate. In addition, exposure to imidacloprid reduced cell proliferation and increased cell apoptosis, as determined by pHIS3 labeling and TUNEL staining, respectively, also contributing to the malformation. We obtained similar results in late-stage embryos exposed to imidacloprid. Finally, a bioinformatics analysis was employed to determine which genes identified in this study were involved in NTDs. The experimental evidence and bioinformatics analysis suggested that imidacloprid exposure during chick embryo development could increase the risk of NTDs and neural dysplasia.

  14. Deletion of Mthfd1l causes embryonic lethality and neural tube and craniofacial defects in mice.

    PubMed

    Momb, Jessica; Lewandowski, Jordan P; Bryant, Joshua D; Fitch, Rebecca; Surman, Deborah R; Vokes, Steven A; Appling, Dean R

    2013-01-08

    Maternal supplementation with folic acid is known to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs) by as much as 70%. Despite the strong clinical link between folate and NTDs, the biochemical mechanisms through which folic acid acts during neural tube development remain undefined. The Mthfd1l gene encodes a mitochondrial monofunctional 10-formyl-tetrahydrofolate synthetase, termed MTHFD1L. This gene is expressed in adults and at all stages of mammalian embryogenesis with localized regions of higher expression along the neural tube, developing brain, craniofacial structures, limb buds, and tail bud. In both embryos and adults, MTHFD1L catalyzes the last step in the flow of one-carbon units from mitochondria to cytoplasm, producing formate from 10-formyl-THF. To investigate the role of mitochondrial formate production during embryonic development, we have analyzed Mthfd1l knockout mice. All embryos lacking Mthfd1l exhibit aberrant neural tube closure including craniorachischisis and exencephaly and/or a wavy neural tube. This fully penetrant folate-pathway mouse model does not require feeding a folate-deficient diet to cause this phenotype. Maternal supplementation with sodium formate decreases the incidence of NTDs and partially rescues the growth defect in embryos lacking Mthfd1l. These results reveal the critical role of mitochondrially derived formate in mammalian development, providing a mechanistic link between folic acid and NTDs. In light of previous studies linking a common splice variant in the human MTHFD1L gene with increased risk for NTDs, this mouse model provides a powerful system to help elucidate the specific metabolic mechanisms that underlie folate-associated birth defects, including NTDs.

  15. Enabled (Xena) regulates neural plate morphogenesis, apical constriction, and cellular adhesion required for neural tube closure in Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    Roffers-Agarwal, Julaine; Xanthos, Jennifer B.; Kragtorp, Katherine A.; Miller, Jeffrey R.

    2008-01-01

    Regulation of cellular adhesion and cytoskeletal dynamics is essential for neurulation, though it remains unclear how these two processes are coordinated. Members of the Ena/VASP family of proteins are localized to sites of cellular adhesion and actin dynamics and lack of two family members, Mena and VASP, in mice results in failure of neural tube closure. The precise mechanism by which Ena/VASP proteins regulate this process, however, is not understood. In this report, we show that Xenopus Ena (Xena) is localized to apical adhesive junctions of neuroepithelial cells during neurulation and that Xena knockdown disrupts cell behaviors integral to neural tube closure. Changes in the shape of the neural plate as well as apical constriction within the neural plate are perturbed in Xena knockdown embryos. Additionally, we demonstrate that Xena is essential for cell-cell adhesion. These results demonstrate that Xena plays an integral role in coordinating the regulation of cytoskeletal dynamics and cellular adhesion during neurulation in Xenopus. PMID:18201691

  16. Neural tube defects and maternal folate intake among pregnancies conceived after folic acid fortification in the United States.

    PubMed

    Mosley, Bridget S; Cleves, Mario A; Siega-Riz, Anna Maria; Shaw, Gary M; Canfield, Mark A; Waller, D Kim; Werler, Martha M; Hobbs, Charlotte A

    2009-01-01

    Rates of neural tube defects have decreased since folic acid fortification of the food supply in the United States. The authors' objective was to evaluate the associations between neural tube defects and maternal folic acid intake among pregnancies conceived after fortification. This is a multicenter, case-control study that uses data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1998-2003. Logistic regression was used to compute crude and adjusted odds ratios between cases and controls assessing maternal periconceptional use of folic acid and intake of dietary folic acid. Among 180 anencephalic cases, 385 spina bifida cases, and 3, 963 controls, 21.1%, 25.2%, and 26.1%, respectively, reported periconceptional use of folic acid supplements. Periconceptional supplement use did not reduce the risk of having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect. Maternal intake of dietary folate was not significantly associated with neural tube defects. In this study conducted among pregnancies conceived after mandatory folic acid fortification, the authors found little evidence of an association between neural tube defects and maternal folic acid intake. A possible explanation is that folic acid fortification reduced the occurrence of folic acid-sensitive neural tube defects. Further investigation is warranted to possibly identify women who remain at increased risk of preventable neural tube defects.

  17. Cell cycle-related genes p57kip2, Cdk5 and Spin in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Li, Xinjun; Yang, Zhong; Zeng, Yi; Xu, Hong; Li, Hongli; Han, Yangyun; Long, Xiaodong; You, Chao

    2013-07-15

    In the field of developmental neurobiology, accurate and ordered regulation of the cell cycle and apoptosis are crucial factors contributing to the normal formation of the neural tube. Preliminary studies identified several genes involved in the development of neural tube defects. In this study, we established a model of developmental neural tube defects by administration of retinoic acid to pregnant rats. Gene chip hybridization analysis showed that genes related to the cell cycle and apoptosis, signal transduction, transcription and translation regulation, energy and metabolism, heat shock, and matrix and cytoskeletal proteins were all involved in the formation of developmental neural tube defects. Among these, cell cycle-related genes were predominant. Retinoic acid ment caused differential expression of three cell cycle-related genes p57kip2, Cdk5 and Spin, the expression levels of which were downregulated by retinoic acid and upregulated during normal neural tube formation. The results of this study indicate that cell cycle-related genes play an important role in the formation of neural tube defects. P57kip2, Cdk5 and Spin may be critical genes in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects.

  18. Cellular basis of neuroepithelial bending during mouse spinal neural tube closure.

    PubMed

    McShane, Suzanne G; Molè, Matteo A; Savery, Dawn; Greene, Nicholas D E; Tam, Patrick P L; Copp, Andrew J

    2015-08-15

    Bending of the neural plate at paired dorsolateral hinge points (DLHPs) is required for neural tube closure in the spinal region of the mouse embryo. As a step towards understanding the morphogenetic mechanism of DLHP development, we examined variations in neural plate cellular architecture and proliferation during closure. Neuroepithelial cells within the median hinge point (MHP) contain nuclei that are mainly basally located and undergo relatively slow proliferation, with a 7 h cell cycle length. In contrast, cells in the dorsolateral neuroepithelium, including the DLHP, exhibit nuclei distributed throughout the apico-basal axis and undergo rapid proliferation, with a 4 h cell cycle length. As the neural folds elevate, cell numbers increase to a greater extent in the dorsolateral neural plate that contacts the surface ectoderm, compared with the more ventromedial neural plate where cells contact paraxial mesoderm and notochord. This marked increase in dorsolateral cell number cannot be accounted for solely on the basis of enhanced cell proliferation in this region. We hypothesised that neuroepithelial cells may translocate in a ventral-to-dorsal direction as DLHP formation occurs, and this was confirmed by vital cell labelling in cultured embryos. The translocation of cells into the neural fold, together with its more rapid cell proliferation, leads to an increase in cell density dorsolaterally compared with the more ventromedial neural plate. These findings suggest a model in which DLHP formation may proceed through 'buckling' of the neuroepithelium at a dorso-ventral boundary marked by a change in cell-packing density.

  19. An adverse outcome pathway framework for neural tube and axial defects mediated by modulation of retinoic acid homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Tonk, Elisa C M; Pennings, Jeroen L A; Piersma, Aldert H

    2015-08-01

    Developmental toxicity can be caused through a multitude of mechanisms and can therefore not be captured through a single simple mechanistic paradigm. However, it may be possible to define a selected group of overarching mechanisms that might allow detection of the vast majority of developmental toxicants. Against this background, we have explored the usefulness of retinoic acid mediated regulation of neural tube and axial patterning as a general mechanism that, when perturbed, may result in manifestations of developmental toxicity that may cover a large part of malformations known to occur in experimental animals and in man. Through a literature survey, we have identified key genes in the regulation of retinoic acid homeostasis, as well as marker genes of neural tube and axial patterning, that may be used to detect developmental toxicants in in vitro systems. A retinoic acid-neural tube/axial patterning adverse outcome pathway (RA-NTA AOP) framework was designed. The framework was tested against existing data of flusilazole exposure in the rat whole embryo culture, the zebrafish embryotoxicity test, and the embryonic stem cell test. Flusilazole is known to interact with retinoic acid homeostasis, and induced common and unique NTA marker gene changes in the three test systems. Flusilazole-induced changes were similar in directionality to gene expression responses after retinoic acid exposure. It is suggested that the RA-NTA framework may provide a general tool to define mechanistic pathways and biomarkers of developmental toxicity that may be used in alternative in vitro assays for the detection of embryotoxic compounds.

  20. Dyslipidemia in pregnancy may contribute to increased risk of neural tube defects -a pilot study in north Indian population.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Supriya; Arora, Sarika; Trivedi, S S; Singh, Ritu

    2009-04-01

    Neural tube defects are congenital structural abnormalities of the brain and vertebral column resulting from improper or non-timely closure of the neural tube. Prevalence of neural tube defects is reported to be higher among women with diabetes mellitus and obesity. This study was designed to investigate the relation between the presence of dyslipidemia in antenatal patients and the risk of fetal neural tube defects. The present study was an observational, cross-sectional study involving 129 pregnant women in 16 to 18 weeks gestation period. Of these, 80 women had normal pregnancies and 49 were clinically high-risk cases for neural tube defects. Fasting blood samples were analyzed for blood sugar and lipid profile by enzymatic assay and alpha-fetoprotein levels using Enzyme Immunoassay. Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) values were converted to Multiples of Median (MoM) appropriate for the gestational age. Based on AFP values, women were labeled as screen negative (AFP <2 MoM, n= 102) and screen positive (AFP > 2 MoM, n =27). Screen positive women were further evaluated by ultrasound and 21 women were found to carry a neural tube defects positive pregnancy. Statistical analysis was done on SPSS software. Body weight of the women showed a significant positive correlation with serum triglycerides, plasma sugar and AFP MoM values. A significant difference was observed in serum cholesterol levels (p= 0.038), triglycerides (p=0.001) and plasma sugar levels (p=0.002) between normal women and those with neural tube defects positive pregnancy. The Odds ratio for neural tube defects risk in dyslipidemic cases was 24.23 (CI 4.73 - 148.60) with a relative risk of 12.12. Dyslipidemia especially hypertriglyceridemia was found to be significantly associated with fetal neural tube defects.

  1. Mutations in the Motile Cilia Gene DNAAF1 Are Associated with Neural Tube Defects in Humans.

    PubMed

    Miao, Chunyue; Jiang, Qian; Li, Huili; Zhang, Qin; Bai, Baoling; Bao, Yihua; Zhang, Ting

    2016-10-13

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are severe malformations of the central nervous system caused by complex genetic and environmental factors. Among genes involved in NTD, cilia-related genes have been well defined and found to be essential for the completion of neural tube closure (NTC). We have carried out next-generation sequencing on target genes in 373 NTDs and 222 healthy controls, and discovered eight disease-specific rare mutations in cilia-related gene DNAAF1 DNAAF1 plays a central role in cytoplasmic preassembly of distinct dynein-arm complexes, and is expressed in some key tissues involved in neural system development, such as neural tube, floor plate, embryonic node, and brain ependyma epithelial cells in zebrafish and mouse. Therefore, we evaluated the expression and functions of mutations in DNAAF1 in transfected cells to analyze the potential correlation of these mutants to NTDs in humans. One rare frameshift mutation (p.Gln341Argfs*10) resulted in significantly diminished DNAAF1 protein expression, compared to the wild type. Another mutation, p.Lys231Gln, disrupted cytoplasmic preassembly of the dynein-arm complexes in cellular assay. Furthermore, results from NanoString assay on mRNA from NTD samples indicated that DNAAF1 mutants altered the expression level of NTC-related genes. Altogether, these findings suggest that the rare mutations in DNAAF1 may contribute to the susceptibility for NTDs in humans.

  2. Ablation of Arg-tRNA-protein transferases results in defective neural tube development.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eunkyoung; Kim, Seonmu; Lee, Jung Hoon; Kwon, Yong Tae; Lee, Min Jae

    2016-08-01

    The arginylation branch of the N-end rule pathway is a ubiquitin-mediated proteolytic system in which post-translational conjugation of Arg by ATE1-encoded Arg-tRNA-protein transferase to N-terminal Asp, Glu, or oxidized Cys residues generates essential degradation signals. Here, we characterized the ATE1-/- mice and identified the essential role of N-terminal arginylation in neural tube development. ATE1-null mice showed severe intracerebral hemorrhages and cystic space near the neural tubes. Expression of ATE1 was prominent in the developing brain and spinal cord, and this pattern overlapped with the migration path of neural stem cells. The ATE1-/- brain showed defective G-protein signaling. Finally, we observed reduced mitosis in ATE1-/- neuroepithelium and a significantly higher nitric oxide concentration in the ATE1-/- brain. Our results strongly suggest that the crucial role of ATE1 in neural tube development is directly related to proper turn-over of the RGS4 protein, which participate in the oxygen-sensing mechanism in the cells. [BMB Reports 2016; 49(8): 443-448].

  3. Mutations in the Motile Cilia Gene DNAAF1 Are Associated with Neural Tube Defects in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Chunyue; Jiang, Qian; Li, Huili; Zhang, Qin; Bai, Baoling; Bao, Yihua; Zhang, Ting

    2016-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are severe malformations of the central nervous system caused by complex genetic and environmental factors. Among genes involved in NTD, cilia-related genes have been well defined and found to be essential for the completion of neural tube closure (NTC). We have carried out next-generation sequencing on target genes in 373 NTDs and 222 healthy controls, and discovered eight disease-specific rare mutations in cilia-related gene DNAAF1. DNAAF1 plays a central role in cytoplasmic preassembly of distinct dynein-arm complexes, and is expressed in some key tissues involved in neural system development, such as neural tube, floor plate, embryonic node, and brain ependyma epithelial cells in zebrafish and mouse. Therefore, we evaluated the expression and functions of mutations in DNAAF1 in transfected cells to analyze the potential correlation of these mutants to NTDs in humans. One rare frameshift mutation (p.Gln341Argfs*10) resulted in significantly diminished DNAAF1 protein expression, compared to the wild type. Another mutation, p.Lys231Gln, disrupted cytoplasmic preassembly of the dynein-arm complexes in cellular assay. Furthermore, results from NanoString assay on mRNA from NTD samples indicated that DNAAF1 mutants altered the expression level of NTC-related genes. Altogether, these findings suggest that the rare mutations in DNAAF1 may contribute to the susceptibility for NTDs in humans. PMID:27543293

  4. SNPs in the neural cell adhesion molecule 1 gene (NCAM1) may be associated with human neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Deak, Kristen L.; Boyles, Abee L.; Etchevers, Heather C.; Melvin, Elizabeth C.; Siegel, Deborah G.; Graham, Felicia L.; Slifer, Susan H.; Enterline, David S.; George, Timothy M.; Vekemans, Michel; McClay, David; Bassuk, Alexander G.; Kessler, John A.; Linney, Elwood; Gilbert, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common birth defects, occurring in approximately 1/1,000 births; both genetic and environmental factors are implicated. To date, no major genetic risk factors have been identified. Throughout development, cell adhesion molecules are strongly implicated in cell–cell interactions, and may play a role in the formation and closure of the neural tube. To evaluate the role of neural cell adhesion molecule 1 (NCAM1) in risk of human NTDs, we screened for novel single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the gene. Eleven SNPs across NCAM1 were genotyped using TaqMan. We utilized a family-based approach to evaluate evidence for association and/or linkage disequilibrium. We evaluated American Caucasian simplex lumbosacral myelomeningocele families (n=132 families) using the family based association test (FBAT) and the pedigree disequilibrium test (PDT). Association analysis revealed a significant association between risk for NTDs and intronic SNP rs2298526 using both the FBAT test (P=0.0018) and the PDT (P=0.0025). Using the HBAT version of the FBAT to look for haplotype association, all pairwise comparisons with SNP rs2298526 were also significant. A replication study set, consisting of 72 additional families showed no significant association; however, the overall trend for overtransmission of the less common allele of SNP rs2298526 remained significant in the combined sample set. In addition, we analyzed the expression pattern of the NCAM1 protein in human embryos, and while NCAM1 is not expressed within the neural tube at the time of closure, it is expressed in the surrounding and later in differentiated neurons of the CNS. These results suggest variations in NCAM1 may influence risk for human NTDs. PMID:15883837

  5. Distinct Regulatory Mechanisms Act to Establish and Maintain Pax3 Expression in the Developing Neural Tube

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Steven; Ribes, Vanessa; Terriente, Javier; Wilkinson, David; Relaix, Frédéric; Briscoe, James

    2013-01-01

    Pattern formation in developing tissues is driven by the interaction of extrinsic signals with intrinsic transcriptional networks that together establish spatially and temporally restricted profiles of gene expression. How this process is orchestrated at the molecular level by genomic cis-regulatory modules is one of the central questions in developmental biology. Here we have addressed this by analysing the regulation of Pax3 expression in the context of the developing spinal cord. Pax3 is induced early during neural development in progenitors of the dorsal spinal cord and is maintained as pattern is subsequently elaborated, resulting in the segregation of the tissue into dorsal and ventral subdivisions. We used a combination of comparative genomics and transgenic assays to define and dissect several functional cis-regulatory modules associated with the Pax3 locus. We provide evidence that the coordinated activity of two modules establishes and refines Pax3 expression during neural tube development. Mutational analyses of the initiating element revealed that in addition to Wnt signaling, Nkx family homeodomain repressors restrict Pax3 transcription to the presumptive dorsal neural tube. Subsequently, a second module mediates direct positive autoregulation and feedback to maintain Pax3 expression. Together, these data indicate a mechanism by which transient external signals are converted into a sustained expression domain by the activities of distinct regulatory elements. This transcriptional logic differs from the cross-repression that is responsible for the spatiotemporal patterns of gene expression in the ventral neural tube, suggesting that a variety of circuits are deployed within the neural tube regulatory network to establish and elaborate pattern formation. PMID:24098141

  6. Gene transfer of lacZ into avian neural tube and neural crest cells by retroviral infection of grafted embryonic tissues.

    PubMed

    Stocker, K M; Brown, A M; Ciment, G

    1993-01-01

    We describe here a new method for transferring genes into cells of the neural tube and neural crest of early avian embryos in vivo. Using the marker gene lacZ as an example, we infected dissected neural tubes from Hamburger-Hamilton stage 12-13 quail embryos with a replication-defective retrovirus carrying lacZ during a 2 hr period of exposure to the virus in culture. Infected neural tubes were then grafted into uninfected host chicken embryos in ovo and, after continued development for several days, the chimeric embryos were processed for beta-galactosidase histochemistry to identify the progeny of infected cells. We show that virus-infected neural tubes grafted isotopically into the trunk region of host embryos gave rise to cells of both the spinal cord and neural crest. Infected neural crest cells localized within dorsal root ganglia, sympathetic ganglia, peripheral nerves, and within the skin, where they were likely to give rise to melanocytes. These data are consistent with those using other cell marking techniques applied to the neural crest, indicating that retrovirus infection in culture, grafting, and beta-galactosidase expression has a neutral effect on neural crest cell migration and localization. These results indicate the heterospecific grafting of early avian tissues infected with retroviruses carrying foreign genes may be an effective strategy for testing the biological role of various gene products during development.

  7. A new perspective on neural tube defects: folic acid and microRNA misexpression.

    PubMed

    Shookhoff, J M; Gallicano, G Ian

    2010-05-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are the second most common birth defects in the United States. It is well known that folic acid supplementation decreases about 70% of all NTDs, although the mechanism by which this occurs is still relatively unknown. The current theory is that folic acid deficiency ultimately leads to depletion of the methyl pool, leaving critical genes unmethylated, and, in turn, their improper expression leads to failure of normal neural tube development. Recently, new studies in human cell lines have shown that folic acid deficiency and DNA hypomethylation can lead to misexpression of microRNAs (miRNAs). Misexpression of critical miRNAs during neural development may lead to a subtle effect on neural gene regulation, causing the sometimes mild to severely debilitating range of phenotypes exhibited in NTDs. This review seeks to cohesively integrate current information regarding folic acid deficiency, methylation cycles, neural development, and miRNAs to propose a potential model of NTD formation. In addition, we have examined the relevant gene pathways and miRNAs that are predicted to affect them, and based on our investigation, we have devised a basic template of experiments for exploring the idea that miRNA misregulation may be linked to folic acid deficiency and NTDs.

  8. miR-430 regulates oriented cell division during neural tube development in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Takacs, Carter M; Giraldez, Antonio J

    2016-01-15

    MicroRNAs have emerged as critical regulators of gene expression. Originally shown to regulate developmental timing, microRNAs have since been implicated in a wide range of cellular functions including cell identity, migration and signaling. miRNA-430, the earliest expressed microRNA during zebrafish embryogenesis, is required to undergo morphogenesis and has previously been shown to regulate maternal mRNA clearance, Nodal signaling, and germ cell migration. The functions of miR-430 in brain morphogenesis, however, remain unclear. Herein we find that miR-430 instructs oriented cell divisions in the neural rod required for neural midline formation. Loss of miR-430 function results in mitotic spindle misorientation in the neural rod, failed neuroepithelial integration after cell division, and ectopic cell accumulation in the dorsal neural tube. We propose that miR-430, independently of canonical apicobasal and planar cell polarity (PCP) pathways, coordinates the stereotypical cell divisions that instruct neural tube morphogenesis.

  9. Reduction in the frequency of neural tube defects in splotch mice by retinoic acid.

    PubMed

    Kapron-Brás, C M; Trasler, D G

    1985-08-01

    In the homozygous state, the splotch (Sp) gene causes spina bifida and exencephaly. Close to 25% of the embryos from Sp/ + X Sp/+ litters are affected. The frequency of these defects is significantly reduced by maternal treatment with 5 mg/kg retinoic acid on day 9 of gestation. There is no significant increase in the resorption frequency with this treatment, indicating that the fall in the frequency of neural tube defects is not due to differential mortality of the affected fetuses. The effects of retinoic acid are time specific, with treatment at different times on day 9 having the greatest influence on either the anterior or posterior neuropore. Treatment on day 8 with the same dose of retinoic acid causes an increase in both resorptions and neural tube defects, although only the increase in the former was significant.

  10. Folate and Prevention of Neural Tube Defects: New Insights from a Bayesian Model.

    PubMed

    Ströhle, Alexander; Bohn, Torsten

    2015-01-01

    Maternal folate status before and during pregnancy influences a woman's risk of having a pregnancy affected by congenital malformations of the neural tube (neural tube defects, NTD). For NTD prevention, it is recommended that women use periconceptional supplementation of folic acid. However, the recommended dose varies considerably (400 - 800 µg folic acid/day). Insufficient data exists on the relation between folate status and the risk of NTD. A recent study published in the British Medical Journal provides evidence for a generalizable dose-response relation between folate status and risk of NTD. The lowest risk of having a child with NTD was related to red blood cell (RBC) folate concentrations of ≥ 1000 nmol/L.

  11. Scaling Pattern to Variations in Size during Development of the Vertebrate Neural Tube

    PubMed Central

    Uygur, Aysu; Young, John; Huycke, Tyler R.; Koska, Mervenaz; Briscoe, James; Tabin, Clifford J.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Anatomical proportions are robustly maintained in individuals that vary enormously in size, both within a species and between members of related taxa. However, the mechanisms underlying scaling are still poorly understood. We have examined this phenomenon in the context of the patterning of the ventral neural tube in response to a gradient of the morphogen Sonic hedgehog (SHH) in the chick and zebra finch, two species that differ in size during the time of neural tube patterning. We find that scaling is achieved, at least in part, by altering the sensitivity of the target cells to SHH and appears to be achieved by modulating the ratio of the repressive and activating transcriptional regulators, GLI2 and GLI3. This mechanism contrasts with previous experimental and theoretical analyses of morphogenic scaling that have focused on compensatory changes in the morphogen gradient itself. PMID:27093082

  12. Neural-tube defects produced in Syrian hamsters by potato glycoalkaloids.

    PubMed

    Renwick, J H; Claringbold, W D; Earthy, M E; Few, J D; McLean, A C

    1984-12-01

    Keeler et al. (78) showed that potato sprouts could be teratogens for the central nervous system in the Syrian hamster. We demonstrate here the same teratogenic effect from a British cultivar, Arran Pilot. Most of the activity was traced to the two solanidine triglycosides, alpha-chaconine and, at a higher dose level, alpha-solanine. Some possible implications for the study of human neural-tube defects are considered.

  13. Prevention of neural tube defects with folic acid: The Chinese experience.

    PubMed

    Ren, Ai-Guo

    2015-08-08

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are a group of congenital malformations of the central nervous system that are caused by the closure failure of the embryonic neural tube by the 28(th) day of conception. Anencephaly and spina bifida are the two major subtypes. Fetuses with anencephaly are often stillborn or electively aborted due to prenatal diagnosis, or they die shortly after birth. Most infants with spina bifida are live-born and, with proper surgical treatment, can survive into adulthood. However, these children often have life-long physical disabilities. China has one of the highest prevalence of NTDs in the world. Inadequate dietary folate intake is believed to be the main cause of the cluster. Unlike many other countries that use staple fortification with folic acid as the public health strategy to prevent NTDs, the Chinese government provides all women who have a rural household registration and who plan to become pregnant with folic acid supplements, free of charge, through a nation-wide program started in 2009. Two to three years after the initiation of the program, the folic acid supplementation rate increased to 85% in the areas of the highest NTD prevalence. The mean plasma folate level of women during early and mid-pregnancy doubled the level before the program was introduced. However, most women began taking folic acid supplements when they knew that they were pregnant. This is too late for the protection of the embryonic neural tube. In a post-program survey of the women who reported folic acid supplementation, less than a quarter of the women began taking supplements prior to pregnancy, indicating that the remaining three quarters of the fetuses remained unprotected during the time of neural tube formation. Therefore, staple food fortification with folic acid should be considered as a priority in the prevention of NTDs.

  14. [The effect of folic acid fortification on the reduction of neural tube defects].

    PubMed

    Santos, Leonor Maria Pacheco; Pereira, Michelle Zanon

    2007-01-01

    Neural tube defects are congenital malformations that occur during initial fetal development, leading to anencephaly and spina bifida; folic acid deficiency is the most important risk factor identified to date. Brazil has one of the world's highest neural tube defect rates. Food consumption surveys among pregnant Brazilian women showed a high rate of inadequate folic acid intake (< 0.6 mg/day). In 2004, the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) mandated the fortification of corn meal and wheat flour with folic acid (0.15 mg/100g). The National Family Budget Survey estimated the average amount of bread/flour products available in households as 106.1g/day (contributing with 0.16 mg folic acid/day). However, while in the South of the country the supply was 144 g/day, in the North and Central West it barely reached 70 g/day. Folic acid food fortification is mandatory in some 40 countries, but only four have assessed this strategy. The existing studies have all shown a significant impact, ranging from 19 to 78%. Folic acid fortification is an undeniably important intervention for primary prevention, and neural tube defects can now be considered a preventable epidemic.

  15. Genomic DNA hypomethylation is associated with neural tube defects induced by methotrexate inhibition of folate metabolism.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiuwei; Guan, Zhen; Chen, Yan; Dong, Yanting; Niu, Yuhu; Wang, Jianhua; Zhang, Ting; Niu, Bo

    2015-01-01

    DNA methylation is thought to be involved in the etiology of neural tube defects (NTDs). However, the exact mechanism between DNA methylation and NTDs remains unclear. Herein, we investigated the change of methylation in mouse model of NTDs associated with folate dysmetabolism by use of ultraperformance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC/MS/MS), liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), microarray, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and Real time quantitative PCR. Results showed that NTD neural tube tissues had lower concentrations of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MeTHF, P = 0.005), 5-formyltetrahydrofolate (5-FoTHF, P = 0.040), S-adenosylmethionine (SAM, P = 0.004) and higher concentrations of folic acid (P = 0.041), homocysteine (Hcy, P = 0.006) and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH, P = 0.045) compared to control. Methylation levels of genomic DNA decreased significantly in the embryonic neural tube tissue of NTD samples. 132 differentially methylated regions (35 low methylated regions and 97 high methylated regions) were selected by microarray. Two genes (Siah1b, Prkx) in Wnt signal pathway demonstrated lower methylated regions (peak) and higher expression in NTDs (P<0.05; P<0.05). Results suggest that DNA hypomethylation was one of the possible epigenetic variations correlated with the occurrence of NTDs induced by folate dysmetabolism and that Siah1b, Prkx in Wnt pathway may be candidate genes for NTDs.

  16. The continuing challenge of understanding, preventing, and treating neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Wallingford, John B; Niswander, Lee A; Shaw, Gary M; Finnell, Richard H

    2013-03-01

    Human birth defects are a major public health burden: The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 of every 33 United States newborns presents with a birth defect, and worldwide the estimate approaches 6% of all births. Among the most common and debilitating of human birth defects are those affecting the formation of the neural tube, the precursor to the central nervous system. Neural tube defects (NTDs) arise from a complex combination of genetic and environmental interactions. Although substantial advances have been made in the prevention and treatment of these malformations, NTDs remain a substantial public health problem, and we are only now beginning to understand their etiology. Here, we review the process of neural tube development and how defects in this process lead to NTDs, both in humans and in the animal models that serve to inform our understanding of these processes. The insights we are gaining will help generate new intervention strategies to tackle the clinical challenges and to alleviate the personal and societal burdens that accompany these defects.

  17. C5a receptor signaling prevents folate deficiency-induced neural tube defects in mice.

    PubMed

    Denny, Kerina J; Coulthard, Liam G; Jeanes, Angela; Lisgo, Steven; Simmons, David G; Callaway, Leonie K; Wlodarczyk, Bogdan; Finnell, Richard H; Woodruff, Trent M; Taylor, Stephen M

    2013-04-01

    The complement system is involved in a range of diverse developmental processes, including cell survival, growth, differentiation, and regeneration. However, little is known about the role of complement in embryogenesis. In this study, we demonstrate a novel role for the canonical complement 5a receptor (C5aR) in the development of the mammalian neural tube under conditions of maternal dietary folic acid deficiency. Specifically, we found C5aR and C5 to be expressed throughout the period of neurulation in wild-type mice and localized the expression to the cephalic regions of the developing neural tube. C5aR was also found to be expressed in the neuroepithelium of early human embryos. Ablation of the C5ar1 gene or the administration of a specific C5aR peptide antagonist to folic acid-deficient pregnant mice resulted in a high prevalence of severe anterior neural tube defect-associated congenital malformations. These findings provide a new and compelling insight into the role of the complement system during mammalian embryonic development.

  18. Suppressed expression of mitogen-activated protein kinases in hyperthermia induced defective neural tube.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tianliang; Leng, Zhaoting; Liu, Wenjing; Wang, Xia; Yan, Xue; Yu, Li

    2015-05-06

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common congenital malformations. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) pathway is involved in many physiological processes. HMGB1 has been showed closely associated with neurulation and NTDs induced by hyperthermia and could activate MAPKs pathway. Since hyperthermia caused increased activation of MAPKs in many systems, the present study aims to investigate whether HMGB1 contributes to hyperthermia induced NTDs through MAPKs pathway. The mRNA levels of MAPKs and HMGB1 between embryonic day 8.5 and 10 (E8.5-10) in hyperthermia induced defective neural tube were detected by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). By immunofluorescence and western blotting, the expressions of HMGB1 and phosphorylated MAPKs (ERK1/2, JNK and p38) in neural tubes after hyperthermia were studied. The mRNA levels of MAPKs and HMGB1, as well as the expressions of HMGB1 along with phosphorylated JNK, p38 and ERK, were downregulated in NTDs groups induced by hyperthermia compared with control. The findings suggested that HMGB1 may contribute to hyperthermia induced NTDs formation through decreased cell proliferation due to inhibited phosphorylated ERK1/2 MAPK.

  19. Impact of Periconceptional Use of Nitrosatable Drugs on the Risk of Neural Tube Defects.

    PubMed

    Benedum, Corey M; Yazdy, Mahsa M; Mitchell, Allen A; Werler, Martha M

    2015-10-15

    Nitrosatable drugs (NSDs) can, in the presence of nitrosating agents and highly acidic conditions, form N-nitroso compounds that have been found to be teratogenic in animal models. Using data from the Slone Epidemiology Center Birth Defects Study collected from 1998 to 2012, we compared maternal periconceptional NSD use between 334 neural tube defect cases and 7,619 nonmalformed controls. We categorized NSDs according to their functional group (secondary amine, tertiary amine, and amide). With logistic regression models, we estimated adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Neural tube defect risk was associated with maternal periconceptional use of secondary (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 2.4) and tertiary (aOR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.5) amines; an association was observed for amides, but the 95% confidence interval included the null (aOR = 1.4, 95% CI: 0.7, 2.5). Within the secondary amine group, elevated adjusted odds ratios were observed for 3 drugs but were null for the remaining medications. Increases in risk were observed for both strata of folic acid intake (<400 µg/day, ≥400 µg/day), with a slightly higher risk in the ≥400-µg/day stratum. Our findings support previously reported positive associations between neural tube defects and periconceptional exposure to NSDs containing a secondary or tertiary amine or amide.

  20. Neural Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis: The Functional and Molecular Background

    PubMed Central

    Ksiazek-Winiarek, Dominika Justyna; Szpakowski, Piotr; Glabinski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder resulting in motor dysfunction and cognitive decline. The inflammatory and neurodegenerative changes seen in the brains of MS patients lead to progressive disability and increasing brain atrophy. The most common type of MS is characterized by episodes of clinical exacerbations and remissions. This suggests the presence of compensating mechanisms for accumulating damage. Apart from the widely known repair mechanisms like remyelination, another important phenomenon is neuronal plasticity. Initially, neuroplasticity was connected with the developmental stages of life; however, there is now growing evidence confirming that structural and functional reorganization occurs throughout our lifetime. Several functional studies, utilizing such techniques as fMRI, TBS, or MRS, have provided valuable data about the presence of neuronal plasticity in MS patients. CNS ability to compensate for neuronal damage is most evident in RR-MS; however it has been shown that brain plasticity is also preserved in patients with substantial brain damage. Regardless of the numerous studies, the molecular background of neuronal plasticity in MS is still not well understood. Several factors, like IL-1β, BDNF, PDGF, or CB1Rs, have been implicated in functional recovery from the acute phase of MS and are thus considered as potential therapeutic targets. PMID:26229689

  1. Neural Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis: The Functional and Molecular Background.

    PubMed

    Ksiazek-Winiarek, Dominika Justyna; Szpakowski, Piotr; Glabinski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder resulting in motor dysfunction and cognitive decline. The inflammatory and neurodegenerative changes seen in the brains of MS patients lead to progressive disability and increasing brain atrophy. The most common type of MS is characterized by episodes of clinical exacerbations and remissions. This suggests the presence of compensating mechanisms for accumulating damage. Apart from the widely known repair mechanisms like remyelination, another important phenomenon is neuronal plasticity. Initially, neuroplasticity was connected with the developmental stages of life; however, there is now growing evidence confirming that structural and functional reorganization occurs throughout our lifetime. Several functional studies, utilizing such techniques as fMRI, TBS, or MRS, have provided valuable data about the presence of neuronal plasticity in MS patients. CNS ability to compensate for neuronal damage is most evident in RR-MS; however it has been shown that brain plasticity is also preserved in patients with substantial brain damage. Regardless of the numerous studies, the molecular background of neuronal plasticity in MS is still not well understood. Several factors, like IL-1β, BDNF, PDGF, or CB1Rs, have been implicated in functional recovery from the acute phase of MS and are thus considered as potential therapeutic targets.

  2. Folic acid remodels chromatin on Hes1 and Neurog2 promoters during caudal neural tube development.

    PubMed

    Ichi, Shunsuke; Costa, Fabricio F; Bischof, Jared M; Nakazaki, Hiromichi; Shen, Yueh-Wei; Boshnjaku, Vanda; Sharma, Saurabh; Mania-Farnell, Barbara; McLone, David G; Tomita, Tadanori; Soares, Marcelo B; Mayanil, Chandra S K

    2010-11-19

    The mechanism(s) behind folate rescue of neural tube closure are not well understood. In this study we show that maternal intake of folate prior to conception reverses the proliferation potential of neural crest stem cells in homozygous Splotch embryos (Sp(-/-)) via epigenetic mechanisms. It is also shown that the pattern of differentiation seen in these cells is similar to wild-type (WT). Cells from open caudal neural tubes of Sp(-/-) embryos exhibit increased H3K27 methylation and decreased expression of KDM6B possibly due to up-regulation of KDM6B targeting micro-RNAs such as miR-138, miR-148a, miR-185, and miR-339-5p. In our model, folate reversed these epigenetic marks in folate-rescued Sp(-/-) embryos. Using tissue from caudal neural tubes of murine embryos we also examined H3K27me2 and KDM6B association with Hes1 and Neurog2 promoters at embryonic day E10.5, the proliferative stage, and E12.5, when neural differentiation begins. In Sp(-/-) embryos compared with WT, levels of H3K27me2 associated with the Hes1 promoter were increased at E10.5, and levels associated with the Neurog2 promoter were increased at E12.5. KDM6B association with Hes1 and Neurog2 promoters was inversely related to H3K27me2 levels. These epigenetic changes were reversed in folate-rescued Sp(-/-) embryos. Thus, one of the mechanisms by which folate may rescue the Sp(-/-) phenotype is by increasing the expression of KDM6B, which in turn decreases H3K27 methylation marks on Hes1 and Neurog2 promoters thereby affecting gene transcription.

  3. Prediction of CHF in concentric-tube open thermosiphon using artificial neural network and genetic algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, R. H.; Su, G. H.; Qiu, S. Z.; Fukuda, Kenji

    2010-03-01

    In this paper, an artificial neural network (ANN) for predicting critical heat flux (CHF) of concentric-tube open thermosiphon has been trained successfully based on the experimental data from the literature. The dimensionless input parameters of the ANN are density ratio, ρ l/ ρ v; the ratio of the heated tube length to the inner diameter of the outer tube, L/ D i; the ratio of frictional area, d i/( D i + d o); and the ratio of equivalent heated diameter to characteristic bubble size, D he/[ σ/ g( ρ l- ρ v)]0.5, the output is Kutateladze number, Ku. The predicted values of ANN are found to be in reasonable agreement with the actual values from the experiments with a mean relative error (MRE) of 8.46%. New correlations for predicting CHF were also proposed by using genetic algorithm (GA) and succeeded to correlate the existing CHF data with better accuracy than the existing empirical correlations.

  4. An epidemiologic study of mitochondrial membrane transporter protein gene polymorphism and risk factors for neural tube defects in Shanxi, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhizhen; Xie, Jun; Luo, Tian'e; Zhang, Tao; Zhao, Xia; Zhao, Hong; Li, Peizhen

    2012-02-25

    The present study involved a questionnaire survey of 156 mothers that gave birth to children with neural tube defects or had a history of pregnancy resulting in children with neural tube defects (case group) and 156 control mothers with concurrent healthy children (control group) as well as detection of mitochondrial membrane transporter protein gene [uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2)] polymorphism. The maternal UCP2 3' untranslated region (UTR) D/D genotype and D allele frequency were significantly higher in the case group compared with the control group (odds ratio (OR) 3.233; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.103-9.476; P = 0.040; OR: 3.484; 95% CI: for neural tube defects 2.109-5.753; P < 0.001). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis of risk factors for neural tube defects showed that a maternal UCP2 3' UTR D/D genotype was negatively interacted with the mothers' consumption of frequent fresh fruit and vegetables (S = 0.007), positively interacted with the mothers' frequency of germinated potato consumption (S = 2.15) and positively interacted with the mothers' body mass index (S = 3.50). These findings suggest that maternal UCP2 3' UTR gene polymorphism, pregnancy time, consumption of germinated potatoes and body mass index are associated with an increased risk for neural tube defects in children from mothers living in Shanxi province, China. Moreover, there is an apparent gene-environment interaction involved in the development of neural tube defects in offspring.

  5. Natural history of hydrocephalus in children with spinal open neural tube defect

    PubMed Central

    Elgamal, Essam A.

    2012-01-01

    Background: The long-term prognosis of patients with Spinal Open Neural Tube Defect (SONTD)-associated hydrocephalus is not well known. This study was conducted to ascertain the incidence and natural history of hydrocephalus in patients with SONTD. Methods: All 82 patients with SONTD referred to Neurosurgery/Spina Bifida Clinics at King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (January 1995 - July 2010) were studied and followed for a period of 1-16 years. Patients were divided into three groups: Group “A” with active hydrocephalus treated with ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VPS), or endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV); Group “B” with compensated hydrocephalus; and Group “C” with no hydrocephalus. Timing of shunt insertion, complications of treatment and status of hydrocephalus were analyzed. Results: The mean age of the 82 patients was 7.4 years (range 1-16 years). Group “A” included 59 (72%) patients, Group “B” 7 (8.5%) patients, and Group “C” 16 (19.5%) patients. Chiari malformation type II was found in 71 (86.6%) patients, 57 of whom (80%) were in Group “A” with active hydrocephalus. They were treated by VPS (51 patients) and ETV (8 patients). The shunts were revised or replaced in 10 (19.6%) patients due to obstruction or infection. Primary ETV failed in 3/8 patients, and treated by VPS. None of those in Groups “B” or “C” required treatment for hydrocephalus during the follow up. Conclusion: Hydrocephalus affects the majority of patients with SONTD who have Myelomeningocele (MMC) and CM II and requires close surveillance and prompt management. Children with SONTD should routinely undergo MRI examination of brain and craniocervical junction to clarify ventricular size, and the presence of CM II. PMID:23087828

  6. When folic acid fails: Insights from 20 years of neural tube defect surveillance in South Carolina.

    PubMed

    Bupp, Caleb P; Sarasua, Sara M; Dean, Jane H; Stevenson, Roger E

    2015-10-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are the most common of the severe malformations of the brain and spinal cord. Increased maternal intake of folic acid (FA) during the periconceptional period is known to reduce NTD risk. Data from 1046 NTD cases in South Carolina were gathered over 20 years of surveillance. It was possible to determine maternal periconceptional FA use in 615 NTD-affected pregnancies. In 163 occurrent (26.9%) and two recurrent (22%) NTD cases, the mothers reported periconceptional FA use. These women were older and more likely to be white. Maternal periconceptional FA usage was reported in 40.4% of cases of spina bifida with other anomalies but in only 25.2% of isolated spina bifida cases (P = 0.02). This enrichment for associated anomalies was not noted among cases of anencephaly or of encephalocele. Among the 563 subsequent pregnancies to mothers with previous NTD-affected pregnancies, those taking FA had a 0.4% NTD recurrence rate, but the recurrence without FA was 8.5%. NTDs with other associated findings were less likely to be prevented by FA, suggesting there is a background NTD rate that cannot be further reduced by FA. Nonetheless, the majority (73.9%) of NTDs in pregnancies in which the mothers reported periconceptional FA use were isolated NTDs of usual types. Cases in which FA failed in prevention of NTDs provide potential areas for further study into the causation of NTDs. The measures and techniques implemented in South Carolina can serve as an effective and successful model for prevention of NTD occurrence and recurrence.

  7. ARSENATE-INDUCED MATERNAL GLUCOSE INTOLERANCE AND NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS IN A MOUSE MODEL

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Denise S.; Wlodarczyk, Bogdan J.; Mitchell, Laura E.; Finnell, Richard H.

    2009-01-01

    Background Epidemiological studies have linked environmental arsenic (As) exposure to increased type 2 diabetes risk. Periconceptional hyperglycemia is a significant risk factor for neural tube defects (NTDs), the second most common structural birth defect. A suspected teratogen, arsenic (As) induces NTDs in laboratory animals. Objectives We investigated whether maternal glucose homeostasis disruption was responsible for arsenate-induced NTDs in a well-established dosing regimen used in studies of arsenic’s teratogenicity in early neurodevelopment. Methods We evaluated maternal intraperitoneal (I.P.) exposure to As 9.6 mg/kg (as sodium arsenate) in LM/Bc/Fnn mice for teratogenicity and disruption of maternal plasma glucose and insulin levels. Selected compounds (insulin pellet, sodium selenate (SS), N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), L-methionine (L-Met), N-tert-Butyl-α-phenylnitrone (PBN)) were investigated for their potential to mitigate arsenate’s effects. Results Arsenate caused significant glucose elevation during an I.P. glucose tolerance test (IPGTT). Insulin levels were not different between arsenate and control dams before (arsenate, 0.55 ng/dl; control, 0.48 ng/dl) or after glucose challenge (arsenate, 1.09 ng/dl; control, 0.81 ng/dl). HOMA-IR index was higher for arsenate (3.9) vs control (2.5) dams (p=0.0260). Arsenate caused NTDs (100%, p<0.0001). Insulin pellet and NAC were the most successful rescue agents, reducing NTD rates to 45% and 35%. Conclusions IPGTT, insulin assay, and HOMA-IR results suggest a modest failure of glucose stimulated insulin secretion and insulin resistance characteristic of glucose intolerance. Insulin’s success in preventing arsenate-induced NTDs provides evidence that these arsenate-induced NTDs are secondary to elevated maternal glucose. The NAC rescue, which did not restore maternal glucose or insulin levels, suggests oxidative disruption plays a role. PMID:19446573

  8. Arsenate-induced maternal glucose intolerance and neural tube defects in a mouse model

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, Denise S.; Wlodarczyk, Bogdan J.; Mitchell, Laura E.; Finnell, Richard H.

    2009-08-15

    Background: Epidemiological studies have linked environmental arsenic (As) exposure to increased type 2 diabetes risk. Periconceptional hyperglycemia is a significant risk factor for neural tube defects (NTDs), the second most common structural birth defect. A suspected teratogen, arsenic (As) induces NTDs in laboratory animals. Objectives: We investigated whether maternal glucose homeostasis disruption was responsible for arsenate-induced NTDs in a well-established dosing regimen used in studies of arsenic's teratogenicity in early neurodevelopment. Methods: We evaluated maternal intraperitoneal (IP) exposure to As 9.6 mg/kg (as sodium arsenate) in LM/Bc/Fnn mice for teratogenicity and disruption of maternal plasma glucose and insulin levels. Selected compounds (insulin pellet, sodium selenate (SS), N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), L-methionine (L-Met), N-tert-Butyl-{alpha}-phenylnitrone (PBN)) were investigated for their potential to mitigate arsenate's effects. Results: Arsenate caused significant glucose elevation during an IP glucose tolerance test (IPGTT). Insulin levels were not different between arsenate and control dams before (arsenate, 0.55 ng/dl; control, 0.48 ng/dl) or after glucose challenge (arsenate, 1.09 ng/dl; control, 0.81 ng/dl). HOMA-IR index was higher for arsenate (3.9) vs control (2.5) dams (p = 0.0260). Arsenate caused NTDs (100%, p < 0.0001). Insulin pellet and NAC were the most successful rescue agents, reducing NTD rates to 45% and 35%. Conclusions: IPGTT, insulin assay, and HOMA-IR results suggest a modest failure of glucose stimulated insulin secretion and insulin resistance characteristic of glucose intolerance. Insulin's success in preventing arsenate-induced NTDs provides evidence that these arsenate-induced NTDs are secondary to elevated maternal glucose. The NAC rescue, which did not restore maternal glucose or insulin levels, suggests oxidative disruption plays a role.

  9. Cellular basis of neuroepithelial bending during mouse spinal neural tube closure

    PubMed Central

    McShane, Suzanne G.; Molè, Matteo A.; Savery, Dawn; Greene, Nicholas D. E; Tam, Patrick P.L.; Copp, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Bending of the neural plate at paired dorsolateral hinge points (DLHPs) is required for neural tube closure in the spinal region of the mouse embryo. As a step towards understanding the morphogenetic mechanism of DLHP development, we examined variations in neural plate cellular architecture and proliferation during closure. Neuroepithelial cells within the median hinge point (MHP) contain nuclei that are mainly basally located and undergo relatively slow proliferation, with a 7 h cell cycle length. In contrast, cells in the dorsolateral neuroepithelium, including the DLHP, exhibit nuclei distributed throughout the apico-basal axis and undergo rapid proliferation, with a 4 h cell cycle length. As the neural folds elevate, cell numbers increase to a greater extent in the dorsolateral neural plate that contacts the surface ectoderm, compared with the more ventromedial neural plate where cells contact paraxial mesoderm and notochord. This marked increase in dorsolateral cell number cannot be accounted for solely on the basis of enhanced cell proliferation in this region. We hypothesised that neuroepithelial cells may translocate in a ventral-to-dorsal direction as DLHP formation occurs, and this was confirmed by vital cell labelling in cultured embryos. The translocation of cells into the neural fold, together with its more rapid cell proliferation, leads to an increase in cell density dorsolaterally compared with the more ventromedial neural plate. These findings suggest a model in which DLHP formation may proceed through ‘buckling’ of the neuroepithelium at a dorso-ventral boundary marked by a change in cell-packing density. PMID:26079577

  10. Junctional neurulation: a unique developmental program shaping a discrete region of the spinal cord highly susceptible to neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Dady, Alwyn; Havis, Emmanuelle; Escriou, Virginie; Catala, Martin; Duband, Jean-Loup

    2014-09-24

    In higher vertebrates, the primordium of the nervous system, the neural tube, is shaped along the rostrocaudal axis through two consecutive, radically different processes referred to as primary and secondary neurulation. Failures in neurulation lead to severe anomalies of the nervous system, called neural tube defects (NTDs), which are among the most common congenital malformations in humans. Mechanisms causing NTDs in humans remain ill-defined. Of particular interest, the thoracolumbar region, which encompasses many NTD cases in the spine, corresponds to the junction between primary and secondary neurulations. Elucidating which developmental processes operate during neurulation in this region is therefore pivotal to unraveling the etiology of NTDs. Here, using the chick embryo as a model, we show that, at the junction, the neural tube is elaborated by a unique developmental program involving concerted movements of elevation and folding combined with local cell ingression and accretion. This process ensures the topological continuity between the primary and secondary neural tubes while supplying all neural progenitors of both the junctional and secondary neural tubes. Because it is distinct from the other neurulation events, we term this phenomenon junctional neurulation. Moreover, the planar-cell-polarity member, Prickle-1, is recruited specifically during junctional neurulation and its misexpression within a limited time period suffices to cause anomalies that phenocopy lower spine NTDs in human. Our study thus provides a molecular and cellular basis for understanding the causality of NTD prevalence in humans and ascribes to Prickle-1 a critical role in lower spinal cord formation.

  11. Prediction of friction factor of pure water flowing inside vertical smooth and microfin tubes by using artificial neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Çebi, A.; Akdoğan, E.; Celen, A.; Dalkilic, A. S.

    2016-06-01

    An artificial neural network (ANN) model of friction factor in smooth and microfin tubes under heating, cooling and isothermal conditions was developed in this study. Data used in ANN was taken from a vertically positioned heat exchanger experimental setup. Multi-layered feed-forward neural network with backpropagation algorithm, radial basis function networks and hybrid PSO-neural network algorithm were applied to the database. Inputs were the ratio of cross sectional flow area to hydraulic diameter, experimental condition number depending on isothermal, heating, or cooling conditions and mass flow rate while the friction factor was the output of the constructed system. It was observed that such neural network based system could effectively predict the friction factor values of the flows regardless of their tube types. A dependency analysis to determine the strongest parameter that affected the network and database was also performed and tube geometry was found to be the strongest parameter of all as a result of analysis.

  12. Prediction of friction factor of pure water flowing inside vertical smooth and microfin tubes by using artificial neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Çebi, A.; Akdoğan, E.; Celen, A.; Dalkilic, A. S.

    2017-02-01

    An artificial neural network (ANN) model of friction factor in smooth and microfin tubes under heating, cooling and isothermal conditions was developed in this study. Data used in ANN was taken from a vertically positioned heat exchanger experimental setup. Multi-layered feed-forward neural network with backpropagation algorithm, radial basis function networks and hybrid PSO-neural network algorithm were applied to the database. Inputs were the ratio of cross sectional flow area to hydraulic diameter, experimental condition number depending on isothermal, heating, or cooling conditions and mass flow rate while the friction factor was the output of the constructed system. It was observed that such neural network based system could effectively predict the friction factor values of the flows regardless of their tube types. A dependency analysis to determine the strongest parameter that affected the network and database was also performed and tube geometry was found to be the strongest parameter of all as a result of analysis.

  13. Development-on-chip: in vitro neural tube patterning with a microfluidic device

    PubMed Central

    Soundararajan, Prabakaran; Chennampally, Phaneendra; Cox, Gregory A.

    2016-01-01

    Embryogenesis is a highly regulated process in which the precise spatial and temporal release of soluble cues directs differentiation of multipotent stem cells into discrete populations of specialized adult cell types. In the spinal cord, neural progenitor cells are directed to differentiate into adult neurons through the action of mediators released from nearby organizing centers, such as the floor plate and paraxial mesoderm. These signals combine to create spatiotemporal diffusional landscapes that precisely regulate the development of the central nervous system (CNS). Currently, in vivo and ex vivo studies of these signaling factors present some inherent ambiguity. In vitro methods are preferred for their enhanced experimental clarity but often lack the technical sophistication required for biological realism. In this article, we present a versatile microfluidic platform capable of mimicking the spatial and temporal chemical environments found in vivo during neural tube development. Simultaneous opposing and/or orthogonal gradients of developmental morphogens can be maintained, resulting in neural tube patterning analogous to that observed in vivo. PMID:27246712

  14. Regulation of Patched by Sonic Hedgehog in the Developing Neural Tube

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marigo, Valeria; Tabin, Clifford J.

    1996-09-01

    Ventral cell fates in the central nervous system are induced by Sonic hedgehog, a homolog of hedgehog, a secreted Drosophila protein. In the central nervous system, Sonic hedgehog has been identified as the signal inducing floor plate, motor neurons, and dopaminergic neurons. Sonic hedgehog is also involved in the induction of ventral cell type in the developing somites. ptc is a key gene in the Drosophila hedgehog signaling pathway where it is involved in transducing the hedgehog signal and is also a transcriptional target of the signal. PTC, a vertebrate homolog of this Drosophila gene, is genetically downstream of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) in the limb bud. We analyze PTC expression during chicken neural and somite development and find it expressed in all regions of these tissues known to be responsive to Sonic hedgehog signal. As in the limb bud, ectopic expression of Sonic hedgehog leads to ectopic induction of PTC in the neural tube and paraxial mesoderm. This conservation of regulation allows us to use PTC as a marker for Sonic hedgehog response. The pattern of PTC expression suggests that Sonic hedgehog may play an inductive role in more dorsal regions of the neural tube than have been previously demonstrated. Examination of the pattern of PTC expression also suggests that PTC may act in a negative feedback loop to attenuate hedgehog signaling.

  15. Maternal hyperglycemia activates an ASK1-FoxO3a-caspase 8 pathway that leads to embryonic neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Yang, Peixin; Li, Xuezheng; Xu, Cheng; Eckert, Richard L; Reece, E Albert; Zielke, Horst Ronald; Wang, Fang

    2013-08-27

    Neural tube defects result from failure to completely close neural tubes during development. Maternal diabetes is a substantial risk factor for neural tube defects, and available evidence suggests that the mechanism that links hyperglycemia to neural tube defects involves oxidative stress and apoptosis. We demonstrated that maternal hyperglycemia correlated with activation of the apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) in the developing neural tube, and Ask1 gene deletion was associated with reduced neuroepithelial cell apoptosis and development of neural tube defects. ASK1 activation stimulated the activity of the transcription factor FoxO3a, which increased the abundance of the apoptosis-promoting adaptor protein TRADD, leading to activation of caspase 8. Hyperglycemia-induced apoptosis and the development of neural tube defects were reduced with genetic ablation of either FoxO3a or Casp8 or inhibition of ASK1 by thioredoxin. Examination of human neural tissues affected by neural tube defects revealed increased activation or abundance of ASK1, FoxO3a, TRADD, and caspase 8. Thus, activation of an ASK1-FoxO3a-TRADD-caspase 8 pathway participates in the development of neural tube defects, which could be prevented by inhibiting intermediates in this cascade.

  16. The amniotic fluid as a source of neural stem cells in the setting of experimental neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Turner, Christopher G; Klein, Justin D; Wang, Junmei; Thakor, Devang; Benedict, Darcy; Ahmed, Azra; Teng, Yang D; Fauza, Dario O

    2013-02-15

    We sought to determine whether neural stem cells (NSCs) can be isolated from the amniotic fluid in the setting of neural tube defects (NTDs), as a prerequisite for eventual autologous perinatal therapies. Pregnant Sprague-Dawley dams (n=62) were divided into experimental (n=42) and control (n=20) groups, depending on prenatal exposure to retinoic acid for the induction of fetal NTDs. Animals were killed before term for analysis (n=685 fetuses). Amniotic fluid samples from both groups underwent epigenetic selection for NSCs, followed by exposure to neural differentiation media. Representative cell samples underwent multiple morphological and phenotypical analyses at different time points. No control fetus (n=267) had any structural abnormality, whereas at least one type of NTD developed in 52% (217/418) of the experimental fetuses (namely, isolated spina bifida, n=144; isolated exencephaly, n=24; or a combination of the two, n=49). Only amniotic samples from fetuses with a NTD yielded cells with typical neural progenitor morphology and robust expression of both Nestin and Sox-2, primary markers of NSCs. These cells responded to differentiation media by displaying typical morphological changes, along with expression of beta-tubulin III, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and/or O4, markers for immature neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, respectively. This was concurrent with downregulation of Nestin and Sox-2. We conclude that the amniotic fluid can harbor disease-specific stem cells, for example, NSCs in the setting of experimental NTDs. The amniotic fluid may be a practical source of autologous NSCs applicable to novel forms of therapies for spina bifida.

  17. Research on the neural networks used for shaping tubes by the liquid extrusion process

    SciTech Connect

    Qi, L.H.; Li, H.J.; Hou, J.J.; Cui, P.L.

    2000-02-01

    Liquid extrusion, as a new kind of metal forming process for shaping tube and bar products directly from liquid metal, can reduce the intermediate steps and production costs and make the materials doubly strengthened. But it has not been widely used since the process parameters are now selected by experience, which can easily result in a high reject rate. In order to analyze the contributing factors of the process, the artificial neural network method was used in this paper. The network architecture was determined by adopting 125 sets of experimental data of the shaping tubes of AlCuSiMg alloy as samples and, by contrast, one or two hidden layers and the numbers of nodes and other network parameters. The knowledge base for the process parameters of liquid extrusion has been established. The values predicted by the knowledge base are very consistent with the practical ones. The result shows that the introduced method is feasible and effective.

  18. Prediction of the acoustic form function by neural network techniques for immersed tubes.

    PubMed

    Dariouchy, A; Aassif, E; Maze, G; Décultot, D; Moudden, A

    2008-08-01

    A new approach is used to predict the acoustic form function (FF) for an infinite length cylindrical shell excited perpendicularly to its axis using the artificial neural network (ANN) techniques. The Wigner-Ville distribution is used like a comparison tool between the FF calculated by the analytical method and that predicted by the ANN techniques for a stainless steel tube. During the development of the network, several configurations are evaluated for various radius ratios ba (a: outer radius: b: inner radius of the tube). The optimal model is a network with one hidden layer. It is able to predict the FF with a mean relative error about 1.61% for the cases studied in this paper.

  19. Nitrosatable Drug Exposure During Early Pregnancy and Neural Tube Defects in Offspring

    PubMed Central

    Brender, Jean D.; Werler, Martha M.; Kelley, Katherine E.; Vuong, Ann M.; Shinde, Mayura U.; Zheng, Qi; Huber, John C.; Sharkey, Joseph R.; Griesenbeck, John S.; Romitti, Paul A.; Langlois, Peter H.; Suarez, Lucina; Canfield, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    Nitrosatable drugs, such as secondary or tertiary amines and amides, form N-nitroso compounds in the presence of nitrite. Various N-nitroso compounds have been associated with neural tube defects in animal models. Using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, the authors examined nitrosatable drug exposure 1 month before and 1 month after conception in 1,223 case mothers with neural tube defect-affected pregnancies and 6,807 control mothers who delivered babies without major congenital anomalies from 1997 to 2005. Nitrite intakes were estimated from mothers’ responses to a food frequency questionnaire. After adjustment for maternal race/ethnicity, educational level, and folic acid supplementation, case women were more likely than were control women to have taken tertiary amines (odds ratio = 1.60, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.31, 1.95). This association was strongest with anencephalic births (odds ratio = 1.96, 95% CI: 1.40, 2.73); odds ratios associated with tertiary amines from the lowest tertile of nitrite intake to the highest tertile were 1.16 (95% CI: 0.59, 2.29), 2.19 (95% CI: 1.25, 3.86), and 2.51 (95% CI: 1.45, 4.37), respectively. Odds ratios for anencephaly with nitrosatable drug exposure were reduced among women who also took daily vitamin supplements that contained vitamin C. Prenatal exposure to nitrosatable drugs may increase the risk of neural tube defects, especially in conjunction with a mother’s higher dietary intake of nitrites, but vitamin C might modulate this association. PMID:22047825

  20. Folate-related gene variants in Irish families affected by neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Fisk Green, Ridgely; Byrne, Julianne; Crider, Krista S; Gallagher, Margaret; Koontz, Deborah; Berry, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    Periconceptional folic acid use can often prevent neural tube defects (NTDs). Variants of genes involved in folate metabolism in mothers and children have been associated with occurrence of NTDs. We identified Irish families with individuals affected by neural tube defects. In these families, we observed that neural tube defects and birth defects overall occurred at a higher rate in the maternal lineage compared with the paternal lineage. The goal of this study was to look for evidence for genetic effects that could explain the discrepancy in the occurrence of these birth defects in the maternal vs. paternal lineage. We genotyped blood samples from 322 individuals from NTD-affected Irish families, identified through their membership in spina bifida associations. We looked for differences in distribution in maternal vs. paternal lineages of five genetic polymorphisms: the DHFR 19 bp deletion, MTHFD1 1958G>A, MTHFR 1298A>C, MTHFR 677C>T, and SLC19A1 80A>G. In addition to looking at genotypes individually, we determined the number of genotypes associated with decreased folate metabolism in each relative ("risk genotypes") and compared the distribution of these genotypes in maternal vs. paternal relatives. Overall, maternal relatives had a higher number of genotypes associated with lower folate metabolism than paternal relatives (p = 0.017). We expected that relatives would share the same risk genotype as the individuals with NTDs and/or their mothers. However, we observed that maternal relatives had an over-abundance of any risk genotype, rather than one specific genotype. The observed genetic effects suggest an epigenetic mechanism in which decreased folate metabolism results in epigenetic alterations related to the increased rate of NTDs and other birth defects seen in the maternal lineage. Future studies on the etiology of NTDs and other birth defects could benefit from including multigenerational extended families, in order to explore potential epigenetic

  1. Giant occipital meningohydroencephalocele in an adult: Another historical case in neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Coulibaly, O; Sogoba, Y; Kanikomo, D; Dama, M; Camara, M A; Diallo, O

    2016-08-01

    Meningohydroencephalocele is a herniation of meninges, cerebrospinal fluid, brain parenchyma and a part of the ventricular system through a bony defect in the skull. This bone defect may be congenital, spontaneous or traumatic in origin. The lesions are mostly congenital, discovered generally after birth or in very young infants. We report the first historical case of the entity in this location in a 29-year-old man and discuss the pathogenesis, surgical management and social considerations of this type of neural tube defect in our country.

  2. Folic acid in the prevention of neural tube defect--a programme for Malaysia?

    PubMed

    Ho, J J

    2004-03-01

    There is good evidence that folic acid is safe and efficacious for reducing neural tube defect (NTD). All women capable of becoming pregnant should take 400 microgram daily. This can be given in the form of a daily vitamin supplement, by food fortification, or by increasing natural dietary folates. Compulsory grain fortification has been shown to reduce NTD in a population but supplementation and dietary advice have not. Malaysia should work towards a programme of grain fortification and use alternative strategies to reach sections of the population that would not be covered but several research questions need to be answered before a programme could be implemented in Malaysia.

  3. Describing the Prevalence of Neural Tube Defects Worldwide: A Systematic Literature Review

    PubMed Central

    Zaganjor, Ibrahim; Sekkarie, Ahlia; Tsang, Becky L.; Williams, Jennifer; Razzaghi, Hilda; Mulinare, Joseph; Sniezek, Joseph E.; Cannon, Michael J.; Rosenthal, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Background Folate-sensitive neural tube defects (NTDs) are an important, preventable cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. There is a need to describe the current global burden of NTDs and identify gaps in available NTD data. Methods and Findings We conducted a systematic review and searched multiple databases for NTD prevalence estimates and abstracted data from peer-reviewed literature, birth defects surveillance registries, and reports published between January 1990 and July 2014 that had greater than 5,000 births and were not solely based on mortality data. We classified countries according to World Health Organization (WHO) regions and World Bank income classifications. The initial search yielded 11,614 results; after systematic review we identified 160 full text manuscripts and reports that met the inclusion criteria. Data came from 75 countries. Coverage by WHO region varied in completeness (i.e., % of countries reporting) as follows: African (17%), Eastern Mediterranean (57%), European (49%), Americas (43%), South-East Asian (36%), and Western Pacific (33%). The reported NTD prevalence ranges and medians for each region were: African (5.2–75.4; 11.7 per 10,000 births), Eastern Mediterranean (2.1–124.1; 21.9 per 10,000 births), European (1.3–35.9; 9.0 per 10,000 births), Americas (3.3–27.9; 11.5 per 10,000 births), South-East Asian (1.9–66.2; 15.8 per 10,000 births), and Western Pacific (0.3–199.4; 6.9 per 10,000 births). The presence of a registry or surveillance system for NTDs increased with country income level: low income (0%), lower-middle income (25%), upper-middle income (70%), and high income (91%). Conclusions Many WHO member states (120/194) did not have any data on NTD prevalence. Where data are collected, prevalence estimates vary widely. These findings highlight the need for greater NTD surveillance efforts, especially in lower-income countries. NTDs are an important public health problem that can be prevented with folic acid

  4. Evaluation of common genetic variants in 82 candidate genes as risk factors for neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common birth defects (~1 in 1000 pregnancies in the US and Europe) that have complex origins, including environmental and genetic factors. A low level of maternal folate is one well-established risk factor, with maternal periconceptional folic acid supplementation reducing the occurrence of NTD pregnancies by 50-70%. Gene variants in the folate metabolic pathway (e.g., MTHFR rs1801133 (677 C > T) and MTHFD1 rs2236225 (R653Q)) have been found to increase NTD risk. We hypothesized that variants in additional folate/B12 pathway genes contribute to NTD risk. Methods A tagSNP approach was used to screen common variation in 82 candidate genes selected from the folate/B12 pathway and NTD mouse models. We initially genotyped polymorphisms in 320 Irish triads (NTD cases and their parents), including 301 cases and 341 Irish controls to perform case–control and family based association tests. Significantly associated polymorphisms were genotyped in a secondary set of 250 families that included 229 cases and 658 controls. The combined results for 1441 SNPs were used in a joint analysis to test for case and maternal effects. Results Nearly 70 SNPs in 30 genes were found to be associated with NTDs at the p < 0.01 level. The ten strongest association signals (p-value range: 0.0003–0.0023) were found in nine genes (MFTC, CDKN2A, ADA, PEMT, CUBN, GART, DNMT3A, MTHFD1 and T (Brachyury)) and included the known NTD risk factor MTHFD1 R653Q (rs2236225). The single strongest signal was observed in a new candidate, MFTC rs17803441 (OR = 1.61 [1.23-2.08], p = 0.0003 for the minor allele). Though nominally significant, these associations did not remain significant after correction for multiple hypothesis testing. Conclusions To our knowledge, with respect to sample size and scope of evaluation of candidate polymorphisms, this is the largest NTD genetic association study reported to date. The scale of the study and the

  5. Detection of Copy Number Variants Reveals Association of Cilia Genes with Neural Tube Defects

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yonghui; Zhao, Huizhi; Sheng, Xiaoming; Zou, Jizhen; Lip, Va; Xie, Hua; Guo, Jin; Shao, Hong; Bao, Yihua; Shen, Jianliang; Niu, Bo; Gusella, James F.; Wu, Bai-Lin; Zhang, Ting

    2013-01-01

    Background Neural tube defects (NTDs) are one of the most common birth defects caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Currently, little is known about the genetic basis of NTDs although up to 70% of human NTDs were reported to be attributed to genetic factors. Here we performed genome-wide copy number variants (CNVs) detection in a cohort of Chinese NTD patients in order to exam the potential role of CNVs in the pathogenesis of NTDs. Methods The genomic DNA from eighty-five NTD cases and seventy-five matched normal controls were subjected for whole genome CNVs analysis. Non-DGV (the Database of Genomic Variants) CNVs from each group were further analyzed for their associations with NTDs. Gene content in non-DGV CNVs as well as participating pathways were examined. Results Fifty-five and twenty-six non-DGV CNVs were detected in cases and controls respectively. Among them, forty and nineteen CNVs involve genes (genic CNV). Significantly more non-DGV CNVs and non-DGV genic CNVs were detected in NTD patients than in control (41.2% vs. 25.3%, p<0.05 and 37.6% vs. 20%, p<0.05). Non-DGV genic CNVs are associated with a 2.65-fold increased risk for NTDs (95% CI: 1.24–5.87). Interestingly, there are 41 cilia genes involved in non-DGV CNVs from NTD patients which is significantly enriched in cases compared with that in controls (24.7% vs. 9.3%, p<0.05), corresponding with a 3.19-fold increased risk for NTDs (95% CI: 1.27–8.01). Pathway analyses further suggested that two ciliogenesis pathways, tight junction and protein kinase A signaling, are top canonical pathways implicated in NTD-specific CNVs, and these two novel pathways interact with known NTD pathways. Conclusions Evidence from the genome-wide CNV study suggests that genic CNVs, particularly ciliogenic CNVs are associated with NTDs and two ciliogenesis pathways, tight junction and protein kinase A signaling, are potential pathways involved in NTD pathogenesis. PMID:23349908

  6. Primary cilium and sonic hedgehog signaling during neural tube patterning: role of GPCRs and second messengers.

    PubMed

    Pal, Kasturi; Mukhopadhyay, Saikat

    2015-04-01

    The ventral neural tube in vertebrates is patterned by a gradient of sonic hedgehog (Shh) secreted from the notochord and floor plate. Forward genetic screens first pointed to the role of the primary cilium in ventral neural tube patterning. Further research has shown that most components of the Shh pathway localize to or shuttle through the primary cilium. In the absence of Shh, the bifunctional Gli transcription factors are proteolytically processed into repressor forms in a protein kinase A (PKA)- and cilium-dependent manner. Recent work suggests that the orphan G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) Gpr161 localizes to cilia, and functions as a negative regulator of Shh signaling by determining Gli processing via cAMP signaling. The primary cilium also functions as a signaling compartment for calcium in the Shh pathway. A better understanding of the role of the cilium as a signaling compartment, and the interplay of second messenger systems that regulate PKA activation and Gli amplification during signaling is critical for deciphering the role of Shh during development, neuronal differentiation, and tumorigenesis.

  7. METHYLMERCURY INDUCED TOXICOGENOMIC RESPONSE IN C57 AND SWV MOUSE EMBRYOS UNDERGOING NEURAL TUBE CLOSURE

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Joshua F.; Griffith, William C.; Yu, Xiaozhong; Hong, Sungwoo; Kim, Euvin; Faustman, Elaine M.

    2010-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a developmental neurotoxicant and teratogen and is hypothesized to perturb a wide range of biological processes, like other metals including arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd). Common inbred mouse strains including C57 (sensitive) and SWV (resistant) display differences in sensitivity to metals such as As and Cd when exposed during neurulation. In this study, we investigated the impact of MeHg on neurulation, assessing for potential differences in sensitivity and associated toxicogenomic response in C57 and SWV mouse embryos. Parallel with morphological assessments of neural tube closure, we evaluated quantitative differences in MeHg-induced alterations in expression between strains at the gene level and within gene-enriched biological processes. Specifically, we observed differing sensitivities to MeHg-induced impacts on neural tube closure between C57 and SWV embryos in a time-dependent manner. These observations correlated with greater impact on the expression of genes associated with development and environmental stress-related pathways in the C57 compared to the SWV. Additional developmental parameters (e.g. mortality, growth effects) evaluated showed mixed significant effects across the two strains and did not support observations of differential sensitivity to MeHg. This study provides potential insights into MeHg-induced mechanisms of developmental toxicity, alterations associated with increased MeHg sensitivity and common biological processes affected by metals in embryos undergoing neurulation. PMID:20493249

  8. Failure in closure of the anterior neural tube causes left isomerization of the zebrafish epithalamus.

    PubMed

    Lu, Po-Nien; Lund, Caroline; Khuansuwan, Sataree; Schumann, Adelle; Harney-Tolo, Marijah; Gamse, Joshua T; Liang, Jennifer O

    2013-02-15

    Differences between the left and right sides of the brain are present in many animal species. For instance, in humans the left cerebral hemisphere is largely responsible for language and tool use and the right for processing spatial information. Zebrafish have prominent left-right asymmetries in their epithalamus that have been associated with differential left and right eye use and navigational behavior. In wild-type (WT) zebrafish embryos, Nodal pathway genes are expressed in the left side of the pineal anlage. Shortly thereafter, a parapineal organ forms to the left of the pineal. The parapineal organ causes differences in gene expression, neuropil density, and connectivity of the left and right habenula nuclei. In embryos that have an open neural tube, such as embryos that are deficient in Nodal signaling or the cell adhesion protein N-cadherin, the left and right sides of the developing epithalamus remain separated from one another. We find that the brains of these embryos often become left isomerized: both sides of the brain develop morphology and gene expression patterns that are characteristic of the left side. However, other aspects of epithalamic development, such as differentiation of specific neuronal cell types, are intact. We propose that there is a mechanism in embryos with closed neural tubes that prevents both sides from developing like the left side. This mechanism fails when the two sides of the epithalamus are widely separated from one another, suggesting that it is dependent upon a signaling protein with limited range.

  9. Folic acid supplementation can adversely affect murine neural tube closure and embryonic survival.

    PubMed

    Marean, Amber; Graf, Amanda; Zhang, Ying; Niswander, Lee

    2011-09-15

    Neural tube defects (NTDs), a common birth defect in humans, result from the failure of the embryonic neural tube (NT) to close properly. NT closure is a complex, poorly understood morphogenetic process influenced by genes and environment. The most effective environmental influence in decreasing the risk for NTDs is folic acid (FA) fortification and supplementation, and these findings led to the recommendation of periconceptual FA intake and mandatory fortification of the US grain supply in 1998. To explore the relationship between genetics and responsiveness to FA supplementation, we used five mouse NTDs models-Zic2, Shroom3, Frem2, Grhl2 (Grainyhead-like 2) and L3P (Line3P)-and a long-term generational FA supplementation scheme. Contrary to expectations, we find that three genetic mutants respond adversely to FA supplementation with increased incidence of NTDs in homozygous mutants, occurrence of NTDs in heterozygous embryos and embryonic lethality prior to NT closure. Because of these unexpected responses, we examined NTD risk after short-term FA supplementation. Our results indicate that, for the same genetic allele, NTD risk can depend on the length of FA exposure. Our data indicate that, depending on the gene mutation, FA supplementation may adversely influence embryonic development and NT closure.

  10. Variants in MTHFR gene and neural tube defects susceptibility in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yongxin; Liu, Yuan; Ji, Wenyu; Qin, Hu; Wu, Hao; Xu, Danshu; Turtuohut, Tukebai; Wang, Zengliang

    2015-08-01

    Neural tube defect (NTD) is a severe congenital birth abnormalities involving incomplete neural tube closure. 5, 10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene plays key role in folate cycle and methylation cycle, which could affect the DNA synthesis, repair and methylation. In this study, we aim to investigate the correlation between MTHFR polymorphisms and NTD-affected pregnancy. There were 444 participants involved in our study. Tag-SNPs were identified in HapMap Databases. Blood samples were collected from all subjects to further extract the genomic DNAs by TaqMan Blood DNA kits. We also carried out a meta-analysis based on previous published studies to further examine the association between MTHFR polymorphisms and NTD. In case-control study analysis, two SNPs were identified to be associated with NTD risk. The 677 C > T genetic variant was correlated with increased risk of NTD-affected pregnancy. However, the 1298 A > C polymorphism was shown to lower the risk of NTD-affected pregnancy. The protective role of 1298 A > C polymorphisms was further supported by the result of meta-analysis. Our study revealed that the SNPs of 677C > T and 1298A > C in MTHFR were associated with NTD-affected pregnancy, in which 677C > T was a risk factor and in contrast 1298A > C was protective factor against NTD. Our results of meta-analysis also revealed the 1298A > C MTHFR polymorphism play protective role in NTD.

  11. Neural tube defects and atypical deletion on 22q11.2.

    PubMed

    Leoni, Chiara; Stevenson, David A; Geiersbach, Katherine B; Paxton, Christian N; Krock, Bryan L; Mao, Rong; Rope, Alan F

    2014-11-01

    The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) is a common microdeletion disorder. Most of the patients show the common 3 Mb deletion but proximal 1.5 Mb deletion and unusual deletions located outside the common deleted region, have been detected particularly with the advance of comparative cytogenomic microarray technologies. The individuals reported in the literature with unusual deletions involving the 22q11 region, showed milder facial phenotypes, decreased incidence of cardiac anomalies, and intellectual disability. We describe two sibs with an atypical 0.8 Mb microdeletion of chromosome 22q11 who both showed myelomeningocele and mild facial dysmorphisms. The association between neural tube defect and the clinical diagnosis of Di George anomaly/velocardiofacial syndrome is well documented in the literature, but not all cases had molecular studies to determine breakpoint regions. This report helps to narrow a potential critical region for neural tube defects associated with 22q11 deletions.

  12. Novel association of VACTERL, neural tube defect and crossed renal ectopia: sonic hedgehog signaling: a point of coherence?

    PubMed

    Vaze, Dhananjay; Mahalik, Santosh; Rao, Katragadda L N

    2012-12-01

    The present case report describes two patients with a novel combination of VACTERL (vertebral, anorectal, cardiac, tracheoesophageal, renal, limb), neural tube defect and crossed renal ectopia. Though cases of VACTERL associated with crossed renal ectopia have been described, the present case report is the first to describe its combination with neural tube defect. The cases reported here are significant because central nervous system manifestations are scarce in VACTERL syndrome. The role of sonic hedgehog pathway has been proposed in VACTERL association and neural tube defects. Axial Sonic hedgehog signaling has also been implicated in the mediolateral positioning of the renal parenchyma. With this knowledge, the etiopathogenesis of this novel combination is discussed to highlight the role of sonic hedgehog signaling as a point of coherence.

  13. Mechanics of neurulation: From classical to current perspectives on the physical mechanics that shape, fold, and form the neural tube.

    PubMed

    Vijayraghavan, Deepthi S; Davidson, Lance A

    2016-09-13

    Neural tube defects arise from mechanical failures in the process of neurulation. At the most fundamental level, formation of the neural tube relies on coordinated, complex tissue movements that mechanically transform the flat neural epithelium into a lumenized epithelial tube (Davidson, 2012). The nature of this mechanical transformation has mystified embryologists, geneticists, and clinicians for more than 100 years. Early embryologists pondered the physical mechanisms that guide this transformation. Detailed observations of cell and tissue movements as well as experimental embryological manipulations allowed researchers to generate and test elementary hypotheses of the intrinsic and extrinsic forces acting on the neural tissue. Current research has turned toward understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying neurulation. Genetic and molecular perturbation have identified a multitude of subcellular components that correlate with cell behaviors and tissue movements during neural tube formation. In this review, we focus on methods and conceptual frameworks that have been applied to the study of amphibian neurulation that can be used to determine how molecular and physical mechanisms are integrated and responsible for neurulation. We will describe how qualitative descriptions and quantitative measurements of strain, force generation, and tissue material properties as well as simulations can be used to understand how embryos use morphogenetic programs to drive neurulation. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Melatonin prevents neural tube defects in the offspring of diabetic pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shangming; Guo, Yuji; Yuan, Qiuhuan; Pan, Yan; Wang, Liyan; Liu, Qian; Wang, Fuwu; Wang, Jingjing; Hao, Aijun

    2015-11-01

    Melatonin, an endogenous neurohormone secreted by the pineal gland, has a variety of physiological functions and neuroprotective effects. However, its protective role on the neural tube defects (NTDs) was not very clear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of melatonin on the incidence of NTDs (including anencephaly, encephalocele, and spina bifida) of offspring from diabetic pregnant mice as well as its underlying mechanisms. Pregnant mice were given 10 mg/kg melatonin by daily i.p. injection from embryonic day (E) 0.5 until being killed on E11.5. Here, we showed that melatonin decreased the NTDs (especially exencephaly) rate of embryos exposed to maternal diabetes. Melatonin stimulated proliferation of neural stem cells (NSCs) under hyperglycemic condition through the extracellular regulated protein kinases (ERK) pathway. Furthermore, as a direct free radical scavenger, melatonin decreased apoptosis of NSCs exposed to hyperglycemia. In the light of these findings, it suggests that melatonin supplementation may play an important role in the prevention of neural malformations in diabetic pregnancy.

  15. Folic acid and the decline in neural tube defects in Arkansas.

    PubMed

    Mosley, Bridget S; Hobbs, Charlotte A; Flowers, Bettye S; Smith, Veronica; Robbins, James M

    2007-04-01

    Folic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of pregnancies affected by neural tube defects (NTDs) by as much as 70%. Cereal grains sold in the U.S. have been fortified with folic acid since 1998. The Arkansas Reproductive Health Monitoring System and the Arkansas Folic Acid Coalition have encouraged use of folic acid and monitored the impact of increased consumption of folic acid among Arkansans. NTDs in Arkansas have declined 40% since intervention programs were implemented. The greatest decline has been observed among white and Hispanic women. Efforts to encourage folic acid consumption should continue to target Arkansas women. NTDs include anencephaly and spina bifida. These birth defects result from incomplete closure of the fetal neural tube during the first month of pregnancy. Infants with anencephaly are born without all or most of their brain and die within a few days of life. Infants with spina bifida have varying degrees of impairment ranging from little noticeable disability to severe, lifelong disability. Folic acid, when taken in supplement form has been shown to reduce the risk of a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect by as much as 70%. As a result of this finding, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration mandated that cereal grains sold in this country be fortified with at least 140 mcg of folic acid per 100 grams of grain by January 1, 1998. Prior to mandatory fortification, the March of Dimes and the U.S. Public Health Service released statements encouraging all women of reproductive age who are capable of becoming pregnant to take 400 mcg 'of synthetic folic acid daily. The Arkansas Reproductive Health Monitoring System (ARHMS) has monitored rates of NTDs in Arkansas since 1980. ARHMS is the lead agency of the Arkansas Folic Acid Coalition whose mission is to encourage folic acid use among all Arkansas women of reproductive age. In this report, we summarize efforts by ARHMS and the Arkansas Folic Acid Coalition to increase the awareness and

  16. Restricted Pax3 Deletion within the Neural Tube Results in Congenital Hydrocephalus

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Hong-Ming; Conway, Simon J.

    2016-01-01

    Congenital hydrocephalus is a common birth-defect whose developmental origins are poorly understood. Pax3-null mutants show defects in myogenesis, neural tube closure, neural crest morphogenesis, and heart development that, consequently, results in embryonic lethality. Here we demonstrate that conditional deletion of the mouse Pax3 transcription factor results in fully-penetrant congenital obstructive hydrocephalus. To identify the role of Pax3 during cranial development, we deleted Pax3 within the neuroepithelium (via Pax7−Cre), in the neural crest (via P0-Cre), and in both the neuroepithelium and the neural crest (via Wnt1-Cre). Only conditional mutants generated using Pax7−Cre or Wnt1-Cre developed early onset congenital hydrocephalus due to stenosis of the third ventricle, suggesting that loss of neuroepithelial Pax3 is sufficient to disturb third ventricle morphogenesis. Dilation of lateral ventricles occurs as early as E14.5, and lineage-mapping revealed that the neuroepithelial cells in the conditional mutants are present, but fail to undergo normal differentiation at the stenotic site. Concomitant with a narrowing of the mutant third ventricle, we detected ectopic apoptosis, reduced proliferation, and abnormal β-catenin localization. Furthermore, consistent with the overlapping expression pattern of Pax3 and Pax7 in early cranial neuroepithelium, we demonstrated a combinatorial role, as compound Pax3/Pax7 heterozygotes display partially-penetrant congenital hydrocephalus. These murine data provide an experimental paradigm underpinning clinical observations of the presence of PAX3 mutations in some hydrocephalic patients. PMID:26949601

  17. Integration of signals along orthogonal axes of the vertebrate neural tube controls progenitor competence and increases cell diversity.

    PubMed

    Sasai, Noriaki; Kutejova, Eva; Briscoe, James

    2014-07-01

    A relatively small number of signals are responsible for the variety and pattern of cell types generated in developing embryos. In part this is achieved by exploiting differences in the concentration or duration of signaling to increase cellular diversity. In addition, however, changes in cellular competence-temporal shifts in the response of cells to a signal-contribute to the array of cell types generated. Here we investigate how these two mechanisms are combined in the vertebrate neural tube to increase the range of cell types and deliver spatial control over their location. We provide evidence that FGF signaling emanating from the posterior of the embryo controls a change in competence of neural progenitors to Shh and BMP, the two morphogens that are responsible for patterning the ventral and dorsal regions of the neural tube, respectively. Newly generated neural progenitors are exposed to FGF signaling, and this maintains the expression of the Nk1-class transcription factor Nkx1.2. Ventrally, this acts in combination with the Shh-induced transcription factor FoxA2 to specify floor plate cells and dorsally in combination with BMP signaling to induce neural crest cells. As development progresses, the intersection of FGF with BMP and Shh signals is interrupted by axis elongation, resulting in the loss of Nkx1.2 expression and allowing the induction of ventral and dorsal interneuron progenitors by Shh and BMP signaling to supervene. Hence a similar mechanism increases cell type diversity at both dorsal and ventral poles of the neural tube. Together these data reveal that tissue morphogenesis produces changes in the coincidence of signals acting along orthogonal axes of the neural tube and this is used to define spatial and temporal transitions in the competence of cells to interpret morphogen signaling.

  18. Inositol prevents folate-resistant neural tube defects in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Greene, N D; Copp, A J

    1997-01-01

    Clinical trials demonstrate that up to 70% of neural tube defects (NTDs) can be prevented by folic acid supplementation in early pregnancy, whereas the remaining NTDs are resistant to folate. Here, we show that a second vitamin, myo-inositol, is capable of significantly reducing the incidence of spinal NTDs in curly tail mice, a genetic model of folate-resistant NTDs. Inositol increases flux through the inositol/lipid cycle, stimulating protein kinase C activity and upregulating expression of retinoic acid receptor beta, specifically in the caudal portion of the embryonic hindgut. This reduces the delay in closure of the posterior neuropore, the embryonic defect that is known to lead directly to spina bifida in curly tail embryos. Our findings reveal a molecular pathway of NTD prevention and suggest the possible efficacy of combined treatment with folate and inositol in overcoming the majority of human NTDs.

  19. Folic acid supplementation influences the distribution of neural tube defect subtypes: A registry-based study.

    PubMed

    Bergman, J E H; Otten, E; Verheij, J B G M; de Walle, H E K

    2016-01-01

    Periconceptional folic acid (FA) reduces neural tube defect (NTD) risk, but seems to have a varying effect per NTD subtype. We aimed to study the effect of FA supplementation on NTD subtype distribution using data from EUROCAT Northern Netherlands. We included all birth types with non-syndromal NTDs born in 1997-2012. By Fisher's exact test we analyzed possible differences in NTD subtype distribution between a correct FA supplementation group and incorrect FA supplementation group. We found proportionally fewer cervical/thoracic spina bifida cases and more lumbar/sacral spina bifida cases in the correct FA supplementation group, irrespective of the presence of the main NTD risk factors. The effect on NTD subtype distribution was only seen when FA supplementation was started before conception. We conclude that FA not only prevents the occurrence of a significant proportion of NTDs, but might also decrease the severity of NTDs, as long as supplementation is started before conception.

  20. Trends in neural tube defect prevalence, folic acid fortification, and vitamin supplement use.

    PubMed

    Olney, Richard S; Mulinare, Joseph

    2002-08-01

    In this review, the authors analyze international trends in rates of neural tube defects (NTDs) during the past three decades. Population-based data sources include the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program and other US birth defects surveillance programs in the National Birth Defects Prevention Network, the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Monitoring Systems, and US and Canadian vital records. To analyze trends in vitamin consumption, we review data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and international surveys of multivitamin use. We discuss the role of factors associated with historic and continuing declines in NTD rates in most countries. These factors include the introduction and increased utilization of prenatal diagnosis, recommendations for multivitamin use in women of childbearing age, and population-wide increases in blood folate levels that have occurred since food fortification was mandated. We also discuss research needs for further NTD prevention. This is a US government work. There are no restrictions on its use.

  1. Folic Acid supplementation and pregnancy: more than just neural tube defect prevention.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, James A; Bell, Stacey J; Guan, Yong; Yu, Yan-Hong

    2011-01-01

    Folate (vitamin B(9)) is an essential nutrient that is required for DNA replication and as a substrate for a range of enzymatic reactions involved in amino acid synthesis and vitamin metabolism. Demands for folate increase during pregnancy because it is also required for growth and development of the fetus. Folate deficiency has been associated with abnormalities in both mothers (anemia, peripheral neuropathy) and fetuses (congenital abnormalities). This article reviews the metabolism of folic acid, the appropriate use of folic acid supplementation in pregnancy, and the potential benefits of folic acid, as well as the possible supplementation of l-methylfolate for the prevention of pregnancy-related complications other than neural tube defects.

  2. Overview of homocysteine and folate metabolism. With special references to cardiovascular disease and neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Blom, Henk J; Smulders, Yvo

    2011-02-01

    This overview addresses homocysteine and folate metabolism. Its functions and complexity are described, leading to explanations why disturbed homocysteine and folate metabolism is implicated in many different diseases, including congenital birth defects like congenital heart disease, cleft lip and palate, late pregnancy complications, different kinds of neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases, osteoporosis and cancer. In addition, the inborn errors leading to hyperhomocysteinemia and homocystinuria are described. These extreme human hyperhomocysteinemia models provide knowledge about which part of the homocysteine and folate pathways are linked to which disease. For example, the very high risk for arterial and venous occlusive disease in patients with severe hyperhomocysteinemia irrespective of the location of the defect in remethylation or transsulphuration indicates that homocysteine itself or one of its "direct" derivatives is considered toxic for the cardiovascular system. Finally, common diseases associated with elevated homocysteine are discussed with the focus on cardiovascular disease and neural tube defects.

  3. A Robust Single Primate Neuroepithelial Cell Clonal Expansion System for Neural Tube Development and Disease Studies

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiaoqing; Li, Bo; Ai, Zongyong; Xiang, Zheng; Zhang, Kunshang; Qiu, Xiaoyan; Chen, Yongchang; Li, Yuemin; Rizak, Joshua D.; Niu, Yuyu; Hu, Xintian; Sun, Yi Eve; Ji, Weizhi; Li, Tianqing

    2015-01-01

    Summary Developing a model of primate neural tube (NT) development is important to promote many NT disorder studies in model organisms. Here, we report a robust and stable system to allow for clonal expansion of single monkey neuroepithelial stem cells (NESCs) to develop into miniature NT-like structures. Single NESCs can produce functional neurons in vitro, survive, and extensively regenerate neuron axons in monkey brain. NT formation and NESC maintenance depend on high metabolism activity and Wnt signaling. NESCs are regionally restricted to a telencephalic fate. Moreover, single NESCs can turn into radial glial progenitors (RGPCs). The transition is accurately regulated by Wnt signaling through regulation of Notch signaling and adhesion molecules. Finally, using the “NESC-TO-NTs” system, we model the functions of folic acid (FA) on NT closure and demonstrate that FA can regulate multiple mechanisms to prevent NT defects. Our system is ideal for studying NT development and diseases. PMID:26584544

  4. Folate and neural tube defects: The role of supplements and food fortification

    PubMed Central

    Ami, Noam; Bernstein, Mark; Boucher, François; Rieder, Michael; Parker, Louise

    2016-01-01

    Periconceptional folic acid significantly reduces the risk of neural tube defects. It is difficult to achieve optimal levels of folate by diet alone, even with fortification of flour, especially because flour consumption in Canada is slightly decreasing. Intermittent concerns have been raised concerning possible deleterious effects of folate supplementation, including the masking of symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency and an association with cancer, especially colorectal cancer. Both concerns have been disproved. The Canadian Paediatric Society endorses the following steps to enhance folate intake in women of child-bearing age: encouraging the consumption of folate-rich foods such as leafy vegetables, increasing the level of folate food fortification, taking a supplement containing folate and B12, and providing free folate supplementation to disadvantaged women of child-bearing age. These recommendations are consistent with those of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. PMID:27398055

  5. Folate and neural tube defects: The role of supplements and food fortification.

    PubMed

    Ami, Noam; Bernstein, Mark; Boucher, François; Rieder, Michael; Parker, Louise

    2016-04-01

    Periconceptional folic acid significantly reduces the risk of neural tube defects. It is difficult to achieve optimal levels of folate by diet alone, even with fortification of flour, especially because flour consumption in Canada is slightly decreasing. Intermittent concerns have been raised concerning possible deleterious effects of folate supplementation, including the masking of symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency and an association with cancer, especially colorectal cancer. Both concerns have been disproved. The Canadian Paediatric Society endorses the following steps to enhance folate intake in women of child-bearing age: encouraging the consumption of folate-rich foods such as leafy vegetables, increasing the level of folate food fortification, taking a supplement containing folate and B12, and providing free folate supplementation to disadvantaged women of child-bearing age. These recommendations are consistent with those of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

  6. Not all cases of neural-tube defect can be prevented by increasing the intake of folic acid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the beneficial effects of different levels of folic acid administration on the prevalence of neural tube defects, with a concurrent assessment of other potential benefits or adverse effects. The evaluation was based on a systematic review of the published ...

  7. Increased sphingoid base-1-phosphates and failure of neural tube closure after exposure to fumonisin or FTY720

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a mycotoxin produced by a common fungal contaminant of corn. Ingestion of FB1-contaminated food is associated with increased risk for neural tube defects (NTDs). FB1 induces NTDs in inbred LM/Bc mice. FB1 inhibits ceramide synthase in de novo sphingolipid biosynthesis, resultin...

  8. Neural Tube Defect Induction by Fumonisin B1 in LM/Bc Mice Fed Folate Deficient or Folate Replete Diets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium verticillioides and F. proliferatum. FB1 is found in corn-based foods and evidence suggests that it is a risk factor for neural tube defects (NTD). The mechanism(s) underlying NTD induction by FB1 in the sensitive LM/Bc mouse model is not well...

  9. Fumonisin B1 induced neural tube defects were not increased in LM/Bc mice fed folate-deficient diet

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium verticillioides that is found in corn-based foods and is possibly a risk factor for neural tube defects (NTD). The mechanism(s) underlying NTD induction by FB1 in the sensitive LM/Bc mouse model is not well understood, however, there is evidenc...

  10. Fumonisin as a possible contributing factor to neural tube defects in populations consuming large amounts of maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisin B1 (FB) is an inhibitor of sphingolipid (SL) biosynthesis and folate transport and can induce neural tube defects (NTD) in mice. NTD incidence is high in countries where maize is a dietary staple and FB exposure is likely. In Guatemala the incidence of FB in maize has been well documented ...

  11. Will Increasing Folic Acid in Fortified Grain Products Further Reduce Neural Tube Defects without Causing Harm?: Consideration of the Evidence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Will Increasing Folic Acid in Fortified Grain Products Further Reduce Neural Tube Defects without Causing Harm?: Consideration of the Evidence. In the January issue of this journal, Johnston (1) includes our group’s recent analysis of data from the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination...

  12. Hydrolyzed fumonisin B1 (HFB1) did not induce neural tube defects in LM/Bc mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisins are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium verticillioides. They are found in corn-based foods and are toxic and carcinogenic to rodents. There is evidence suggesting that consumption of corn tortillas containing fumonisins contributed to an enigmatic cluster of neural tube defects (NTDs) in s...

  13. Use of Family History Information for Neural Tube Defect Prevention: Integration into State-Based Recurrence Prevention Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Ridgely Fisk; Ehrhardt, Joan; Ruttenber, Margaret F.; Olney, Richard S.

    2011-01-01

    A family history of neural tube defects (NTDs) can increase the risk of a pregnancy affected by an NTD. Periconceptional folic acid use decreases this risk. Purpose: Our objective was to determine whether second-degree relatives of NTD-affected children showed differences in folic acid use compared with the general population and to provide them…

  14. Genetic association analyses of nitric oxide synthase genes and neural tube defects vary by phenotype.

    PubMed

    Soldano, Karen L; Garrett, Melanie E; Cope, Heidi L; Rusnak, J Michael; Ellis, Nathen J; Dunlap, Kaitlyn L; Speer, Marcy C; Gregory, Simon G; Ashley-Koch, Allison E

    2013-10-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are caused by improper neural tube closure during the early stages of embryonic development. NTDs are hypothesized to have a complex genetic origin and numerous candidate genes have been proposed. The nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3) G594T polymorphism has been implicated in risk for spina bifida, and interactions between that single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism have also been observed. To evaluate other genetic variation in the NO pathway in the development of NTDs, we examined all three NOS genes: NOS1, NOS2, and NOS3. Using 3109 Caucasian samples in 745 families, we evaluated association in the overall dataset and within specific phenotypic subsets. Haplotype tagging SNPs in the NOS genes were tested for genetic association with NTD subtypes, both for main effects as well as for the presence of interactions with the MTHFR C677T polymorphism. Nominal main effect associations were found with all subtypes, across all three NOS genes, and interactions were observed between SNPs in all three NOS genes and MTHFR C677T. Unlike the previous report, the most significant associations in our dataset were with cranial subtypes and the AG genotype of rs4795067 in NOS2 (p = 0.0014) and the interaction between the rs9658490 G allele in NOS1 and MTHFR 677TT genotype (p = 0.0014). Our data extend the previous findings by implicating a role for all three NOS genes, independently and through interactions with MTHFR, in risk not only for spina bifida, but all NTD subtypes.

  15. Is 5-methyltetrahydrofolate an alternative to folic acid for the prevention of neural tube defects?

    PubMed

    Obeid, Rima; Holzgreve, Wolfgang; Pietrzik, Klaus

    2013-09-01

    Women have higher requirements for folate during pregnancy. An optimal folate status must be achieved before conception and in the first trimester when the neural tube closes. Low maternal folate status is causally related to neural tube defects (NTDs). Many NTDs can be prevented by increasing maternal folate intake in the preconceptional period. Dietary folate is protective, but recommending increasing folate intake is ineffective on a population level particularly during periods of high demands. This is because the recommendations are often not followed or because the bioavailability of food folate is variable. Supplemental folate [folic acid (FA) or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-methylTHF)] can effectively increase folate concentrations to the level that is considered to be protective. FA is a synthetic compound that has no biological functions unless it is reduced to dihydrofolate and tetrahydrofolate. Unmetabolized FA appears in the circulation at doses of >200 μg. Individuals show wide variations in their ability to reduce FA. Carriers of certain polymorphisms in genes related to folate metabolism or absorption can better benefit from 5-methylTHF instead of FA. 5-MethylTHF [also known as (6S)-5-methylTHF] is the predominant natural form that is readily available for transport and metabolism. In contrast to FA, 5-methylTHF has no tolerable upper intake level and does not mask vitamin B12 deficiency. Supplementation of the natural form, 5-methylTHF, is a better alternative to supplementation of FA, especially in countries not applying a fortification program. Supplemental 5-methylTHF can effectively improve folate biomarkers in young women in early pregnancy in order to prevent NTDs.

  16. Inositol for the prevention of neural tube defects: a pilot randomised controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Greene, Nicholas D E; Leung, Kit-Yi; Gay, Victoria; Burren, Katie; Mills, Kevin; Chitty, Lyn S; Copp, Andrew J

    2016-03-28

    Although peri-conceptional folic acid (FA) supplementation can prevent a proportion of neural tube defects (NTD), there is increasing evidence that many NTD are FA non-responsive. The vitamin-like molecule inositol may offer a novel approach to preventing FA-non-responsive NTD. Inositol prevented NTD in a genetic mouse model, and was well tolerated by women in a small study of NTD recurrence. In the present study, we report the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects by Inositol (PONTI) pilot study designed to gain further experience of inositol usage in human pregnancy as a preliminary trial to a future large-scale controlled trial to evaluate efficacy of inositol in NTD prevention. Study subjects were UK women with a previous NTD pregnancy who planned to become pregnant again. Of 117 women who made contact, ninety-nine proved eligible and forty-seven agreed to be randomised (double-blind) to peri-conceptional supplementation with inositol plus FA or placebo plus FA. In total, thirty-three randomised pregnancies produced one NTD recurrence in the placebo plus FA group (n 19) and no recurrences in the inositol plus FA group (n 14). Of fifty-two women who declined randomisation, the peri-conceptional supplementation regimen and outcomes of twenty-two further pregnancies were documented. Two NTD recurred, both in women who took only FA in their next pregnancy. No adverse pregnancy events were associated with inositol supplementation. The findings of the PONTI pilot study encourage a large-scale controlled trial of inositol for NTD prevention, but indicate the need for a careful study design in view of the unwillingness of many high-risk women to be randomised.

  17. Fetal DNA hypermethylation in tight junction pathway is associated with neural tube defects: A genome-wide DNA methylation analysis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Linlin; Lin, Shanshan; Zhang, Ji; Tian, Tian; Jin, Lei; Ren, Aiguo

    2017-02-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are a spectrum of severe congenital malformations of fusion failure of the neural tube during early embryogenesis. Evidence on aberrant DNA methylation in NTD development remains scarce, especially when exposure to environmental pollutant is taken into consideration. DNA methylation profiling was quantified using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 array in neural tissues from 10 NTD cases and 8 non-malformed controls (stage 1). Subsequent validation was performed using a Sequenom MassARRAY system in neural tissues from 20 NTD cases and 20 non-malformed controls (stage 2). Correlation analysis of differentially methylated CpG sites in fetal neural tissues and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons concentrations in fetal neural tissues and maternal serum was conducted. Differentially methylated CpG sites of neural tissues were further validated in fetal mice with NTDs induced by benzo(a)pyrene given to pregnant mice. Differentially hypermethylated CpG sites in neural tissues from 17 genes and 6 pathways were identified in stage 1. Subsequently, differentially hypermethylated CpG sites in neural tissues from 6 genes (BDKRB2, CTNNA1, CYFIP2, MMP7, MYH2, and TIAM2) were confirmed in stage 2. Correlation analysis showed that methylated CpG sites in CTNNA1 and MYH2 from NTD cases were positively correlated to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon level in fetal neural tissues and maternal serum. The correlation was confirmed in NTD-affected fetal mice that were exposed to benzo(a)pyrene in utero. In conclusion, hypermethylation of the CTNNA1 and MYH2 genes in tight junction pathway is associated with the risk for NTDs, and the DNA methylation aberration may be caused by exposure to benzo(a)pyrene.

  18. Shroom3 functions downstream of planar cell polarity to regulate myosin II distribution and cellular organization during neural tube closure

    PubMed Central

    McGreevy, Erica M.; Vijayraghavan, Deepthi; Davidson, Lance A.; Hildebrand, Jeffrey D.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Neural tube closure is a critical developmental event that relies on actomyosin contractility to facilitate specific processes such as apical constriction, tissue bending, and directional cell rearrangements. These complicated processes require the coordinated activities of Rho-Kinase (Rock), to regulate cytoskeletal dynamics and actomyosin contractility, and the Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway, to direct the polarized cellular behaviors that drive convergent extension (CE) movements. Here we investigate the role of Shroom3 as a direct linker between PCP and actomyosin contractility during mouse neural tube morphogenesis. In embryos, simultaneous depletion of Shroom3 and the PCP components Vangl2 or Wnt5a results in an increased liability to NTDs and CE failure. We further show that these pathways intersect at Dishevelled, as Shroom3 and Dishevelled 2 co-distribute and form a physical complex in cells. We observed that multiple components of the Shroom3 pathway are planar polarized along mediolateral cell junctions in the neural plate of E8.5 embryos in a Shroom3 and PCP-dependent manner. Finally, we demonstrate that Shroom3 mutant embryos exhibit defects in planar cell arrangement during neural tube closure, suggesting a role for Shroom3 activity in CE. These findings support a model in which the Shroom3 and PCP pathways interact to control CE and polarized bending of the neural plate and provide a clear illustration of the complex genetic basis of NTDs. PMID:25596276

  19. Using artificial neural networks to model extrusion processes for the manufacturing of polymeric micro-tubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekras, N.; Artemakis, I.

    2012-09-01

    In this paper a methodology and an application example are presented aiming to show how Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) can be used to model manufacturing processes when mathematical models are missing or are not applicable e.g. due to the micro- & nano-scaling, due to non-conventional processes, etc. Besides the ANNs methodology, the results of a Software System developed will be presented, which was used to create ANNs models for micro & nano manufacturing processes. More specifically results of a specific application example will be presented, concerning the modeling of extrusion processes for polymeric micro-tubes. ANNs models are capable for modeling manufacturing processes as far as adequate experimental and/or historical data of processes' inputs & outputs are available for their training. The POLYTUBES ANNs models have been trained and tested with experimental data records of process' inputs and outputs concerning a micro-extrusion process of polymeric micro-tubes for several materials such as: COC, PC, PET, PETG, PP and PVDF. The main ANN model of the extrusion application example has 3 inputs and 9 outputs. The inputs are: tube's inner & outer diameters, and the material density. The model outputs are 9 process parameters, which correspond to the specific inputs e.g. process temperature, die inner & outer diameters, extrusion pressure, draw speed etc. The training of the ANN model was completed, when the errors for the model's outputs, which expressed the difference between the training target values and the ANNs outputs, were minimized to acceptable levels. After the training, the micro-extrusion ANN is capable to simulate the process and can be used to calculate model's outputs, which are the process parameters for any new set of inputs. By this way a satisfactory functional approximation of the whole process is achieved. This research work has been supported by the EU FP7 NMP project POLYTUBES.

  20. Lack of endothelial cell survivin causes embryonic defects in angiogenesis, cardiogenesis, and neural tube closure.

    PubMed

    Zwerts, Femke; Lupu, Florea; De Vriese, Astrid; Pollefeyt, Saskia; Moons, Lieve; Altura, Rachel A; Jiang, Yuying; Maxwell, Patrick H; Hill, Peter; Oh, Hideyasu; Rieker, Claus; Collen, Désiré; Conway, Simon J; Conway, Edward M

    2007-06-01

    We explored the physiologic role of endothelial cell apoptosis during development by generating mouse embryos lacking the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) survivin in endothelium. This was accomplished by intercrossing survivin(lox/lox) mice with mice expressing cre recombinase under the control of the endothelial cell specific tie1 promoter (tie1-cre mice). Lack of endothelial cell survivin resulted in embryonic lethality. Mutant embryos had prominent and diffuse hemorrhages from embryonic day 9.5 (E9.5) and died before E13.5. Heart development was strikingly abnormal. Survivin-null endocardial lineage cells could not support normal epithelial-mesenchymal transformation (EMT), resulting in hypoplastic endocardial cushions and in utero heart failure. In addition, 30% of mutant embryos had neural tube closure defects (NTDs) that were not caused by bleeding or growth retardation, but were likely due to alterations in the release of soluble factors from endothelial cells that otherwise support neural stem cell proliferation and neurulation. Thus, regulation of endothelial cell survival, and maintenance of vascular integrity by survivin are crucial for normal embryonic angiogenesis, cardiogenesis, and neurogenesis.

  1. Secondary neurulation: Fate-mapping and gene manipulation of the neural tube in tail bud.

    PubMed

    Shimokita, Eisuke; Takahashi, Yoshiko

    2011-04-01

    The body tail is a characteristic trait of vertebrates, which endows the animals with a variety of locomotive functions. During embryogenesis, the tail develops from the tail bud, where neural and mesodermal tissues make a major contribution. The neural tube in the tail bud develops by the process known as secondary neurulation (SN), where mesenchymal cells undergo epithelialization and tubulogenesis. These processes contrast with the well known primary neurulation, which is achieved by invagination of an epithelial cell sheet. In this study we have identified the origin of SN-undergoing cells, which is located caudo-medially to Hensen's node of early chicken embryo. This region is distinctly fate-mapped from tail-forming mesoderm. The identification of the presumptive SN region has allowed us to target this region with exogenous genes using in ovo electroporation techniques. The SN-transgenesis has further enabled an exploration of molecular mechanisms underlying mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition during SN, where activity levels of Cdc42 and Rac1 are critical. This is the first demonstration of molecular and cellular analyses of SN, which can be performed at a high resolution separately from tail-forming mesoderm.

  2. Dehydroepiandrosterone Biosynthesis, Role, and Mechanism of Action in the Developing Neural Tube

    PubMed Central

    Galdo, Mark; Gregonis, Jennifer; Fiore, Christelle S.; Compagnone, Nathalie A.

    2011-01-01

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is synthesized from cholesterol by activity of P450scc and P450c17, enzymes that we previously characterized in the developing nervous system. We describe the localization of P450c17 in the differentiated field of the ventral spinal cord in different motor neuron subtypes. We show that, during organogenesis, P450c17 activity is regulated along the antero/posterior axis of the spinal cord concomitantly with the gradient of neurogenesis. To examine whether DHEA may modulate this process, we measured proliferation and differentiation of ventral neural precursors in primary and explant cultures. Our results showed that DHEA-induced the expression of class II protein Nkx6.1, motor neuron precursor Olig-2, and definitive motor neuron marker Isl-1/2. DHEA also promoted proliferation of ventrally committed precursors in isolated spinal cord precursor cultures and in whole spinal cord explants. Both the proliferative and inductive effects of DHEA were dependent on sonic hedgehog signaling. The possibilities that the effects observed with DHEA were due to its metabolism into androgens or to activation of NMDA receptors were excluded. These results support the hypothesis that the tight regulation of DHEA biosynthesis may be a biologic clock restricting the period of ventral neuronal-precursor proliferation, thus controlling the number of pre-committed neurons in the developing neural tube. PMID:22649409

  3. Neural Tube Defects in Costa Rica, 1987–2012: Origins and Development of Birth Defect Surveillance and Folic Acid Fortification

    PubMed Central

    de la Paz Barboza-Argüello, María; Umaña-Solís, Lila M.; Azofeifa, Alejandro; Valencia, Diana; Flores, Alina L.; Rodríguez-Aguilar, Sara; Alfaro-Calvo, Thelma; Mulinare, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Our aim was to provide a descriptive overview of how the birth defects surveillance and folic acid fortification programs were implemented in Costa Rica—through the establishment of the Registry Center for Congenital Anomalies (Centro de Registro de Enfermedades Congénitas—CREC), and fortification legislation mandates. We estimated the overall prevalence of neural tube defects (i.e., spina bifida, anencephaly and encephalocele) before and after fortification captured by CREC. Prevalence was calculated by dividing the total number of infants born with neural tube defects by the total number of live births in the country (1987–2012).A total of 1,170 newborns with neural tube defects were identified from 1987 to 2012 (1992–1995 data excluded); 628 were identified during the baseline pre-fortification period (1987–1991; 1996–1998); 191 during the fortification period (1999–2002); and 351 during the post-fortification time period (2003–2012). The overall prevalence of neural tube defects decreased from 9.8 per 10,000 live-births (95 % CI 9.1–10.5) for the pre-fortification period to 4.8 per 10,000 live births (95 % CI 4.3–5.3) for the post–fortification period. Results indicate a statistically significant (P < 0.05) decrease of 51 % in the prevalence of neural tube defects from the pre-fortification period to the post-fortification period. Folic acid fortification via several basic food sources has shown to be a successful public health intervention for Costa Rica. Costa Rica’s experience can serve as an example for other countries seeking to develop and strengthen both their birth defects surveillance and fortification programs. PMID:24952876

  4. Neural tube defects in Costa Rica, 1987-2012: origins and development of birth defect surveillance and folic acid fortification.

    PubMed

    Barboza-Argüello, María de la Paz; Umaña-Solís, Lila M; Azofeifa, Alejandro; Valencia, Diana; Flores, Alina L; Rodríguez-Aguilar, Sara; Alfaro-Calvo, Thelma; Mulinare, Joseph

    2015-03-01

    Our aim was to provide a descriptive overview of how the birth defects surveillance and folic acid fortification programs were implemented in Costa Rica-through the establishment of the Registry Center for Congenital Anomalies (Centro de Registro de Enfermedades Congénitas-CREC), and fortification legislation mandates. We estimated the overall prevalence of neural tube defects (i.e., spina bifida, anencephaly and encephalocele) before and after fortification captured by CREC. Prevalence was calculated by dividing the total number of infants born with neural tube defects by the total number of live births in the country (1987-2012).A total of 1,170 newborns with neural tube defects were identified from 1987 to 2012 (1992-1995 data excluded); 628 were identified during the baseline pre-fortification period (1987-1991; 1996-1998); 191 during the fortification period (1999-2002); and 351 during the post-fortification time period (2003-2012). The overall prevalence of neural tube defects decreased from 9.8 per 10,000 live-births (95 % CI 9.1-10.5) for the pre-fortification period to 4.8 per 10,000 live births (95 % CI 4.3-5.3) for the post-fortification period. Results indicate a statistically significant (P < 0.05) decrease of 51 % in the prevalence of neural tube defects from the pre-fortification period to the post-fortification period. Folic acid fortification via several basic food sources has shown to be a successful public health intervention for Costa Rica. Costa Rica's experience can serve as an example for other countries seeking to develop and strengthen both their birth defects surveillance and fortification programs.

  5. G-protein-coupled receptors and localized signaling in the primary cilium during ventral neural tube patterning.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Sun-Hee; Mukhopadhyay, Saikat

    2015-01-01

    The primary cilium is critical in sonic hedgehog (Shh)-dependent ventral patterning of the vertebrate neural tube. Most mutants that cause disruption of the cilium result in decreased Shh signaling in the neural tube. In contrast, mutations in the intraflagellar complex A (IFT-A) and the tubby family protein, Tulp3, result in increased Shh signaling in the neural tube. Proteomic analysis of Tulp3-binding proteins first pointed to the role of the IFT-A complex in trafficking Tulp3 into the cilia. Tulp3 directs trafficking of rhodopsin family G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) to the cilia, suggesting the role of a GPCR in mediating the paradoxical effects of the Tulp3/IFT-A complex in causing increased Shh signaling. Gpr161 has recently been identified as a Tulp3/IFT-A-regulated GPCR that localizes to the primary cilium. A null knock-out mouse model of Gpr161 phenocopies Tulp3 and IFT-A mutants, and causes increased Shh signaling throughout the neural tube. In the absence of Shh, the bifunctional Gli transcription factors are proteolytically processed into repressor forms in a protein kinase A (PKA) -dependent and cilium-dependent manner. Gpr161 activity results in increased cAMP levels in a Gαs -coupled manner, and determines processing of Gli3. Shh signaling also results in removal of Gpr161 from the cilia, suggesting that Gpr161 functions in a positive feedback loop in the Shh pathway. As PKA-null and Gαs mutant embryos also exhibit increased Shh signaling in the neural tube, Gpr161 is a strong candidate for a GPCR that regulates ciliary cAMP levels, and activates PKA in close proximity to the cilia.

  6. A Neural Mechanism for Background Information-Gated Learning Based on Axonal-Dendritic Overlaps

    PubMed Central

    Mainetti, Matteo; Ascoli, Giorgio A.

    2015-01-01

    Experiencing certain events triggers the acquisition of new memories. Although necessary, however, actual experience is not sufficient for memory formation. One-trial learning is also gated by knowledge of appropriate background information to make sense of the experienced occurrence. Strong neurobiological evidence suggests that long-term memory storage involves formation of new synapses. On the short time scale, this form of structural plasticity requires that the axon of the pre-synaptic neuron be physically proximal to the dendrite of the post-synaptic neuron. We surmise that such “axonal-dendritic overlap” (ADO) constitutes the neural correlate of background information-gated (BIG) learning. The hypothesis is based on a fundamental neuroanatomical constraint: an axon must pass close to the dendrites that are near other neurons it contacts. The topographic organization of the mammalian cortex ensures that nearby neurons encode related information. Using neural network simulations, we demonstrate that ADO is a suitable mechanism for BIG learning. We model knowledge as associations between terms, concepts or indivisible units of thought via directed graphs. The simplest instantiation encodes each concept by single neurons. Results are then generalized to cell assemblies. The proposed mechanism results in learning real associations better than spurious co-occurrences, providing definitive cognitive advantages. PMID:25767887

  7. A unique missense allele of BAF155, a core BAF chromatin remodeling complex protein, causes neural tube closure defects in mice.

    PubMed

    Harmacek, Laura; Watkins-Chow, Dawn E; Chen, Jianfu; Jones, Kenneth L; Pavan, William J; Salbaum, J Michael; Niswander, Lee

    2014-05-01

    Failure of embryonic neural tube closure results in the second most common class of birth defects known as neural tube defects (NTDs). While NTDs are likely the result of complex multigenic dysfunction, it is not known whether polymorphisms in epigenetic regulators may be risk factors for NTDs. Here we characterized Baf155(msp3) , a unique ENU-induced allele in mice. Homozygous Baf155(mps3) embryos exhibit highly penetrant exencephaly, allowing us to investigate the roles of an assembled, but malfunctional BAF chromatin remodeling complex in vivo at the time of neural tube closure. Evidence of defects in proliferation and apoptosis were found within the neural tube. RNA-Seq analysis revealed that surprisingly few genes showed altered expression in Baf155 mutant neural tissue, given the broad epigenetic role of the BAF complex, but included genes involved in neural development and cell survival. Moreover, gene expression changes between individual mutants were variable even though the NTD was consistently observed. This suggests that inconsistent gene regulation contributes to failed neural tube closure. These results shed light on the role of the BAF complex in the process of neural tube closure and highlight the importance of studying missense alleles to understand epigenetic regulation during critical phases of development.

  8. Grainyhead-like 2 downstream targets act to suppress epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition during neural tube closure.

    PubMed

    Ray, Heather J; Niswander, Lee A

    2016-04-01

    The transcription factor grainyhead-like 2 (GRHL2) is expressed in non-neural ectoderm (NNE) and Grhl2 loss results in fully penetrant cranial neural tube defects (NTDs) in mice. GRHL2 activates expression of several epithelial genes; however, additional molecular targets and functional processes regulated by GRHL2 in the NNE remain to be determined, as well as the underlying cause of the NTDs in Grhl2 mutants. Here, we find that Grhl2 loss results in abnormal mesenchymal phenotypes in the NNE, including aberrant vimentin expression and increased cellular dynamics that affects the NNE and neural crest cells. The resulting loss of NNE integrity contributes to an inability of the cranial neural folds to move toward the midline and results in NTD. Further, we identified Esrp1, Sostdc1, Fermt1, Tmprss2 and Lamc2 as novel NNE-expressed genes that are downregulated in Grhl2 mutants. Our in vitro assays show that they act as suppressors of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Thus, GRHL2 promotes the epithelial nature of the NNE during the dynamic events of neural tube formation by both activating key epithelial genes and actively suppressing EMT through novel downstream EMT suppressors.

  9. Geminin loss causes neural tube defects through disrupted progenitor specification and neuronal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Patterson, Ethan S; Waller, Laura E; Kroll, Kristen L

    2014-09-01

    Geminin is a nucleoprotein that can directly bind chromatin regulatory complexes to modulate gene expression during development. Geminin knockout mouse embryos are preimplantation lethal by the 32-cell stage, precluding in vivo study of Geminin's role in neural development. Therefore, here we used a conditional Geminin allele in combination with several Cre-driver lines to define an essential role for Geminin during mammalian neural tube (NT) formation and patterning. Geminin was required in the NT within a critical developmental time window (embryonic day 8.5-10.5), when NT patterning and closure occurs. Geminin excision at these stages resulted in strongly diminished expression of genes that mark and promote dorsal NT identities and decreased differentiation of ventral motor neurons, resulting in completely penetrant NT defects, while excision after embryonic day 10.5 did not result in NT defects. When Geminin was deleted specifically in the spinal NT, both NT defects and axial skeleton defects were observed, but neither defect occurred when Geminin was excised in paraxial mesenchyme, indicating a tissue autonomous requirement for Geminin in developing neuroectoderm. Despite a potential role for Geminin in cell cycle control, we found no evidence of proliferation defects or altered apoptosis. Comparisons of gene expression in the NT of Geminin mutant versus wild-type siblings at embryonic day 10.5 revealed decreased expression of key regulators of neurogenesis, including neurogenic bHLH transcription factors and dorsal interneuron progenitor markers. Together, these data demonstrate a requirement for Geminin for NT patterning and neuronal differentiation during mammalian neurulation in vivo.

  10. Fat1 interacts with Fat4 to regulate neural tube closure, neural progenitor proliferation and apical constriction during mouse brain development.

    PubMed

    Badouel, Caroline; Zander, Mark A; Liscio, Nicole; Bagherie-Lachidan, Mazdak; Sopko, Richelle; Coyaud, Etienne; Raught, Brian; Miller, Freda D; McNeill, Helen

    2015-08-15

    Mammalian brain development requires coordination between neural precursor proliferation, differentiation and cellular organization to create the intricate neuronal networks of the adult brain. Here, we examined the role of the atypical cadherins Fat1 and Fat4 in this process. We show that mutation of Fat1 in mouse embryos causes defects in cranial neural tube closure, accompanied by an increase in the proliferation of cortical precursors and altered apical junctions, with perturbations in apical constriction and actin accumulation. Similarly, knockdown of Fat1 in cortical precursors by in utero electroporation leads to overproliferation of radial glial precursors. Fat1 interacts genetically with the related cadherin Fat4 to regulate these processes. Proteomic analysis reveals that Fat1 and Fat4 bind different sets of actin-regulating and junctional proteins. In vitro data suggest that Fat1 and Fat4 form cis-heterodimers, providing a mechanism for bringing together their diverse interactors. We propose a model in which Fat1 and Fat4 binding coordinates distinct pathways at apical junctions to regulate neural progenitor proliferation, neural tube closure and apical constriction.

  11. Fat1 interacts with Fat4 to regulate neural tube closure, neural progenitor proliferation and apical constriction during mouse brain development

    PubMed Central

    Badouel, Caroline; Zander, Mark A.; Liscio, Nicole; Bagherie-Lachidan, Mazdak; Sopko, Richelle; Coyaud, Etienne; Raught, Brian; Miller, Freda D.; McNeill, Helen

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian brain development requires coordination between neural precursor proliferation, differentiation and cellular organization to create the intricate neuronal networks of the adult brain. Here, we examined the role of the atypical cadherins Fat1 and Fat4 in this process. We show that mutation of Fat1 in mouse embryos causes defects in cranial neural tube closure, accompanied by an increase in the proliferation of cortical precursors and altered apical junctions, with perturbations in apical constriction and actin accumulation. Similarly, knockdown of Fat1 in cortical precursors by in utero electroporation leads to overproliferation of radial glial precursors. Fat1 interacts genetically with the related cadherin Fat4 to regulate these processes. Proteomic analysis reveals that Fat1 and Fat4 bind different sets of actin-regulating and junctional proteins. In vitro data suggest that Fat1 and Fat4 form cis-heterodimers, providing a mechanism for bringing together their diverse interactors. We propose a model in which Fat1 and Fat4 binding coordinates distinct pathways at apical junctions to regulate neural progenitor proliferation, neural tube closure and apical constriction. PMID:26209645

  12. Effects of methionine on the cytoplasmic distribution of actin and tubulin during neural tube closure in rat embryos

    PubMed Central

    Moephuli, Shadrack R.; Klein, Norman W.; Baldwin, Michael T.; Krider, Hallie M.

    1997-01-01

    Research has previously shown that, without methionine supplements, neural tube proteins of rat embryos cultured on bovine sera were hypomethylated and neural tubes failed to close. In the present study, to identify the proteins that became methylated during neurulation, rat embryos were first cultured on methionine-deficient bovine serum for 40 hr, then incubated with puromycin for 1 hr, and, finally, incubated with [methyl-14C]methionine and puromycin for 5 hr. On the basis of molecular weights, isoelectric points, and Western immunoblots, the methyl-14C-labeled proteins were identified as actin, αβ-tubulin, and neurofilament L. Indirect immunofluorescence studies indicated that without the addition of methionine to the culture, localization of actin and αβ-tubulin in the basal cytoplasm did not occur and these neuroepithelial cells lost their columnar morphology. PMID:9012820

  13. Identification and characterization of novel rare mutations in the planar cell polarity gene PRICKLE1 in human neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Bosoi, Ciprian M; Capra, Valeria; Allache, Redouane; Trinh, Vincent Quoc-Huy; De Marco, Patrizia; Merello, Elisa; Drapeau, Pierre; Bassuk, Alexander G; Kibar, Zoha

    2011-12-01

    The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway controls the process of convergent extension (CE) during gastrulation and neural tube closure, and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects (NTDs) in animal models and human cohorts. In this study, we analyzed the role of one core PCP gene PRICKLE1 in these malformations. We screened this gene in 810 unrelated NTD patients and identified seven rare missense heterozygous mutations that were absent in all controls analyzed and predicted to be functionally deleterious using bioinformatics. Functional validation of five PRICKLE1 variants in a zebrafish model demonstrated that one variant, p.Arg682Cys, antagonized the CE phenotype induced by the wild-type zebrafish prickle1a (zpk1a) in a dominant fashion. Our study demonstrates that PRICKLE1 could act as a predisposing factor to human NTDs and further expands our knowledge of the role of PCP genes in the pathogenesis of these malformations.

  14. Folate deficiency and folic acid supplementation: the prevention of neural-tube defects and congenital heart defects.

    PubMed

    Czeizel, Andrew E; Dudás, Istvan; Vereczkey, Attila; Bánhidy, Ferenc

    2013-11-21

    Diet, particularly vitamin deficiency, is associated with the risk of birth defects. The aim of this review paper is to show the characteristics of common and severe neural-tube defects together with congenital heart defects (CHD) as vitamin deficiencies play a role in their origin. The findings of the Hungarian intervention (randomized double-blind and cohort controlled) trials indicated that periconceptional folic acid (FA)-containing multivitamin supplementation prevented the major proportion (about 90%) of neural-tube defects (NTD) as well as a certain proportion (about 40%) of congenital heart defects. Finally the benefits and drawbacks of three main practical applications of folic acid/multivitamin treatment such as (i) dietary intake; (ii) periconceptional supplementation; and (iii) flour fortification are discussed. The conclusion arrived at is indeed confirmation of Benjamin Franklin's statement: "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of care".

  15. The natural history of neural tube defects in the setting of an Irish tertiary referral foetal medicine unit.

    PubMed

    Anglim, B; Mandiwanza, T; Miletin, J; Turner, M; Kennelly, M M

    2016-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) carry a heavy burden for affected individuals and their family. Physical and neurological outcome measures may help in counselling couples. The aim of this audit was to review all cases of NTDs seen at a tertiary referral foetal medicine unit. Cases were identified from obstetric, neonatal and neurosurgical records. Thirty-six cases of NTDs were identified. Of the 36, 25% (n = 9, one trisomy 18) opted for termination of pregnancy abroad. Of the remaining 27, 19% (n = 5) died in the antepartum period. 81% (n = 22) were liveborn with four neonatal deaths (one trisomy 18). Of 15 cases, 14 had neurosurgical repair within a median time of 3 days and 9 of these also had a ventriculoperitoneal shunt inserted. Antenatal ultrasound accurately diagnosed lesion level in the majority of cases. The survival rate for babies diagnosed with non-lethal neural tubes defects is high when multidisciplinary care is initiated early.

  16. Effect of mitomycin C on the neural tube defects of the curly-tail mouse.

    PubMed

    Seller, M J; Perkins, K J

    1986-06-01

    Around 60% of the mouse mutants called curly-tail, have tail aberrations in the form of a coil or a kink, with or without lumbosacral spina bifida, and rarely, exencephaly. These neural tube defects (NTD) are the result of an incompletely penetrant recessive gene. A single injection of various doses (1-6 mg/kg) of the DNA inhibitor mitomycin C was given to pregnant curly-tail mice on day 7, 8, or 9 of gestation, and its effect on the NTD of the embryos was noted. No dose used was lethal to the embryo. When given on day 7 or day 8, mitomycin C markedly increased the number of exencephalics, and additionally, on day 8, it reduced the number of posterior abnormalities. However, on day 9, no exencephaly was produced, and there was a drastic reduction in the number of tail and spinal defects, the overall incidence of NTD being as low as 15% with 2 mg/kg. A twofold effect of mitomycin C on the curly-tail embryos was thus observed--according to the time in development it was administered, firstly, a teratogenic effect, and later, a "remedial" or preventive effect.

  17. Stress among parents of infants with neural tube defect and its associated factors.

    PubMed

    Al-Akour, Nemeh Ahmad; Khader, Yusef Saleh; Hamlan, Adlah

    2013-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the stress among parents (either the mother or the father) of infants with neural tube defects (NTDs) and its associated factors. Using Parenting Stress Index-Short Form (PSI-SF), 100 parents of infants with NTDs were compared with 100 parents as a normative group. The total mean score for parents of infants with NTDs was 104.0 (standard deviation (SD) = 22.9) compared with 84.3 (SD = 18.9) for parents of infants without NTDs. Fifty-three (53.5%) parents of infants with NTDs and 15% of the control group had clinically significant high total stress score. Parents of infants with NTDs had a significantly higher score of distress in all scales of PSI-SF compared with those of infants without NTDs. Multivariate analysis found that mothers of infants with NTDs had a significantly higher average score for parental distress, parent-child dysfunctional interaction and total stress than fathers. Parents' lower education, unemployed parents and lower family income per month were significantly associated with increased parent-child dysfunctional interaction and parental distress. Parents with lower education and lower family income are in need for psychological and emotional support from health-care professionals.

  18. Levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Maternal Serum and Risk of Neural Tube Defects in Offspring

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous environmental pollutants, and have been reported to be a risk factor for human neural tube defects (NTDs). We investigated the relationship between PAH concentrations in maternal serum and NTD risk in offspring using a case-control study design, and explored the link between PAH concentrations to household energy usage characteristics and life styles. One hundred and seventeen women who had NTD-affected pregnancies (cases) and 121 women who delivered healthy infants (controls) were recruited in Northern China. Maternal blood samples were collected at pregnancy termination or at delivery. Twenty-seven PAHs were measured by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. The concentrations of 13 individual PAHs detected were significantly higher in the cases than in the controls. Clear dose–response relationships between concentrations of most individual PAHs and the risk of total NTDs or subtypes were observed, even when potential covariates were adjusted for. High-molecular-weight PAHs (H-PAHs) showed higher risk than low-molecular-weight PAHs (L-PAHs). No associations between PAH concentrations and indoor life styles and energy usage characteristics were observed. It was concluded that maternal exposure to PAHs was associated with an increased risk of NTDs, and H-PAHs overall posed a higher risk for NTDs than L-PAHs. PMID:25488567

  19. Prevention of neural tube defects in the UK: a missed opportunity

    PubMed Central

    Morris, JK; Rankin, J; Draper, ES; Kurinczuk, JJ; Springett, A; Tucker, D; Wellesley, D; Wreyford, B; Wald, NJ

    2016-01-01

    Objective In 1991, the Medical Research Council (MRC) Vitamin Study demonstrated that folic acid taken before pregnancy and in early pregnancy reduced the risk of a neural tube defect (NTD). We aimed to estimate the number of NTD pregnancies that would have been prevented if flour had been fortified with folic acid in the UK from 1998 as it had been in the USA. Design Estimates of NTD prevalence, the preventive effect of folic acid and the proportion of women taking folic acid supplements before pregnancy were used to predict the number of NTD pregnancies that would have been prevented if folic acid fortification had been implemented. Setting Eight congenital anomaly registers in England and Wales. Main outcome measures The prevalence of pregnancies with an NTD in the UK and the number of these pregnancies that would have been prevented if folic acid fortification had been implemented. Results From 1991 to 2012, the prevalence of NTD pregnancies was 1.28 (95% CI 1.24 to 1.31) per 1000 total births (19% live births, 81% terminations and 0.5% stillbirths and fetal deaths ≥20 weeks’ gestation). If the USA levels of folic acid fortification from 1998 onwards had been adopted in the UK, an estimated 2014 fewer NTD pregnancies would have occurred. Conclusions Failure to implement folic acid fortification in the UK has caused, and continues to cause, avoidable terminations of pregnancy, stillbirths, neonatal deaths and permanent serious disability in surviving children. PMID:26681697

  20. Role of arsenic as a reproductive toxin with particular attention to neural tube defects

    SciTech Connect

    Shalat, S.L.; Walker, D.B.; Finnell, R.H.

    1996-10-01

    Arsenic has been recognized as a human toxicant for over 2000 years. More recently it has been readily accepted as a human carcinogen. Animal research has demonstrated arsenic`s ability to have profound detrimental effects on the developing embryo in avian and mamalian species. This article comprehensively reviews the human and animal literature on the subject of the reproductive toxicity of arsenic. A variety of endpoints are considered, including spontaneous abortion, cardiovascular defects, and arsenic`s role in the causation of neural tube defects (NTDs). A summary of the literature that has examined the various postulated mechanisms by which arsenic may produce NTDs is also considered. In addition, a discussion of literature relative to the presence of arsenic in the general environment and in the workplace presented. This article reaches the conclusion that while further research is clearly needed, particularly on the potential toxicity of organic arsenical compounds, the current literature suggests it may be prudent and appropriate to treat inorganic arsenic as a probable human reproductive toxin. 132 refs.

  1. Glycine decarboxylase deficiency causes neural tube defects and features of non-ketotic hyperglycinemia in mice

    PubMed Central

    Pai, Yun Jin; Leung, Kit-Yi; Savery, Dawn; Hutchin, Tim; Prunty, Helen; Heales, Simon; Brosnan, Margaret E.; Brosnan, John T.; Copp, Andrew J.; Greene, Nicholas D.E.

    2015-01-01

    Glycine decarboxylase (GLDC) acts in the glycine cleavage system to decarboxylate glycine and transfer a one-carbon unit into folate one-carbon metabolism. GLDC mutations cause a rare recessive disease non-ketotic hyperglycinemia (NKH). Mutations have also been identified in patients with neural tube defects (NTDs); however, the relationship between NKH and NTDs is unclear. We show that reduced expression of Gldc in mice suppresses glycine cleavage system activity and causes two distinct disease phenotypes. Mutant embryos develop partially penetrant NTDs while surviving mice exhibit post-natal features of NKH including glycine accumulation, early lethality and hydrocephalus. In addition to elevated glycine, Gldc disruption also results in abnormal tissue folate profiles, with depletion of one-carbon-carrying folates, as well as growth retardation and reduced cellular proliferation. Formate treatment normalizes the folate profile, restores embryonic growth and prevents NTDs, suggesting that Gldc deficiency causes NTDs through limiting supply of one-carbon units from mitochondrial folate metabolism. PMID:25736695

  2. Nutrition, One-Carbon Metabolism and Neural Tube Defects: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Li, Kelei; Wahlqvist, Mark L.; Li, Duo

    2016-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are a group of severe congenital malformations, induced by the combined effects of genes and the environment. The most valuable finding so far has been the protective effect of folic acid supplementation against NTDs. However, many women do not take folic acid supplements until they are pregnant, which is too late to prevent NTDs effectively. Long-term intake of folic acid–fortified food is a good choice to solve this problem, and mandatory folic acid fortification should be further promoted, especially in Europe, Asia and Africa. Vitamin B2, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, choline, betaine and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can also reduce the NTD risk by interacting with the one-carbon metabolism pathway. This suggest that multivitamin B combined with choline, betaine and n-3 PUFAs supplementation may have a better protective effect against NTDs than folic acid alone. Genetic polymorphisms involved in one-carbon metabolism are associated with NTD risk, and gene screening for women of childbearing age prior to pregnancy may help prevent NTDs induced by the risk allele. In addition, the consumption of alcohol, tea and coffee, and low intakes of fruit and vegetable are also associated with the increased risk of NTDs, and should be avoided by women of childbearing age. PMID:27886045

  3. Association study of PARD3 gene polymorphisms with neural tube defects in a Chinese Han population.

    PubMed

    Gao, Yonghui; Chen, Xiaoli; Shangguan, Shaofang; Bao, Yihua; Lu, Xiaoli; Zou, Jizhen; Guo, Jin; Dai, Yaohua; Zhang, Ting

    2012-07-01

    Partitioning defective 3 homolog (PARD3) is an attractive candidate gene for screening neural tube defect (NTD) risk. To investigate the role of genetic variants in PARD3 on NTD risk, a case-control study was performed in a region of China with a high prevalence of NTDs. Total 53 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PARD3 were genotyped in 224 fetuses with NTDs and in 253 normal fetuses. We found that 6 SNPs (rs2496720, rs2252655, rs3851068, rs118153230, rs10827337, and rs12218196) were statistically associated with NTDs (P < .05). After stratifying participants by NTD phenotypes, the significant association only existed in cases with anencephaly rather than spina bifida. Further haplotype analysis confirmed the association between PARD3 polymorphisms and NTD risk (global test P = 3.41e-008). Our results suggested that genetic variants in PARD3 were associated with susceptibility to NTDs in a Chinese Han population, and this association was affected by NTD phenotypes.

  4. The role of folic acid fortification in neural tube defects: a review.

    PubMed

    Osterhues, Anja; Ali, Nyima S; Michels, Karin B

    2013-01-01

    The worldwide prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) has fallen noticeably during the past 30 years, but the specific etiology and causative mechanism of NTDs remain unknown. Since introduction of mandatory fortification of grains with folic acid, a further decrease in NTD prevalence has been reported in North America and other countries with large variations among ethnic subgroups. However, a significant portion of NTDs still persists. Population data suggest that women of childbearing age may not yet be adequately targeted, while the general population may be overfortified with folic acid. While an excessive folate intake may be associated with adverse effects, there remains uncertainty about the minimum effective folate intake and status required for NTD prevention, and the safe upper folate level. Besides folate, several other lifestyle and environmental factors as well as genetic variations may influence NTD development, possibly by affecting one-carbon metabolism and thus epigenetic events. In conclusion, mandatory folic acid fortification plays a significant part in the reduction of NTD prevalence, but possibly at a cost and with a portion of NTDs remaining. More effective preventive strategies require better understanding of the etiology of this group of birth defects.

  5. Folic acid supplementation during pregnancy protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced neural tube defects in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Mei; Chen, Yuan-Hua; Chen, Xue; Dong, Xu-Ting; Zhou, Jun; Wang, Hua; Wu, Shu-Xian; Zhang, Cheng; Xu, De-Xiang

    2014-01-13

    Folic acid is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin. Increasing evidence demonstrates that physiological supply of folic acid during pregnancy prevents folic acid deficiency-related neural tube defects (NTDs). Previous studies showed that maternal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure caused NTDs in rodents. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of high-dose folic acid supplementation during pregnancy on LPS-induced NTDs. Pregnant mice were intraperitoneally injected with LPS (20 μg/kg/d) from gestational day (GD) 8 to GD12. As expected, a five-day LPS injection resulted in 19.96% of fetuses with NTDs. Interestingly, supplementation with folic acid (3mg/kg/d) during pregnancy significantly alleviated LPS-induced NTDs. Additionally, folic acid significantly attenuated LPS-induced fetal growth restriction and skeletal malformations. Additional experiment showed that folic acid attenuated LPS-induced glutathione (GSH) depletion in maternal liver and placentas. Moreover, folic acid significantly attenuated LPS-induced expression of placental MyD88. Additionally, folic acid inhibited LPS-induced c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation in placentas. Correspondingly, folic acid significantly attenuated LPS-induced tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-6 in placentas, maternal serum and amniotic fluid. In conclusion, supplementation with high-dose folic acid during pregnancy protects against LPS-induced NTDs through its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects.

  6. Prevention of valproic acid-induced neural tube defects by sildenafil citrate.

    PubMed

    Tiboni, Gian Mario; Ponzano, Adalisa

    2015-08-15

    This study was undertaken to test the effects of sildenafil citrate (SC), a type 5 phosphodiesterase inhibitor, on valproic acid (VPA)-induced teratogenesis. On gestation day (GD) 8, ICR (CD-1) mice were treated by gastric intubation with SC at 0 (vehicle), 1.0, 2.5, 5.0 or 10mg/kg. One hour later, animals received a teratogenic dose of VPA (600mg/kg) or vehicle. Developmental endpoints were evaluated near the end of gestation. Twenty-eighth percent of fetuses exposed to VPA had neural tube defects (exencephaly). Pretreatment with SC at 2.5, 5.0 or 10mg/kg significantly reduced the rate of VPA-induced exencephaly to 15.9%, 13.7%, and 10.0%, respectively. Axial skeletal defects were observed in 75.8% of VPA-exposed fetuses. Pre-treatment with SC at 10mg/kg, but not at lower doses, significantly decreased the rate of skeletally affected fetuses to 61.6%. These results show that SC, which prolongs nitric oxide (NO) signaling action protects from VPA-induced teratogenesis.

  7. Drinking water treatment is not associated with an observed increase in neural tube defects in mice.

    PubMed

    Melin, Vanessa E; Johnstone, David W; Etzkorn, Felicia A; Hrubec, Terry C

    2014-06-01

    Disinfection by-products (DBPs) arise when natural organic matter in source water reacts with disinfectants used in the water treatment process. Studies have suggested an association between DBPs and birth defects. Neural tube defects (NTDs) in embryos of untreated control mice were first observed in-house in May 2006 and have continued to date. The source of the NTD-inducing agent was previously determined to be a component of drinking water. Tap water samples from a variety of sources were analyzed for trihalomethanes (THMs) to determine if they were causing the malformations. NTDs were observed in CD-1 mice provided with treated and untreated surface water. Occurrence of NTDs varied by water source and treatment regimens. THMs were detected in tap water derived from surface water but not detected in tap water derived from a groundwater source. THMs were absent in untreated river water and laboratory purified waters, yet the percentage of NTDs in untreated river water were similar to the treated water counterpart. These findings indicate that THMs were not the primary cause of NTDs in the mice since the occurrence of NTDs was unrelated to drinking water disinfection.

  8. [Time-effect relationship between the positional microinjection of HCY-2 gene and the neural tube teratogenesis of chick embryos].

    PubMed

    Li, Y; Li, Z; Zhang, C; Chen, X

    1999-07-01

    The time-effect relationship between positional transferred novel gene(HCY-2) and neural tube teratogenesis, and their possible mechanisms were studied. An eukaryotic expressing vector which containing whole-length HCY-2 cDNA was microinjected into chick embryos in culture at days 0, 1 and 2 (approximately Hamburger-Hamilton stages 1, 6 and 12) mediated by lipofect AMINE reagent. The techniques of RT-PCR, immunohistochemical staining, scanning electron microscope(SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) were used to investigate the expression and distribution of HCY-2 mRNA with its coding product and dysmorphogenesis of the neural tube at 96 h (approximately stage 22). Neural tube defects (NTDs) were discovered in every transferred gene group, only the day 1 embryos which positional site injected was the area pellucida of head, however, the rate of NTDs was the highest (35.3%). There was an obvious time-effect relationship. The phenotypes of NTD were encephalocele, anencephaly, spina bifida and microcephaly. The embryos with transferred gene could express HCY-2 mRNA and its coding product, and the HCY-2 protein mainly distributed in embryonic brain cells as compared to controls. It was found that HCY-2 gene could result in abnormal ultrastructure at the surface and inside of cells under SEM and TEM. It has been observed apoptosis at the sites with NTDs. It is concluded that HCY-2 gene may be a new genotoxic factor, which plays an important role in the mechanisms of neural tube teratogenesis during the early developing stage of embryos.

  9. Multiple neural tube defects: a rare combination of limited dorsal myeloschisis, diplomyelia with dorsal bony spur, sacral meningocoele, syringohydromyelia, and tethered cord.

    PubMed

    Shashank R, Ramdurg; Shubhi, Dubey; Vishal, Kadeli

    2017-04-01

    Multiple neural tube defects are relatively rare. They account for less than 1% reported neural tube defects. Cases of limited dorsal myeloschisis (LDM) and diplomyelia (two cords in single sac without intervening bony or fibrous septae) with dorsal bony spur are also a rare event. Here, the authors report a rare case of neonate with thoracic LDM, diplomyelia with dorsal bony spur, sacral meningocoele with syringohydromyelia, and low-lying tethered cord. The child also had a ventricular septal defect (VSD) and bilateral rocker bottom feet. Various environmental factors and genetic mutations in transmembrane proteins have been studied in animal models explaining the origin of neural tube defects. To the best of author's knowledge, this is the first case of varied multiple neural tube defects with diplomyelia reported in world literature.

  10. Mutations in genes encoding the glycine cleavage system predispose to neural tube defects in mice and humans.

    PubMed

    Narisawa, Ayumi; Komatsuzaki, Shoko; Kikuchi, Atsuo; Niihori, Tetsuya; Aoki, Yoko; Fujiwara, Kazuko; Tanemura, Mitsuyo; Hata, Akira; Suzuki, Yoichi; Relton, Caroline L; Grinham, James; Leung, Kit-Yi; Partridge, Darren; Robinson, Alexis; Stone, Victoria; Gustavsson, Peter; Stanier, Philip; Copp, Andrew J; Greene, Nicholas D E; Tominaga, Teiji; Matsubara, Yoichi; Kure, Shigeo

    2012-04-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs), including spina bifida and anencephaly, are common birth defects of the central nervous system. The complex multigenic causation of human NTDs, together with the large number of possible candidate genes, has hampered efforts to delineate their molecular basis. Function of folate one-carbon metabolism (FOCM) has been implicated as a key determinant of susceptibility to NTDs. The glycine cleavage system (GCS) is a multi-enzyme component of mitochondrial folate metabolism, and GCS-encoding genes therefore represent candidates for involvement in NTDs. To investigate this possibility, we sequenced the coding regions of the GCS genes: AMT, GCSH and GLDC in NTD patients and controls. Two unique non-synonymous changes were identified in the AMT gene that were absent from controls. We also identified a splice acceptor site mutation and five different non-synonymous variants in GLDC, which were found to significantly impair enzymatic activity and represent putative causative mutations. In order to functionally test the requirement for GCS activity in neural tube closure, we generated mice that lack GCS activity, through mutation of AMT. Homozygous Amt(-/-) mice developed NTDs at high frequency. Although these NTDs were not preventable by supplemental folic acid, there was a partial rescue by methionine. Overall, our findings suggest that loss-of-function mutations in GCS genes predispose to NTDs in mice and humans. These data highlight the importance of adequate function of mitochondrial folate metabolism in neural tube closure.

  11. Folate supplementation, MTHFR gene polymorphism and neural tube defects: a community based case control study in North India.

    PubMed

    Deb, Roumi; Arora, Jyoti; Meitei, Sanjenbam Yaiphaba; Gupta, Sangeeta; Verma, Vanita; Saraswathy, Kallur Nava; Saran, Sunil; Kalla, Aloke Kumar

    2011-09-01

    The present study analyses the potential role of MTHFR gene polymorphism, folate supplementation and dietary pattern among the mothers of NTD neonates and controls in heterogeneous populations of North India, with the special focus on their ethnic labels. Results indicated significant increased risk for neural tube defects with respect to low folic acid supplementation and vegetarian diet in univariate and multivariate analyses. There was no significant difference in the genotypic or allelic distribution of MTHFR C677T polymorphism, however, high frequency of CT genotype, as observed, among controls suggests heterozygous advantage probably due to supplementary folate. Among the two communities, Muslim NTD mothers had higher TT genotype showing increased risk for neural tube defects (adjusted OR: 12.9; 95% CI: 1.21-136.8) and lower folic acid supplementation (adjusted OR: 3.5; 95% CI: 1.18-10.22). Whereas, marginal increased risk for NTDs with vegetarian diet was observed among Hindus. Cultural and ethnic variation in the risk factors for neural tube defects is highlighted in the study.

  12. Folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism and neural tube defects: balancing genome synthesis and gene expression.

    PubMed

    Beaudin, Anna E; Stover, Patrick J

    2007-09-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) refer to a cluster of neurodevelopmental conditions associated with failure of neural tube closure during embryonic development. Worldwide prevalence of NTDs ranges from approximately 0.5 to 60 per 10,000 births, with regional and population-specific variation in prevalence. Numerous environmental and genetic influences contribute to NTD etiology; accumulating evidence from population-based studies has demonstrated that folate status is a significant determinant of NTD risk. Folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism (OCM) is essential for de novo nucleotide biosynthesis, methionine biosynthesis, and cellular methylation reactions. Periconceptional maternal supplementation with folic acid can prevent occurrence of NTDs in the general population by up to 70%; currently several countries fortify their food supply with folic acid for the prevention of NTDs. Despite the unambiguous impact of folate status on NTD risk, the mechanism by which folic acid protects against NTDs remains unknown. Identification of the mechanism by which folate status affects neural tube closure will assist in developing more efficacious and better targeted preventative measures. In this review, we summarize current research on the relationship between folate status and NTDs, with an emphasis on linking genetic variation, folate nutriture, and specific metabolic and/or genomic pathways that intersect to determine NTD outcomes.

  13. Planar cell polarity gene mutations contribute to the etiology of human neural tube defects in our population.

    PubMed

    De Marco, Patrizia; Merello, Elisa; Piatelli, Gianluca; Cama, Armando; Kibar, Zoha; Capra, Valeria

    2014-08-01

    Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) are congenital malformations that involve failure of the neural tube closure during the early phases of development at any level of the rostro-caudal axis. The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway is a highly conserved, noncanonical Wnt-Frizzled-Dishevelled signaling cascade, that was first identified in the fruit fly Drosophila. We are here reviewing the role of the PCP pathway genes in the etiology of human NTDs, updating the list of the rare and deleterious mutations identified so far. We report 50 rare nonsynonymous mutations of PCP genes in 54 patients having a pathogenic effect on the protein function. Thirteen mutations that have previously been reported as novel are now reported in public databases, although at very low frequencies. The mutations were private, mostly missense, and transmitted by a healthy parent. To date, no clear genotype-phenotype correlation has been possible to create. Even if PCP pathway genes are involved in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects, future studies will be necessary to better dissect the genetic causes underlying these complex malformations.

  14. Levels of Folate Receptor Autoantibodies in Maternal and Cord Blood and Risk of Neural Tube Defects in a Chinese population

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Na; Wang, Linlin; Finnell, Richard H.; Li, Zhiwen; Jin, Lei; Zhang, Le; Cabrera, Robert M.; Ye, Rongwei; Ren, Aiguo

    2016-01-01

    Background After years of periconceptional folic acid supplementation, the prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) remains stable following the remarkable reduction observed immediately after the fortification practice. There is accumulating evidence that folate receptor (FR) autoimmunity may play a role in the etiology of folate-sensitive NTDs. Methods From 2011 to 2013, 118 NTD cases and 242 healthy controls were recruited from a population-based birth defects surveillance system in Northern China. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure FR autoantibodies in maternal and cord blood. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Results Plasma FR autoantibodies levels were significantly elevated in mothers of infants with NTDs compared with mothers of healthy controls. Using the lowest tertile as the referent group, 2.20-fold (95% CI, 0.71–6.80) and 5.53-fold increased odds (95% CI, 1.90–16.08) of NTDs were observed for the second and third tertile of immunoglobulin G (IgG), respectively, and the odds of NTDs for each successive tertile of IgM was 0.98 (95% CI, 0.35–2.75) and 3.49 (95% CI, 1.45–8.39), respectively. A dose–response relationship was found between FR autoantibodies levels and risk of NTDs (P < 0.001 for IgG, P = 0.002 for IgM). The same pattern was observed in both subtypes of spina bifida and anencephaly. No significant difference in levels of cord blood FR autoantibodies was observed. Conclusion Higher levels of FR autoimmunity in maternal plasma are associated with elevated risk of NTDs in a dose–response manner. PMID:27166990

  15. Kif11 dependent cell cycle progression in radial glial cells is required for proper neurogenesis in the zebrafish neural tube

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Kimberly; Moriarty, Chelsea; Tania, Nessy; Ortman, Alissa; DiPietrantonio, Kristina; Edens, Brittany; Eisenman, Jean; Ok, Deborah; Krikorian, Sarah; Barragan, Jessica; Gole, Christophe; Barresi, Michael J.F.

    2014-01-01

    Radial glia serve as the resident neural stem cells in the embryonic vertebrate nervous system, and their proliferation must be tightly regulated to generate the correct number of neuronal and glial cell progeny in the neural tube. During a forward genetic screen, we recently identified a zebrafish mutant in the kif11 loci that displayed a significant increase in radial glial cell bodies at the ventricular zone of the spinal cord. Kif11, also known as Eg5, is a kinesin-related, plus-end directed motor protein responsible for stabilizing and separating the bipolar mitotic spindle. We show here that Gfap+ radial glial cells express kif11 in the ventricular zone and floor plate. Loss of Kif11 by mutation or pharmacological inhibition with S-trityl-L-cysteine (STLC) results in monoastral spindle formation in radial glial cells, which is characteristic of mitotic arrest. We show that M-phase radial glia accumulate over time at the ventricular zone in kif11 mutants and STLC treated embryos. Mathematical modeling of the radial glial accumulation in kif11 mutants not only confirmed an ~226x delay in mitotic exit (likely a mitotic arrest), but also predicted two modes of increased cell death. These modeling predictions were supported by an increase in the apoptosis marker, anti-activated Caspase-3, which was also found to be inversely proportional to a decrease in cell proliferation. In addition, treatment with STLC at different stages of neural development uncovered two critical periods that most significantly require Kif11 function for stem cell progression through mitosis. We also show that loss of Kif11 function causes specific reductions in oligodendroglia and secondary interneurons and motorneurons, suggesting these later born populations require proper radial glia division. Despite these alterations to cell cycle dynamics, survival, and neurogenesis, we document unchanged cell densities within the neural tube in kif11 mutants, suggesting that a mechanism of

  16. Kif11 dependent cell cycle progression in radial glial cells is required for proper neurogenesis in the zebrafish neural tube.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Kimberly; Moriarty, Chelsea; Tania, Nessy; Ortman, Alissa; DiPietrantonio, Kristina; Edens, Brittany; Eisenman, Jean; Ok, Deborah; Krikorian, Sarah; Barragan, Jessica; Golé, Christophe; Barresi, Michael J F

    2014-03-01

    Radial glia serve as the resident neural stem cells in the embryonic vertebrate nervous system, and their proliferation must be tightly regulated to generate the correct number of neuronal and glial cell progeny in the neural tube. During a forward genetic screen, we recently identified a zebrafish mutant in the kif11 loci that displayed a significant increase in radial glial cell bodies at the ventricular zone of the spinal cord. Kif11, also known as Eg5, is a kinesin-related, plus-end directed motor protein responsible for stabilizing and separating the bipolar mitotic spindle. We show here that Gfap+ radial glial cells express kif11 in the ventricular zone and floor plate. Loss of Kif11 by mutation or pharmacological inhibition with S-trityl-L-cysteine (STLC) results in monoastral spindle formation in radial glial cells, which is characteristic of mitotic arrest. We show that M-phase radial glia accumulate over time at the ventricular zone in kif11 mutants and STLC treated embryos. Mathematical modeling of the radial glial accumulation in kif11 mutants not only confirmed an ~226× delay in mitotic exit (likely a mitotic arrest), but also predicted two modes of increased cell death. These modeling predictions were supported by an increase in the apoptosis marker, anti-activated Caspase-3, which was also found to be inversely proportional to a decrease in cell proliferation. In addition, treatment with STLC at different stages of neural development uncovered two critical periods that most significantly require Kif11 function for stem cell progression through mitosis. We also show that loss of Kif11 function causes specific reductions in oligodendroglia and secondary interneurons and motorneurons, suggesting these later born populations require proper radial glia division. Despite these alterations to cell cycle dynamics, survival, and neurogenesis, we document unchanged cell densities within the neural tube in kif11 mutants, suggesting that a mechanism of

  17. Eddy Current Signature Classification of Steam Generator Tube Defects Using A Learning Vector Quantization Neural Network

    SciTech Connect

    Gabe V. Garcia

    2005-01-03

    A major cause of failure in nuclear steam generators is degradation of their tubes. Although seven primary defect categories exist, one of the principal causes of tube failure is intergranular attack/stress corrosion cracking (IGA/SCC). This type of defect usually begins on the secondary side surface of the tubes and propagates both inwards and laterally. In many cases this defect is found at or near the tube support plates.

  18. Placental concentrations of manganese and the risk of fetal neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jufen; Jin, Lei; Zhang, Le; Li, Zhiwen; Wang, Linlin; Ye, Rongwei; Zhang, Yali; Ren, Aiguo

    2013-10-01

    Manganese (Mn) is an essential trace element required for normal growth, development, and cellular homeostasis, but excess Mn is toxic to the central nervous system. The present pilot study examined whether the level of Mn in the placenta was associated with the risk of fetal neural tube defects (NTDs). A case-control study was conducted. Cases were 80 fetuses or newborns with NTDs, and controls were 50 healthy, nonmalformed newborns. Placental Mn, zinc, copper, iron, and selenium were determined with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The median Mn concentration was significantly higher in case placentas than in controls: cases, 131.60 ng/g (95% confidence interval [CI], 99.25-166.76); controls, 101.54 ng/g (95% CI, 80.14-119.79). Mn concentrations above the median were associated with a 4-fold (95% CI, 1.23-14.79) increased risk for any NTDs and a 7-fold (95% CI, 1.52-39.64) increased risk for spina bifida after other confounding factors were controlled. Elevated Mn levels were associated with an increased risk of anencephaly, although the adjusted odds ratio did not reach statistical significance. The association between higher Mn concentrations and risk of NTDs showed a clear dose-response relationship. Risk of NTDs increased to 1.51 (95% CI, 0.65-3.52) and 5.03 (95% CI, 1.89-13.33) for those whose placental Mn level was in the second and third tertiles, respectively, compared with the lowest tertile. Elevated placental concentrations of Mn may be associated with increased risks of NTDs in this population.

  19. Neuropathic Ulcers Among Children With Neural Tube Defects: A Review of Literature.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Anand; Gupta, Vipin; Singh, Shailendra P; Kumar, Vijendra; Verma, Rajesh

    2015-12-01

    A trophic ulcer is a pressure ulcer caused by external trauma to a part of the body that is compromised due to disease, vascular insufficiency, or loss of afferent nerve fibers. Spinal dysraphism (ie, neural tube defects [NTD]) such as meningomyelocele is a risk factor for developing these ulcers in adults and pediatric patients. Information regarding the occurrence of trophic ulcers in pediatric patients with NTD is lacking. A review of the English-language literature on skin/neuropathic ulcers in patients with NTDs, irrespective of study design, published between 1975 and 2014, was undertaken using the PubMed database. Search terms included trophic ulcer, neuropathic ulcer, NTDs, and meningomyelocele. From among the more than 200 papers related to skin care in neonates and pediatric patients, 11 addressed skin ulcers in patients of NTD - 1 in French (a review article), 1 in German (a case report), and 9 in English (7 cohort studies and 2 reviewing surgical techniques). Typically, ulcers in patients with NTD are neuropathic (ie, related to nerve pathology). The most common type is meningomyelocele. Patients with NTD present with a spectrum of functional and sensory deficits that impair mobility; other causative factors that may contribute to the occurrence of ulcers include stress to the tissue, the length of time the stress occurs, muscle spasticity, infection, moisture, and nutritional status of the patient. Awareness of ulcer risk and preventive measures, such as maintaining foot flexibility or careful handling bony prominences such as kyphosis, is important. Once an ulcer occurs, management is challenging and involves collaboration of multiple medical, surgical, nutrition, and other specialists. If an ulcer develops and NTD has not been previously treated surgically or the MRI shows evidence of retethering, surgical treatment is needed. More research is needed to help guide ulcer prevention and treatment strategies in pediatric patients with NTD.

  20. Neural tube defects in Latin America and the impact of fortification: a literature review

    PubMed Central

    Rosenthal, Jorge; Casas, Jessica; Taren, Douglas; Alverson, Clinton J; Flores, Alina; Frias, Jaime

    2015-01-01

    Objective Data on the prevalence of birth defects and neural tube defects (NTD) in Latin America are limited. The present review summarizes NTD prevalence and time trends in Latin American countries and compares pre- and post-fortification periods to assess the impact of folic acid fortification in these countries. Design We carried out a literature review of studies and institutional reports published between 1990 and 2010 that contained information on NTD prevalence in Latin America. Results NTD prevalence in Latin American countries varied from 0.2 to 9.6 per 1000 live births and was influenced by methods of ascertainment. Time trends from Bogota, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala City, México and Puerto Rico showed average annual declines of 2.5% to 21.8%. Pre- and post-fortification comparisons were available for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and México. The aggregate percentage decline in NTD prevalence ranged from 33% to 59%. Conclusions The present publication is the first to review data on time trends and the impact of folic acid fortification on NTD prevalence in Latin America. Reported NTD prevalence varied markedly by geographic region and in some areas of Latin America was among the lowest in the world, while in other areas it was among the highest. For countries with available information, time trends showed significant declines in NTD prevalence and these declines were greater in countries where folic acid fortification of staples reached the majority of the population at risk, such as Chile and Costa Rica. PMID:23464652

  1. Surveillance survey of family history in children with neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Dupépé, Esther B; Patel, Daxa M; Rocque, Brandon G; Hopson, Betsy; Arynchyna, Anastasia A; Bishop, E Ralee'; Blount, Jeffrey P

    2017-03-31

    OBJECTIVE Although there are known risk factors for the development of neural tube defects (NTDs), little is known regarding the role of family history. The authors' goal in this study is to describe the family history in their population of patients with NTDs. METHODS Surveys were completed for 254 patients who were accompanied by their biological mother during their annual visit to the multidisciplinary Spina Bifida Clinic at Children's of Alabama. An NTD has been diagnosed in all patients who are seen in this clinic (myelomeningocele, lipomeningocele, split cord malformation, and congenital dermal sinus tract). Each mother answered questions regarding known NTD risk factors and their pregnancy, as well as the family history of NTDs, other CNS disorders, and birth defects. RESULTS The overall prevalence of family history of NTDs in children with an NTD was 16.9% (n = 43), of which 3.1% (n = 8) were in first-degree relatives. In patients with myelomeningocele, 17.7% (n = 37) had a positive family history for NTDs, with 3.8% in first-degree relatives. Family history in the paternal lineage for all NTDs was 8.7% versus 10.6% in the maternal lineage. Twenty-two patients (8.7%) had a family history of other congenital CNS disorders. Fifteen (5.9%) had a family history of Down syndrome, 12 (4.7%) had a family history of cerebral palsy, and 13 (5.1%) patients had a family history of clubfoot. Fourteen (5.5%) had a family history of cardiac defect, and 13 (5.1%) had a family history of cleft lip or palate. CONCLUSIONS The family history of NTDs was 16.9% in children with NTD without a difference between maternal and paternal lineage. This high rate of positive family history suggests that genetics and epigenetics may play a larger role in the pathogenesis of NTD in the modern era of widespread folate supplementation.

  2. Folic Acid Intake and Neural Tube Defects: Two Egyptian Centers Experience

    PubMed Central

    El-Shabrawi, Mortada H.; Kamal, Naglaa Mohamed; Elhusseini, Mona Abbas; Hussein, Laila; Abdallah, Enas Abdallah Ali; Ali, Yahia Zakaria Abdelalim; Azab, Ahmed Abelfattah; Salama, Mostafa Abdelazim; Kassab, Muna; Krawinkel, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Neural tube defects (NTDs) are a group of congenital malformations with worldwide distribution and complex etiopathogenesis. Folic acid plays a pivotal role in their prevention. We aimed to identify the protective effect of folic acid intake against NTDs and its dependence on different socioeconomic and environmental factors in a cohort of mothers in Egypt. A cross-sectional study was carried over a period of 12 months on mothers who gave birth to babies with NTDs (group 1) and a control group with healthy offsprings (group 2). Both groups completed 2 questionnaires: food frequency questionnaire targeting the daily folate intake, and socioeconomic status and medical history questionnaire. Both groups of mothers received folate <800 μg/day, recommended for pregnant women. A strong association was detected between NTDs and urban residency with medium educated mothers, with negative consanguinity, who had folate intake < 400 μg daily, and who had their food long cooked. Each of these factors separately had a limited impact to cause NTDs, but when present together they did augment each other. Interestingly enough is the role of fava bean, cauliflower, spinach, and mango in predisposing of NTDs in the presence of the above-mentioned factors. The protective effect of folic acid intake against NTDs may depend on the synergism of different socioeconomic and environmental factors (which differ from country to another). In Egypt, females especially the medium-educated who live in urban areas should be well-informed with the value of folate intake in the periconceptional period. PMID:26376380

  3. Folic Acid Intake and Neural Tube Defects: Two Egyptian Centers Experience.

    PubMed

    El-Shabrawi, Mortada H; Kamal, Naglaa Mohamed; Elhusseini, Mona Abbas; Hussein, Laila; Abdallah, Enas Abdallah Ali; Ali, Yahia Zakaria Abdelalim; Azab, Ahmed Abelfattah; Salama, Mostafa Abdelazim; Kassab, Muna; Krawinkel, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are a group of congenital malformations with worldwide distribution and complex etiopathogenesis. Folic acid plays a pivotal role in their prevention. We aimed to identify the protective effect of folic acid intake against NTDs and its dependence on different socioeconomic and environmental factors in a cohort of mothers in Egypt. A cross-sectional study was carried over a period of 12 months on mothers who gave birth to babies with NTDs (group 1) and a control group with healthy offsprings (group 2). Both groups completed 2 questionnaires: food frequency questionnaire targeting the daily folate intake, and socioeconomic status and medical history questionnaire. Both groups of mothers received folate <800 μg/day, recommended for pregnant women. A strong association was detected between NTDs and urban residency with medium educated mothers, with negative consanguinity, who had folate intake < 400 μg daily, and who had their food long cooked. Each of these factors separately had a limited impact to cause NTDs, but when present together they did augment each other. Interestingly enough is the role of fava bean, cauliflower, spinach, and mango in predisposing of NTDs in the presence of the above-mentioned factors. The protective effect of folic acid intake against NTDs may depend on the synergism of different socioeconomic and environmental factors (which differ from country to another). In Egypt, females especially the medium-educated who live in urban areas should be well-informed with the value of folate intake in the periconceptional period.

  4. Maternal exposure to arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury and neural tube defects in offspring

    SciTech Connect

    Brender, Jean D. . E-mail: jdbrender@aol.com; Suarez, Lucina; Felkner, Marilyn; Gilani, Zunera; Stinchcomb, David; Moody, Karen; Henry, Judy; Hendricks, Katherine

    2006-05-15

    Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are neurotoxins, and some studies suggest that these elements might also be teratogens. Using a case-control study design, we investigated the relation between exposure to these heavy metals and neural tube defects (NTDs) in offspring of Mexican-American women living in 1 of the 14 Texas counties bordering Mexico. A total of 184 case-women with NTD-affected pregnancies and 225 control-women with normal live births were interviewed about their environmental and occupational exposures during the periconceptional period. Biologic samples for blood lead and urinary arsenic, cadmium, and mercury were also obtained for a subset of these women. Overall, the median levels of these biomarkers for heavy metal exposure did not differ significantly (P>0.05) between case- and control-women. However, among women in the highest income group, case-women were nine times more likely (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.4-57) than control-women to have a urinary mercury >=5.62{mu}g/L. Case-women were 4.2 times more likely (95% CI 1.1-16) to report burning treated wood during the periconceptional period than control-women. Elevated odds ratios (ORs) were observed for maternal and paternal occupational exposures to arsenic and mercury, but the 95% CIs were consistent with unity. The 95% CIs of the ORs were also consistent with unity for higher levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in drinking water and among women who lived within 2 miles at the time of conception to industrial facilities with reported emissions of any of these heavy metals. Our findings suggest that maternal exposures to arsenic, cadmium, or lead are probably not significant risk factors for NTDs in offspring. However, the elevated urinary mercury levels found in this population and exposures to the combustion of treated wood may warrant further investigation.

  5. [Folic acid use by pregnant women in Israel for preventing neural tube defects].

    PubMed

    Gil, Z; Aran, A; Friedman, O; Beni-Adani, L; Constantini, S

    2000-12-01

    Spina bifida and anencephaly are the most common, serious malformations in neural tube defects (NTD). Randomized trials in the last 2 decades have demonstrated that folic acid, 0.4 mg/d, reduces the incidence of NTD by more than 50%. We investigated the use of folic acid and multivitamins containing folic acid in childbearing women. Of 221 women interviewed, 67 (30%) regularly took pills containing 0.4 mg folic acid. Women with higher educational levels were more likely to take multivitamins with folic acid than were the less educated (p = 0.05). Of the women who took folic acid, only 5 (7.5%) used separate folic acid tablets, before and during their pregnancy. The rest used multivitamins containing folic acid. The 5 women who took folic acid separately were college-educated and nonreligious, and they took multivitamins in addition (p > 0.05). Of the women interviewed, 58 (26.2%) were Bedouin of the Negev. 24 (41.4%) of them took pills containing folic acid on a regular basis. This percentage is higher than that in the Jewish women in the study who took folic acid for prevention of NTD (17%; p = 0.038). Most of the women took folic acid after the first trimester. Only a minority took daily periconceptional folic acid. Multivitamins containing 0.4 mg of folic acid were more popular than folic acid tablets alone. This study emphasizes the need for continuing efforts to increase consumption of folic acid and awareness of its benefits among women of childbearing age.

  6. Variants in maternal COMT and MTHFR genes and risk of neural tube defects in offspring.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jufen; Zhang, Yali; Jin, Lei; Li, Guoxing; Wang, Linlin; Bao, Yanping; Fu, Yunting; Li, Zhiwen; Zhang, Le; Ye, Rongwei; Ren, Aiguo

    2015-04-01

    Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T and catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) G158A are associated with a risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) in offspring. This study examined the effect of a MTHFR × COMT interaction on the risk of NTDs in a Chinese population with a high prevalence of NTDs. A total of 576 fetuses or newborns with NTDs and 594 controls were genotyped for MTHFRrs1801133, MTHFRrs1801131, and COMTrs4680 and COMTrs737865. Information on maternal sociodemographic characteristics, reproductive history, and related behavior was collected through face-to-face interviews. Possible interactions between genetic variants of MTHFR and COMT were examined. MTHFR C677T homozygous TT was associated with an elevated risk of total NTDs (odds ratio [OR] = 1.37, 95 % confidence interval [CI] = 0.93-2.03) and of anencephaly (OR = 1.67, 95 % CI = 0.98-2.84) compared with the CC genotype. There was a COMT rs737865 CC × MTHFR rs1801133 TT interaction for total NTDs (OR = 3.02, 95 % CI = 1.00-9.14) and for anencephaly (OR = 3.39, 95 % CI = 0.94-12.18). No interaction was found between COMT rs4680 AA/AG and MTHFR CT/TT genotypes for total NTDs or any subtype of NTD. The interaction of COMT rs737865 and MTHFR C677T was associated with an increased risk of NTDs, especially anencephaly, in a Chinese population with a high prevalence of NTDs.

  7. [Folic acid and prevention of neural tube closure defects: the question is not solved yet].

    PubMed

    Vidailhet, M; Bocquet, A; Bresson, J-L; Briend, A; Chouraqui, J-P; Dupont, C; Darmaun, D; Frelut, M-L; Ghisolfi, J; Girardet, J-P; Goulet, O; Putet, G; Rieu, D; Rigo, J; Turck, D

    2008-07-01

    Between 1981 and 1996, several interventional studies proved the efficacy of periconceptional folic acid supplementation in the prevention of neural tube closure defects (NTCD), first in women at risk (with a previous case of NTCD) and also in women of the general population in age to become pregnant. The poor observance of this supplementation led several countries (USA, Canada, Chile...) to decide mandatory folic acid fortification of cereals, which permitted a 30% (USA) to 46% (Canada) reduction in the incidence of NTCD. Moreover, this benefit was accompanied by a diminished incidence of several other malformations and of stroke and coronary accidents in elderly people. However, several papers drew attention to an increased risk of colorectal and breast cancer in relation with high blood folate levels and the use of folic acid supplements. A controlled interventional study showed a higher rate of recurrence of colic adenomas and a higher percentage of advanced adenomas in subjects receiving 1mg/day of folic acid. A recent study demonstrated an abrupt reversal of the downward trend in colorectal cancer 1 year after the beginning of cereal folic acid fortification in the USA and Canada. Two studies also reported impaired cognitive functions in elder persons with defective vitamin B(12) status. Taken in aggregate, these studies question the wisdom of a nationwide, mandatory, folic acid fortification of cereals. As of today, despite their limited preventive efficacy, a safe approach is to keep our current French recommendations and to increase the awareness of all caregivers, so as to improve the observance of these recommendations.

  8. Markers of macromolecular oxidative damage in maternal serum and risk of neural tube defects in offspring.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yue; Zhang, Le; Jin, Lei; Liu, Jufen; Li, Zhiwen; Wang, Linlin; Ren, Aiguo

    2015-03-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are among the most common and severe congenital malformations. To examine the association between markers of macromolecular oxidative damage and risk of NTDs, we measured levels of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), protein carbonyl (PC), and 8-iso-prostaglandin F2α (8-iso-PGF2α) in maternal serum samples of 117 women with NTD-affected pregnancies and 121 women with healthy term newborns. We found higher levels of 8-OHdG and PC in the NTD group than in the control group; however, we did not observe a statistically significant difference in 8-iso-PGF2α levels between the NTD and the control groups. NTD risk increased with increasing quartiles of 8-OHdG [odds ratio (OR)=1.17; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.39-3.51; OR=2.19; 95% CI, 0.68-7.01; OR=3.70; 95% CI, 1.30-10.51, for the second, third, and fourth quartile relative to the lowest quartile, respectively; P=0.009], and with increasing quartiles of PC (OR=2.26; 95% CI, 0.66-7.69; OR=3.86; 95% CI, 1.17-12.80; OR=5.98; 95% CI, 1.82-19.66, for the second, third, and fourth quartile relative to the lowest quartile, respectively; P=0.002]. Serum levels of 8-OHdG were higher in women who did not take folic acid supplements during the periconceptional period. These results suggest that oxidative stress is present in women carrying pregnancies affected by NTDs.

  9. Punicalagin exerts protective effect against high glucose-induced cellular stress and neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Jianxiang; Reece, E Albert; Yang, Peixin

    2015-11-13

    Maternal diabetes-induced birth defects remain a significant health problem. Studying the effect of natural compounds with antioxidant properties and minimal toxicities on diabetic embryopathy may lead to the development of new and safe dietary supplements. Punicalagin is a primary polyphenol found in pomegranate juice, which possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorigenic properties, suggesting a protective effect of punicalagin on diabetic embryopathy. Here, we examined whether punicalagin could reduce high glucose-induced neural tube defects (NTDs), and if this rescue occurs through blockage of cellular stress and caspase activation. Embryonic day 8.5 (E8.5) mouse embryos were cultured for 24 or 36 h with normal (5 mM) glucose or high glucose (16.7 mM), in presence or absence of 10 or 20 μM punicalagin. 10 μM punicalagin slightly reduced NTD formation under high glucose conditions; however, 20 μM punicalagin significantly inhibited high glucose-induced NTD formation. Punicalagin suppressed high glucose-induced lipid peroxidation marker 4-hydroxynonenal, nitrotyrosine-modified proteins, and lipid peroxides. Moreover, punicalagin abrogated endoplasmic reticulum stress by inhibiting phosphorylated protein kinase ribonucleic acid (RNA)-like ER kinase (p-PERK), phosphorylated inositol-requiring protein-1α (p-IRE1α), phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (p-eIF2α), C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP), binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) and x-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) mRNA splicing. Additionally, punicalagin suppressed high glucose-induced caspase 3 and caspase 8 cleavage. Punicalagin reduces high glucose-induced NTD formation by blocking cellular stress and caspase activation. These observations suggest punicalagin supplements could mitigate the teratogenic effects of hyperglycemia in the developing embryo, and possibly prevent diabetes-induced NTDs.

  10. Transcobalamin II Receptor Polymorphisms Are Associated with Increased Risk for Neural Tube Defects

    PubMed Central

    Pangilinan, Faith; Mitchell, Adam; VanderMeer, Julie; Molloy, Anne M.; Troendle, James; Conley, Mary; Kirke, Peadar N.; Sutton, Marie; Sequeira, Jeffrey M.; Quadros, Edward V.; Scott, John M.; Mills, James L.; Brody, Lawrence C.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Women who have low cobalamin (vitamin B12) levels are at increased risk for having children with neural tube defects (NTDs). The transcobalamin II receptor (TCblR) mediates uptake of cobalamin into cells. We evaluated inherited variants in the TCblR gene as NTD risk factors. Methods: Case-control and family-based tests of association were used to screen common variation in TCblR as genetic risk factors for NTDs in a large Irish group. A confirmatory group of NTD triads was used to test positive findings. Results: We found two tightly linked variants associated with NTDs in a recessive model: TCblR rs2336573 (G220R) (pcorr=0.0080, corrected for multiple hypothesis testing) and TCblR rs9426 (pcorr =0. 0279). These variants were also associated with NTDs in a family-based test prior to multiple test correction (log-linear analysis of a recessive model: rs2336573 (G220R) (RR=6.59, p=0.0037) and rs9426 (RR=6.71, p=0.0035)). We describe a copy number variant (CNV) distal to TCblR and two previously unreported exonic insertion-deletion polymorphisms. Conclusions: TCblR rs2336573 (G220R) and TCblR rs9426 represent a significant risk factor in NTD cases in the Irish population. The homozygous risk genotype was not detected in nearly one thousand controls, indicating this NTD risk factor may be of low frequency and high penetrance. Nine other variants are in perfect LD with the associated SNPs. Additional work is required to identify the disease-causing variant. Our data suggest that variation in TCblR plays a role in NTD risk and that these variants may modulate cobalamin metabolism. PMID:20577008

  11. Epidemiologic and genetic aspects of spina bifida and other neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Au, Kit Sing; Ashley-Koch, Allison; Northrup, Hope

    2011-01-01

    The worldwide incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs) ranges from 1.0 to 10.0 per 1,000 births with almost equal frequencies between two major categories: anencephaly and spina bifida (SB). Epidemiological studies have provided valuable insight for (a) researchers to identify nongenetic and genetic factors contributing to etiology, (b) public health officials to design and implement policies to prevent NTD pregnancies, and (c) individuals to take precautions to reduce the chance of having an NTD-affected pregnancy. Despite extensive research, our knowledge of the genetic etiology of human NTDs is limited. Although more than 200 small animal models with NTDs exist, most of these models do not replicate the human disease phenotype. Over a hundred candidate genes have been examined for risk association to human SB. The candidate genes studied include those important in folic acid metabolism, glucose metabolism, retinoid metabolism, and apoptosis. Many genes that regulate transcription in early embryogenesis and maintain planar cell polarity have also been tested as candidates. Additionally, genes identified through mouse models of NTDs have been explored as candidates. We do not know how many genes in the human genome may confer risk for NTDs in human. Less than 20% of the studied candidate genes have been determined to confer even a minor effect on risk association. Many studies have provided conflicting conclusions due to limitations in study design that potentially affect the power of statistical analysis. Future directions such as genomewide association studies (GWAS) and whole exome or even whole genome sequencing are discussed as possible avenues to identify genes that affect risk for human NTDs. PMID:20419766

  12. Punicalagin exerts protective effect against high glucose-induced cellular stress and neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Zhong, Jianxiang; Reece, E. Albert; Yang, Peixin

    2015-01-01

    Maternal diabetes-induced birth defects remain a significant health problem. Studying the effect of natural compounds with antioxidant properties and minimal toxicities on diabetic embryopathy may lead to the development of new and safe dietary supplements. Punicalagin is a primary polyphenol found in pomegranate juice, which possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorigenic properties, suggesting a protective effect of punicalagin on diabetic embryopathy. Here, we examined whether punicalagin could reduce high glucose-induced neural tube defects (NTDs), and if this rescue occurs through blockage of cellular stress and caspase activation. Embryonic day 8.5 (E8.5) mouse embryos were cultured for 24 or 36 hours with normal (5 mM) glucose or high glucose (16.7 mM), in presence or absence of 10 or 20 µM punicalagin. 10 µM punicalagin slightly reduced NTD formation under high glucose conditions; however, 20 µM punicalagin significantly inhibited high glucose-induced NTD formation. Punicalagin suppressed high glucose-induced lipid peroxidation marker 4-hydroxynonenal, nitrotyrosine-modified proteins, and lipid peroxides. Moreover, punicalagin abrogated endoplasmic reticulum stress by inhibiting phosphorylated protein kinase ribonucleic acid (RNA)-like ER kinase (p-PERK), phosphorylated inositol-requiring protein-1α (p-IRE1α), phosphorylated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (p-eIF2α), C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP), binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) and x-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) mRNA splicing. Additionally, punicalagin suppressed high glucose-induced caspase 3 and caspase 8 cleavage. Punicalagin reduces high glucose-induced NTD formation by blocking cellular stress and caspase activation. These observations suggest punicalagin supplements could mitigate the teratogenic effects of hyperglycemia in the developing embryo, and possibly prevent diabetesinduced NTDs. PMID:26453010

  13. Fumonisins disrupt sphingolipid metabolism, folate transport, and neural tube development in embryo culture and in vivo: a potential risk factor for human neural tube defects among populations consuming fumonisin-contaminated maize.

    PubMed

    Marasas, Walter F O; Riley, Ronald T; Hendricks, Katherine A; Stevens, Victoria L; Sadler, Thomas W; Gelineau-van Waes, Janee; Missmer, Stacey A; Cabrera, Julio; Torres, Olga; Gelderblom, Wentzel C A; Allegood, Jeremy; Martínez, Carolina; Maddox, Joyce; Miller, J David; Starr, Lois; Sullards, M Cameron; Roman, Ana Victoria; Voss, Kenneth A; Wang, Elaine; Merrill, Alfred H

    2004-04-01

    Fumonisins are a family of toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxins produced by Fusarium verticillioides (formerly Fusarium moniliforme), a common fungal contaminant of maize. Fumonisins inhibit ceramide synthase, causing accumulation of bioactive intermediates of sphingolipid metabolism (sphinganine and other sphingoid bases and derivatives) as well as depletion of complex sphingolipids, which interferes with the function of some membrane proteins, including the folate-binding protein (human folate receptor alpha). Fumonisin causes neural tube and craniofacial defects in mouse embryos in culture. Many of these effects are prevented by supplemental folic acid. Recent studies in LMBc mice found that fumonisin exposure in utero increases the frequency of developmental defects and administration of folate or a complex sphingolipid is preventive. High incidences of neural tube defects (NTD) occur in some regions of the world where substantial consumption of fumonisins has been documented or plausibly suggested (Guatemala, South Africa, and China); furthermore, a recent study of NTD in border counties of Texas found a significant association between NTD and consumption of tortillas during the first trimester. Hence, we propose that fumonisins are potential risk factors for NTD, craniofacial anomalies, and other birth defects arising from neural crest cells because of their apparent interference with folate utilization.

  14. Measuring Neural Entrainment to Beat and Meter in Infants: Effects of Music Background.

    PubMed

    Cirelli, Laura K; Spinelli, Christina; Nozaradan, Sylvie; Trainor, Laurel J

    2016-01-01

    Caregivers often engage in musical interactions with their infants. For example, parents across cultures sing lullabies and playsongs to their infants from birth. Behavioral studies indicate that infants not only extract beat information, but also group these beats into metrical hierarchies by as early as 6 months of age. However, it is not known how this is accomplished in the infant brain. An EEG frequency-tagging approach has been used successfully with adults to measure neural entrainment to auditory rhythms. The current study is the first to use this technique with infants in order to investigate how infants' brains encode rhythms. Furthermore, we examine how infant and parent music background is associated with individual differences in rhythm encoding. In Experiment 1, EEG was recorded while 7-month-old infants listened to an ambiguous rhythmic pattern that could be perceived to be in two different meters. In Experiment 2, EEG was recorded while 15-month-old infants listened to a rhythmic pattern with an unambiguous meter. In both age groups, information about music background (parent music training, infant music classes, hours of music listening) was collected. Both age groups showed clear EEG responses frequency-locked to the rhythms, at frequencies corresponding to both beat and meter. For the younger infants (Experiment 1), the amplitudes at duple meter frequencies were selectively enhanced for infants enrolled in music classes compared to those who had not engaged in such classes. For the older infants (Experiment 2), amplitudes at beat and meter frequencies were larger for infants with musically-trained compared to musically-untrained parents. These results suggest that the frequency-tagging method is sensitive to individual differences in beat and meter processing in infancy and could be used to track developmental changes.

  15. Measuring Neural Entrainment to Beat and Meter in Infants: Effects of Music Background

    PubMed Central

    Cirelli, Laura K.; Spinelli, Christina; Nozaradan, Sylvie; Trainor, Laurel J.

    2016-01-01

    Caregivers often engage in musical interactions with their infants. For example, parents across cultures sing lullabies and playsongs to their infants from birth. Behavioral studies indicate that infants not only extract beat information, but also group these beats into metrical hierarchies by as early as 6 months of age. However, it is not known how this is accomplished in the infant brain. An EEG frequency-tagging approach has been used successfully with adults to measure neural entrainment to auditory rhythms. The current study is the first to use this technique with infants in order to investigate how infants' brains encode rhythms. Furthermore, we examine how infant and parent music background is associated with individual differences in rhythm encoding. In Experiment 1, EEG was recorded while 7-month-old infants listened to an ambiguous rhythmic pattern that could be perceived to be in two different meters. In Experiment 2, EEG was recorded while 15-month-old infants listened to a rhythmic pattern with an unambiguous meter. In both age groups, information about music background (parent music training, infant music classes, hours of music listening) was collected. Both age groups showed clear EEG responses frequency-locked to the rhythms, at frequencies corresponding to both beat and meter. For the younger infants (Experiment 1), the amplitudes at duple meter frequencies were selectively enhanced for infants enrolled in music classes compared to those who had not engaged in such classes. For the older infants (Experiment 2), amplitudes at beat and meter frequencies were larger for infants with musically-trained compared to musically-untrained parents. These results suggest that the frequency-tagging method is sensitive to individual differences in beat and meter processing in infancy and could be used to track developmental changes. PMID:27252619

  16. The neural background of hyper-emotional aggression induced by post-weaning social isolation.

    PubMed

    Toth, Mate; Tulogdi, Aron; Biro, Laszlo; Soros, Petra; Mikics, Eva; Haller, Jozsef

    2012-07-15

    Post-weaning social isolation in rats is believed to model symptoms of early social neglect-induced externalizing problems including aggression-related problems. We showed earlier that rats reared in social isolation were hyper-aroused during aggressive contacts, delivered substantially more attacks that were poorly signaled and were preferentially aimed at vulnerable body parts of opponents (head, throat and belly). Here we studied the neural background of this type of aggression by assessing the expression of the activation marker c-Fos in 22 brain areas of male Wistar rats submitted to resident-intruder conflicts. Post-weaning social isolation readily produced the behavioral alterations noticed earlier. Social isolation significantly increased the activation of brain areas that are known to directly or indirectly control inter-male aggression. Particularly, the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortices, anterior cingulate cortex, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, medial and basolateral amygdala, hypothalamic attack area, hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus and locus coeruleus showed increased activations. This contrasts our earlier findings obtained in rats with experimentally induced hypoarousal, where abnormal attack patterns were associated with over-activated central amygdala, lateral hypothalamus, and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray that are believed to control predatory attacks. We have observed no similar activation patterns in rats socially isolated from weaning. In summary, these findings suggest that despite some phenotypic similarities, the neuronal background of hypo and hyperarousal-associated abnormal forms of aggression are markedly different. While the neuronal activation patterns induced by normal rivalry and hypoarousal-driven aggression are qualitative different, hyperarousal-associated aggression appears to be an exaggerated form of rivalry aggression.

  17. Epidémiologie et facteurs de risque des anomalies de fermeture du tube neural: données marocaines

    PubMed Central

    Radouani, Mohammed Amine; Chahid, Naima; Benmiloud, Loubna; Elammari, Laila; Lahlou, Khalid; Barkat, Amina

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Les anomalies de fermeture du tube neural sont des défauts congénitaux de la formation du système nerveux central. L'incidence varie entre 3 et 40 cas pour 10000 dans le monde. Il existe des facteurs de risque de survenue de cette affection. La prévention reste un élément important dans la prise en charge. L'objectif de ceete étude est d’étudier les paramètres sociodémographiques, maternels, obstétricaux et néonatals des anomalies de fermeture du tube neural et analyser les facteurs de risque responsables dans notre contexte. Méthodes Etude prospective cas-témoin sur 4 ans. Ont été recrutés tous les cas portant une malformation du tube neural isolée ou associée à d'autres malformations. Les données maternelles, obstétricales et néonatales ont été enregistrées. L'analyse statistique était réalisée par le biais d'un logiciel de statistiques SPSS version 17.0 pour Windows. Résultats Soixante huit cas ont été inclus. Quatre-vingts cinq pour cent des malformations étaient isolées. L'anencéphalie était l'anomalie la plus retrouvée (67%). L’âge maternel moyen était 31,03±7,50 ans. La consanguinité parentale était notée dans 9 cas. Un niveau socio-économique bas et un non suivi des grossesses ont été rapportés dans 29% des cas. L’étude a retrouvé des antécédents de mort-nés et de morts néonatales dans 4% des cas. La consommation de Fenugrec était significativement associée aux malformations du tube neural et a été retrouvée dans 8 cas contre 1 cas dans le groupe sain. La voie haute d'accouchement était utilisée dans 29% des cas. L’âge gestationnel moyen était de 35,55±4,16 semaines d'aménorrhée. Il n'y avait pas de prédominance de sexe. On avait noté une relation significative entre les malformations du tube neural et l'avènement d'une asphyxie périnatale, 15 cas présentaient un apgar à 0 à la première minute et 12 cas un apgar inférieur à 7 à la cinquième minute. Conclusion

  18. DNA methylation analysis of Homeobox genes implicates HOXB7 hypomethylation as risk factor for neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Rochtus, Anne; Izzi, Benedetta; Vangeel, Elise; Louwette, Sophie; Wittevrongel, Christine; Lambrechts, Diether; Moreau, Yves; Winand, Raf; Verpoorten, Carla; Jansen, Katrien; Van Geet, Chris; Freson, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common birth defects of complex etiology. Though family- and population-based studies have confirmed a genetic component, the responsible genes for NTDs are still largely unknown. Based on the hypothesis that folic acid prevents NTDs by stimulating methylation reactions, epigenetic factors, such as DNA methylation, are predicted to be involved in NTDs. Homeobox (HOX) genes play a role in spinal cord development and are tightly regulated in a spatiotemporal and collinear manner, partly by epigenetic modifications. We have quantified DNA methylation for the different HOX genes by subtracting values from a genome-wide methylation analysis using leukocyte DNA from 10 myelomeningocele (MMC) patients and 6 healthy controls. From the 1575 CpGs profiled for the 4 HOX clusters, 26 CpGs were differentially methylated (P-value < 0.05; β-difference > 0.05) between MMC patients and controls. Seventy-seven percent of these CpGs were located in the HOXA and HOXB clusters, with the most profound difference for 3 CpGs within the HOXB7 gene body. A validation case-control study including 83 MMC patients and 30 unrelated healthy controls confirmed a significant association between MMC and HOXB7 hypomethylation (-14.4%; 95% CI: 11.9-16.9%; P-value < 0.0001) independent of the MTHFR 667C>T genotype. Significant HOXB7 hypomethylation was also present in 12 unaffected siblings, each related to a MMC patient, suggestive of an epigenetic change induced by the mother. The inclusion of a neural tube formation model using zebrafish showed that Hoxb7a overexpression but not depletion resulted in deformed body axes with dysmorphic neural tube formation. Our results implicate HOXB7 hypomethylation as risk factor for NTDs and highlight the importance for future genome-wide DNA methylation analyses without preselecting candidate pathways.

  19. Influence of the antifolate drug Methotrexate on the development of murine neural tube defects and genomic instability.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jie; Guan, Tao; Wang, Jianhua; Xiang, Qian; Wang, Mingsheng; Wang, Xiuwei; Guan, Zhen; Xie, Qiu; Niu, Bo; Zhang, Ting

    2013-09-01

    Impaired folate metabolism is considered a risk factor for neural tube defects (NTDs). However, the relationship between folate deficiency and the risk of NTDs remains unclear, because experimentally induced dietary folate deficiency is insufficient to cause NTDs in non-mutant mice. Methotrexate (MTX) is a specific folate antagonist that competitively inhibits dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) activity. The objective of this study was to develop a folate dysmetabolism murine model, and study the development of NTDs and its mechanism. Pregnant mice were injected with different doses of MTX [0, 0.5, 1.0, 3.0, 4.5 and 6.0 mg kg(-1) body weight (b/w) intraperitoneally (i.p.)] on gestational day 7.5 and sacrificed on gestational day 11.5. DHFR activity in embryonic tissues was detected, and folate concentrations were analyzed using LC/MS/MS. Copy number variations (CNVs) in neural tube tissues were detected using array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH). A dose of MTX 4.5 mg kg(-1) b/w, resulted in the highest incidence of NTDs (31.4%) compared with the other groups, and DHFR activities, 5-MeTHF and 5-FoTHF concentrations in embryonic tissues decreased significantly after MTX injection. Furthermore, we found three high-confidence CNVs on chromosome X using aCGH, which was confirmed by RT-PCR and MassARRAY. These results indicate that MTX could cause a folate-associated dysmetabolism, which is similar to that of dietary folate deficiency in mice. The presence of CNVs in neural tube tissues was associated with the development of NTDs.

  20. Maternal-fetal metabolic gene-gene interactions and risk of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Lupo, Philip J; Mitchell, Laura E; Canfield, Mark A; Shaw, Gary M; Olshan, Andrew F; Finnell, Richard H; Zhu, Huiping

    2014-01-01

    Single-gene analyses indicate that maternal genes associated with metabolic conditions (e.g., obesity) may influence the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). However, to our knowledge, there have been no assessments of maternal-fetal metabolic gene-gene interactions and NTDs. We investigated 23 single nucleotide polymorphisms among 7 maternal metabolic genes (ADRB3, ENPP1, FTO, LEP, PPARG, PPARGC1A, and TCF7L2) and 2 fetal metabolic genes (SLC2A2 and UCP2). Samples were obtained from 737 NTD case-parent triads included in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study for birth years 1999-2007. We used a 2-step approach to evaluate maternal-fetal gene-gene interactions. First, a case-only approach was applied to screen all potential maternal and fetal interactions (n = 76), as this design provides greater power in the assessment of gene-gene interactions compared to other approaches. Specifically, ordinal logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for each maternal-fetal gene-gene interaction, assuming a log-additive model of inheritance. Due to the number of comparisons, we calculated a corrected p-value (q-value) using the false discovery rate. Second, we confirmed all statistically significant interactions (q < 0.05) using a log-linear approach among case-parent triads. In step 1, there were 5 maternal-fetal gene-gene interactions with q < 0.05. The "top hit" was an interaction between maternal ENPP1 rs1044498 and fetal SLC2A2 rs6785233 (interaction OR = 3.65, 95% CI: 2.32-5.74, p = 2.09×10(-8), q=0.001), which was confirmed in step 2 (p = 0.00004). Our findings suggest that maternal metabolic genes associated with hyperglycemia and insulin resistance and fetal metabolic genes involved in glucose homeostasis may interact to increase the risk of NTDs.

  1. Maternal and infant gene-folate interactions and the risk of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Etheredge, Analee J; Finnell, Richard H; Carmichael, Suzan L; Lammer, Edward J; Zhu, Huiping; Mitchell, Laura E; Shaw, Gary M

    2012-10-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common, serious malformations with a complex etiology that suggests involvement of both genetic and environmental factors. The authors evaluated maternal or offspring folate-related gene variants and interactions between the gene variants and maternal intake of folates on the risk of NTDs in their offspring. A case-control study was conducted on mothers and/or their fetuses and infants who were born in California from 1999 to 2003 with an NTD (cases n = 222, including 24 mother-infant pairs) or without a major malformation (controls n = 454, including 186 mother-infant pairs). Maternal intake of folates was assessed by food frequency questionnaire and genotyping was performed on samples from mothers and infants. For mothers in the lowest folate-intake group, risk of NTDs in offspring was significantly decreased for maternal MTHFR SNPs rs1476413, rs1801131, and rs1801133 (odds ratio [OR] = 0.55, 80% confidence interval [CI]: 0.20, 1.48; OR = 0.58, 80% CI: 0.24, 1.43; OR = 0.69, 80% CI: 0.41, 1.17, respectively), and TYMS SNPs rs502396 and rs699517 (OR = 0.91, 80% CI: 0.53, 1.56; OR = 0.70, 80% CI: 0.38, 1.29). A gene-only effect was observed for maternal SHMT1 SNP rs669340 (OR = 0.69, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.96). When there was low maternal folate intake, risk of NTDs was significantly increased for infant MTHFD1 SNPs rs2236224, rs2236225, and rs11627387 (OR = 1.58, 80% CI: 0.99, 2.51; OR = 1.53, 80% CI: 0.95, 2.47; OR = 4.25, 80% CI: 2.33, 7.75, respectively) and SHMT1 SNP rs12939757 (OR = 2.01, 80% CI: 1.20, 3.37), but decreased for TYMS SNP rs2847153 (OR = 0.73, 80% CI: 0.37, 1.45). Although power to detect interaction effects was low for this birth defects association study, the gene-folate interactions observed in this study represent preliminary findings that will be useful for informing future studies on the complex etiology of NTDs.

  2. Epigenetic profiles in children with a neural tube defect; a case-control study in two populations.

    PubMed

    Stolk, Lisette; Bouwland-Both, Marieke I; van Mil, Nina H; van Mill, Nina H; Verbiest, Michael M P J; Eilers, Paul H C; Zhu, Huiping; Suarez, Lucina; Uitterlinden, André G; Steegers-Theunissen, Régine P M

    2013-01-01

    Folate deficiency is implicated in the causation of neural tube defects (NTDs). The preventive effect of periconceptional folic acid supplement use is partially explained by the treatment of a deranged folate-dependent one carbon metabolism, which provides methyl groups for DNA-methylation as an epigenetic mechanism. Here, we hypothesize that variations in DNA-methylation of genes implicated in the development of NTDs and embryonic growth are part of the underlying mechanism. In 48 children with a neural tube defect and 62 controls from a Dutch case-control study and 34 children with a neural tube defect and 78 controls from a Texan case-control study, we measured the DNA-methylation levels of imprinted candidate genes (IGF2-DMR, H19, KCNQ1OT1) and non-imprinted genes (the LEKR/CCNL gene region associated with birth weight, and MTHFR and VANGL1 associated with NTD). We used the MassARRAY EpiTYPER assay from Sequenom for the assessment of DNA-methylation. Linear mixed model analysis was used to estimate associations between DNA-methylation levels of the genes and a neural tube defect. In the Dutch study group, but not in the Texan study group we found a significant association between the risk of having an NTD and DNA methylation levels of MTHFR (absolute decrease in methylation of -0.33% in cases, P-value = 0.001), and LEKR/CCNL (absolute increase in methylation: 1.36% in cases, P-value = 0.048), and a borderline significant association for VANGL (absolute increase in methylation: 0.17% in cases, P-value = 0.063). Only the association between MTHFR and NTD-risk remained significant after multiple testing correction. The associations in the Dutch study were not replicated in the Texan study. We conclude that the associations between NTDs and the methylation of the MTHFR gene, and maybe VANGL and LEKKR/CNNL, are in line with previous studies showing polymorphisms in the same genes in association with NTDs and embryonic development, respectively.

  3. Artificial Neural Networks-Based Software for Measuring Heat Collection Rate and Heat Loss Coefficient of Water-in-Glass Evacuated Tube Solar Water Heaters

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhijian; Liu, Kejun; Li, Hao; Zhang, Xinyu; Jin, Guangya; Cheng, Kewei

    2015-01-01

    Measurements of heat collection rate and heat loss coefficient are crucial for the evaluation of in service water-in-glass evacuated tube solar water heaters. However, conventional measurement requires expensive detection devices and undergoes a series of complicated procedures. To simplify the measurement and reduce the cost, software based on artificial neural networks for measuring heat collection rate and heat loss coefficient of water-in-glass evacuated tube solar water heaters was developed. Using multilayer feed-forward neural networks with back-propagation algorithm, we developed and tested our program on the basis of 915measuredsamples of water-in-glass evacuated tube solar water heaters. This artificial neural networks-based software program automatically obtained accurate heat collection rateand heat loss coefficient using simply "portable test instruments" acquired parameters, including tube length, number of tubes, tube center distance, heat water mass in tank, collector area, angle between tubes and ground and final temperature. Our results show that this software (on both personal computer and Android platforms) is efficient and convenient to predict the heat collection rate and heat loss coefficient due to it slow root mean square errors in prediction. The software now can be downloaded from http://t.cn/RLPKF08. PMID:26624613

  4. Artificial Neural Networks-Based Software for Measuring Heat Collection Rate and Heat Loss Coefficient of Water-in-Glass Evacuated Tube Solar Water Heaters.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhijian; Liu, Kejun; Li, Hao; Zhang, Xinyu; Jin, Guangya; Cheng, Kewei

    2015-01-01

    Measurements of heat collection rate and heat loss coefficient are crucial for the evaluation of in service water-in-glass evacuated tube solar water heaters. However, conventional measurement requires expensive detection devices and undergoes a series of complicated procedures. To simplify the measurement and reduce the cost, software based on artificial neural networks for measuring heat collection rate and heat loss coefficient of water-in-glass evacuated tube solar water heaters was developed. Using multilayer feed-forward neural networks with back-propagation algorithm, we developed and tested our program on the basis of 915 measured samples of water-in-glass evacuated tube solar water heaters. This artificial neural networks-based software program automatically obtained accurate heat collection rate and heat loss coefficient using simply "portable test instruments" acquired parameters, including tube length, number of tubes, tube center distance, heat water mass in tank, collector area, angle between tubes and ground and final temperature. Our results show that this software (on both personal computer and Android platforms) is efficient and convenient to predict the heat collection rate and heat loss coefficient due to it slow root mean square errors in prediction. The software now can be downloaded from http://t.cn/RLPKF08.

  5. Dual Labeling of Neural Crest Cells and Blood Vessels Within Chicken Embryos Using ChickGFP Neural Tube Grafting and Carbocyanine Dye DiI Injection

    PubMed Central

    Delalande, Jean-Marie; Thapar, Nikhil; Burns, Alan J.

    2015-01-01

    All developing organs need to be connected to both the nervous system (for sensory and motor control) as well as the vascular system (for gas exchange, fluid and nutrient supply). Consequently both the nervous and vascular systems develop alongside each other and share striking similarities in their branching architecture. Here we report embryonic manipulations that allow us to study the simultaneous development of neural crest-derived nervous tissue (in this case the enteric nervous system), and the vascular system. This is achieved by generating chicken chimeras via transplantation of discrete segments of the neural tube, and associated neural crest, combined with vascular DiI injection in the same embryo. Our method uses transgenic chickGFP embryos for intraspecies grafting, making the transplant technique more powerful than the classical quail-chick interspecies grafting protocol used with great effect since the 1970s. ChickGFP-chick intraspecies grafting facilitates imaging of transplanted cells and their projections in intact tissues, and eliminates any potential bias in cell development linked to species differences. This method takes full advantage of the ease of access of the avian embryo (compared with other vertebrate embryos) to study the co-development of the enteric nervous system and the vascular system. PMID:26065540

  6. A comprehensive evaluation of food fortification with folic acid for the primary prevention of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shiliang; West, Roy; Randell, Edward; Longerich, Linda; O'connor, Kathleen Steel; Scott, Helen; Crowley, Marian; Lam, Angeline; Prabhakaran, Victor; McCourt, Catherine

    2004-09-27

    BACKGROUND: Periconceptional use of vitamin supplements containing folic acid reduces the risk of a neural tube defect (NTD). In November 1998, food fortification with folic acid was mandated in Canada, as a public health strategy to increase the folic acid intake of all women of childbearing age. We undertook a comprehensive population based study in Newfoundland to assess the benefits and possible adverse effects of this intervention. METHODS: This study was carried out in women aged 19-44 years and in seniors from November 1997 to March 1998, and from November 2000 to March 2001. The evaluation was comprised of four components: I) Determination of rates of NTDs; II) Dietary assessment; III) Blood analysis; IV) Assessment of knowledge and use of folic acid supplements. RESULTS: The annual rates of NTDs in Newfoundland varied greatly between 1976 and 1997, with a mean rate of 3.40 per 1,000 births. There was no significant change in the average rates between 1991-93 and 1994-97 (relative risk [RR] 1.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.76-1.34). The rates of NTDs fell by 78% (95% CI 65%-86%) after the implementation of folic acid fortification, from an average of 4.36 per 1,000 births during 1991-1997 to 0.96 per 1,000 births during 1998-2001 (RR 0.22, 95% CI 0.14-0.35). The average dietary intake of folic acid due to fortification was 70 μg/day in women aged 19-44 years and 74 μg/day in seniors. There were significant increases in serum and RBC folate levels for women and seniors after mandatory fortification. Among seniors, there were no significant changes in indices typical of vitamin B12 deficiencies, and no evidence of improved folate status masking haematological manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency. The proportion of women aged 19-44 years taking a vitamin supplement containing folic acid increased from 17% to 28%. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these findings, mandatory food fortification in Canada should continue at the current levels. Public education

  7. Temporal and Spatial Analysis of Neural Tube Defects and Detection of Geographical Factors in Shanxi Province, China

    PubMed Central

    He, Lei; Wang, Jinfeng; Liu, Xin; Zhang, Ningxu; Xu, Bing

    2016-01-01

    Background Neural tube defects (NTDs) are congenital birth defects that occur in the central nervous system, and they have the highest incidence among all birth defects. Shanxi Province in China has the world’s highest rate of NTDs. Since the 1990s, China’s government has worked on many birth defect prevention programs to reduce the occurrence of NTDs, such as pregnancy planning, health education, genetic counseling, antenatal ultrasonography and serological screening. However, the rate of NTDs in Shanxi Province is still higher than the world’s average morbidity rate after intervention. In addition, Shanxi Province has abundant coal reserves, and is the largest coal production province in China. The objectives of this study are to determine the temporal and spatial variation of the NTD rate in rural areas of Shanxi Province, China, and identify geographical environmental factors that were associated with NTDs in the risk area. Methods In this study, Heshun County and Yuanping County in Shanxi Province, which have high incidence of NTDs, were selected as the study areas. Two paired sample T test was used to analyze the changes in the risk of NTDs from the time dimension. Ripley’s k function and spatial filtering were combined with geographic information system (GIS) software to study the changes in the risk of NTDs from the spatial dimension. In addition, geographical detectors were used to identify the risk geographical environmental factors of NTDs in the study areas, especially the areas close to the coal sites and main roads. Results In both Heshun County and Yuanping County, the incidence of NTDs was significantly (P<0.05) reduced after intervention. The results from spatial analysis showed that significant spatial heterogeneity existed in both counties. NTD clusters were still identified in areas close to coal sites and main roads after interventions. This study also revealed that the elevation, fault and soil types always had a larger influence on

  8. [A correlation study on homocysteine metabolism in pregnant women and neural tube defects in urban and rural areas].

    PubMed

    Zhan, S; Hu, Y; Li, L

    1997-07-01

    Serum levels of homocysteine, folic acid and vitamin B12 in pregnant women in urban and rural areas were compared to study the relationship between homocysteine metabolism and neural tube defects. Four hundred and eleven serum specimens were sampled randomly from a serum bank for women with early pregnancy in Beijing area, 195 from urban and 216 from rural. Their levels of homocysteine were determined by high performance liquid chromatography combined with electrochemical methods, and those of folic acid and vitamin B12 by radioimmunoassay. Results showed that level of homocysteine was significantly higher in rural pregnant women than that in urban, with 9.31 mumol/L and 5.73 mumol/L, respectively, level of vitamin B12 was lower in rural than that in urban women, with 210.09 pmol/L and 233.35 pmol/L, respectively, and level of folic acid was higher in rural than that in urban women, but no significant difference in deficiency of folic acid between rural and urban was found. The average ratio of folic acid to homocysteine and that of vitamin B12 to homocysteine were higher in rural than those in urban women. It suggests that abnormal metabolism of homocysteine usually correlates with high incidence of neural tube defects in rural area.

  9. Mutations in the planar cell polarity genes CELSR1 and SCRIB are associated with the severe neural tube defect craniorachischisis.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Alexis; Escuin, Sarah; Doudney, Kit; Vekemans, Michel; Stevenson, Roger E; Greene, Nicholas D E; Copp, Andrew J; Stanier, Philip

    2012-02-01

    Craniorachischisis (CRN) is a severe neural tube defect (NTD) resulting from failure to initiate closure, leaving the hindbrain and spinal neural tube entirely open. Clues to the genetic basis of this condition come from several mouse models, which harbor mutations in core members of the planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling pathway. Previous studies of humans with CRN failed to identify mutations in the core PCP genes, VANGL1 and VANGL2. Here, we analyzed other key PCP genes: CELSR1, PRICKLE1, PTK7, and SCRIB, with the finding of eight potentially causative mutations in both CELSR1 and SCRIB. Functional effects of these unique or rare human variants were evaluated using known protein-protein interactions as well as subcellular protein localization. While protein interactions were not affected, variants from five of the 36 patients exhibited a profound alteration in subcellular protein localization, with diminution or abolition of trafficking to the plasma membrane. Comparable effects were seen in the crash and spin cycle mouse Celsr1 mutants, and the line-90 mouse Scrib mutant. We conclude that missense variants in CELSR1 and SCRIB may represent a cause of CRN in humans, as in mice, with defective PCP protein trafficking to the plasma membrane a likely pathogenic mechanism.

  10. Evidence for increased SOX3 dosage as a risk factor for X-linked hypopituitarism and neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Bauters, Marijke; Frints, Suzanna G; Van Esch, Hilde; Spruijt, Liesbeth; Baldewijns, Marcella M; de Die-Smulders, Christine E M; Fryns, Jean-Pierre; Marynen, Peter; Froyen, Guy

    2014-08-01

    Genomic duplications of varying lengths at Xq26-q27 involving SOX3 have been described in families with X-linked hypopituitarism. Using array-CGH we detected a 1.1 Mb microduplication at Xq27 in a large family with three males suffering from X-linked hypopituitarism. The duplication was mapped from 138.7 to 139.8 Mb, harboring only two annotated genes, SOX3 and ATP11C, and was shown to be a direct tandem copy number gain. Unexpectedly, the microduplication did not fully segregate with the disease in this family suggesting that SOX3 duplications have variable penetrance for X-linked hypopituitarism. In the same family, a female fetus presenting with a neural tube defect was also shown to carry the SOX3 copy number gain. Since we also demonstrated increased SOX3 mRNA levels in amnion cells derived from an unrelated t(X;22)(q27;q11) female fetus with spina bifida, we propose that increased levels of SOX3 could be a risk factor for neural tube defects.

  11. Methionine synthase: high-resolution mapping of the human gene and evaluation as a candidate locus for neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Brody, L C; Baker, P J; Chines, P S; Musick, A; Molloy, A M; Swanson, D A; Kirke, P N; Ghosh, S; Scott, J M; Mills, J L

    1999-08-01

    Periconceptual folate supplementation has been found to prevent the occurrence of many neural tube defects (NTDs). Consequently, genetic variation in folate metabolism genes is expected to contribute to the risk for neural tube defects. Methionine synthase catalyzes the vitamin B(12)-dependent conversion of homocysteine and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate to methionine and tetrahydrofolate. The observation that homocysteine and vitamin B(12) levels are independent predictors of NTD risk suggested that methionine synthase could be a candidate gene for NTDs. To assess the role of the MS gene in NTDs, we performed high-resolution physical mapping of the MS locus, isolated highly polymorphic markers linked to the MS gene, and tested for an association between specific MS alleles and NTDs. We mapped the MS gene to a position between 909 and 913 cR(10000) on chromosome 1 by radiation hybrid mapping. Polymorphic markers D1S1567 and D1S1568 map to locations no more than 900 and 194 kb from the MS gene, respectively. The segregation of these polymorphic markers was measured in 85 Irish NTD families. No allele of either marker showed a significant association with NTDs using the transmission disequilibrium test. A lack of association was also observed for the D1919G missense mutation within the gene. Our results suggest that inherited variation in the MS gene does not contribute to NTD risk in this population.

  12. Molecular genetics and pathogenic mechanisms for the severe ciliopathies: insights into neurodevelopment and pathogenesis of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Logan, Clare V; Abdel-Hamed, Zakia; Johnson, Colin A

    2011-02-01

    Meckel-Gruber syndrome (MKS) is a severe autosomal recessively inherited disorder characterized by developmental defects of the central nervous system that comprise neural tube defects that most commonly present as occipital encephalocele. MKS is considered to be the most common syndromic form of neural tube defect. MKS is genetically heterogeneous with six known disease genes: MKS1, MKS2/TMEM216, MKS3/TMEM67, RPGRIP1L, CEP290, and CC2D2A with the encoded proteins all implicated in the correct function of primary cilia. Primary cilia are microtubule-based organelles that project from the apical surface of most epithelial cell types. Recent progress has implicated the involvement of cilia in the Wnt and Shh signaling pathways and has led to an understanding of their role in normal mammalian neurodevelopment. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the molecular genetics of the human disorder, and to assess recent insights into the etiology and molecular cell biology of severe ciliopathies from mammalian animal models of MKS.

  13. Genetic analysis of rare coding mutations in CELSR1-3 in Chinese Congenital Heart and Neural Tube Defects.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Xiaojing; Liu, Yahui; Li, Peiqiang; Chen, Zhongzhong; Li, Huili; Yang, Xueyan; Finnell, Richard H; Yang, Zhangmin; Zhang, Ting; Qiao, Bin; Zheng, Yufang; Wang, Hongyan

    2016-10-18

    The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway is critical for proper embryonic development of the neural tube and heart. Mutations in these genes have previously been implicated in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects (NTDs), but not in congenital heart defects (CHDs) in humans. We systematically identified the mutation patterns of CELSR1-3 , one family of the core PCP genes, in human cohorts composed of 352 NTD cases, 412 CHD cases, and matched controls. A total of 72 disease-specific rare novel coding mutations were identified, of which 37 were identified in CHD cases, and 36 were identified in NTD patients. Most of these mutations differed between the two cohorts, as only one novel missense mutation in CELSR1 (c.2609G>A p.P870L) was identified in both NTD and CHD patients. Both in vivo and in vitro assays revealed that CELSR1 P870L is a gain-of-function mutation. It up-regulates not only the PCP pathway, but also canonical WNT signaling in cells, and also induced both NTDs and CHDs in Zebrafish embryos. As almost equal numbers of mutations were identified in each cohort, our results provided the first evidence that mutations in CELSR genes are as likely to be associated with CHDs as with NTDs, although the specific mutations differ between the two cohorts. Such differences in mutation panels suggested that CELSRs might be regulated differently during the development of these two organ systems.

  14. Sept6 is required for ciliogenesis in Kupffer's vesicle, the pronephros, and the neural tube during early embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Zhai, Gang; Gu, Qilin; He, Jiangyan; Lou, Qiyong; Chen, Xiaowen; Jin, Xia; Bi, Erfei; Yin, Zhan

    2014-04-01

    Septins are conserved filament-forming GTP-binding proteins that act as cellular scaffolds or diffusion barriers in a number of cellular processes. However, the role of septins in vertebrate development remains relatively obscure. Here, we show that zebrafish septin 6 (sept6) is first expressed in the notochord and then in nearly all of the ciliary organs, including Kupffer's vesicle (KV), the pronephros, eye, olfactory bulb, and neural tube. Knockdown of sept6 in zebrafish embryos results in reduced numbers and length of cilia in KV. Consequently, cilium-related functions, such as the left-right patterning of internal organs and nodal/spaw signaling, are compromised. Knockdown of sept6 also results in aberrant cilium formation in the pronephros and neural tube, leading to cilium-related defects in pronephros development and Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling. We further demonstrate that SEPT6 associates with acetylated α-tubulin in vivo and localizes along the axoneme in the cilia of zebrafish pronephric duct cells as well as cultured ZF4 cells. Our study reveals a novel role of sept6 in ciliogenesis during early embryonic development in zebrafish.

  15. A mutation in the tuft mouse disrupts TET1 activity and alters the expression of genes that are crucial for neural tube closure

    PubMed Central

    Khadka, Vedbar S.; Corley, Michael J.; Maunakea, Alika K.; Fogelgren, Ben; Ahmed, Zubair M.; Lozanoff, Scott

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Genetic variations affecting neural tube closure along the head result in malformations of the face and brain. Neural tube defects (NTDs) are among the most common birth defects in humans. We previously reported a mouse mutant called tuft that arose spontaneously in our wild-type 3H1 colony. Adult tuft mice present midline craniofacial malformations with or without an anterior cephalocele. In addition, affected embryos presented neural tube closure defects resulting in insufficient closure of the anterior neuropore or exencephaly. Here, through whole-genome sequencing, we identified a nonsense mutation in the Tet1 gene, which encodes a methylcytosine dioxygenase (TET1), co-segregating with the tuft phenotype. This mutation resulted in premature termination that disrupts the catalytic domain that is involved in the demethylation of cytosine. We detected a significant loss of TET enzyme activity in the heads of tuft embryos that were homozygous for the mutation and had NTDs. RNA-Seq transcriptome analysis indicated that multiple gene pathways associated with neural tube closure were dysregulated in tuft embryo heads. Among them, the expressions of Cecr2, Epha7 and Grhl2 were significantly reduced in some embryos presenting neural tube closure defects, whereas one or more components of the non-canonical WNT signaling pathway mediating planar cell polarity and convergent extension were affected in others. We further show that the recombinant mutant TET1 protein was capable of entering the nucleus and affected the expression of endogenous Grhl2 in IMCD-3 (inner medullary collecting duct) cells. These results indicate that TET1 is an epigenetic determinant for regulating genes that are crucial to closure of the anterior neural tube and its mutation has implications to craniofacial development, as presented by the tuft mouse. PMID:26989192

  16. Prevention of neural tube defects by the fortification of flour with folic acid: a population-based retrospective study in Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Lecca, Roberto Carlos Reyes; Cortez-Escalante, Juan Jose; Sanchez, Mauro Niskier; Rodrigues, Humberto Gabriel

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Objective To determine if the fortification of wheat and maize flours with iron and folic acid – which became mandatory in Brazil from June 2004 – is effective in the prevention of neural tube defects. Methods Using data from national information systems on births in central, south-eastern and southern Brazil, we determined the prevalence of neural tube defects among live births and stillbirths in a pre-fortification period – i.e. 2001–2004 – and in a post-fortification period – i.e. 2005–2014. We distinguished between anencephaly, encephalocele, meningocele, myelomeningocele and other forms of spina bifida. Findings There were 8554 neural tube defects for 17 925 729 live births notified between 2001 and 2014. For the same period, 2673 neural tube defects were reported for 194 858 stillbirths. The overall prevalence of neural tube defects fell from 0.79 per 1000 pre-fortification to 0.55 per 1000 post-fortification (prevalence ratio, PR: 1.43; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.38–1.50). For stillbirths, prevalence fell from 17.74 per 1000 stillbirths pre-fortification to 11.70 per 1000 stillbirths post-fortification. The corresponding values among live births were 0.57 and 0.44, respectively. Conclusion The introduction of the mandatory fortification of flour with iron and folic acid in Brazil was followed by a significant reduction in the prevalence of neural tube defects in our study area. PMID:26769993

  17. A mutation in the tuft mouse disrupts TET1 activity and alters the expression of genes that are crucial for neural tube closure.

    PubMed

    Fong, Keith S K; Hufnagel, Robert B; Khadka, Vedbar S; Corley, Michael J; Maunakea, Alika K; Fogelgren, Ben; Ahmed, Zubair M; Lozanoff, Scott

    2016-05-01

    Genetic variations affecting neural tube closure along the head result in malformations of the face and brain. Neural tube defects (NTDs) are among the most common birth defects in humans. We previously reported a mouse mutant called tuft that arose spontaneously in our wild-type 3H1 colony. Adult tuft mice present midline craniofacial malformations with or without an anterior cephalocele. In addition, affected embryos presented neural tube closure defects resulting in insufficient closure of the anterior neuropore or exencephaly. Here, through whole-genome sequencing, we identified a nonsense mutation in the Tet1 gene, which encodes a methylcytosine dioxygenase (TET1), co-segregating with the tuft phenotype. This mutation resulted in premature termination that disrupts the catalytic domain that is involved in the demethylation of cytosine. We detected a significant loss of TET enzyme activity in the heads of tuft embryos that were homozygous for the mutation and had NTDs. RNA-Seq transcriptome analysis indicated that multiple gene pathways associated with neural tube closure were dysregulated in tuft embryo heads. Among them, the expressions of Cecr2, Epha7 and Grhl2 were significantly reduced in some embryos presenting neural tube closure defects, whereas one or more components of the non-canonical WNT signaling pathway mediating planar cell polarity and convergent extension were affected in others. We further show that the recombinant mutant TET1 protein was capable of entering the nucleus and affected the expression of endogenous Grhl2 in IMCD-3 (inner medullary collecting duct) cells. These results indicate that TET1 is an epigenetic determinant for regulating genes that are crucial to closure of the anterior neural tube and its mutation has implications to craniofacial development, as presented by the tuft mouse.

  18. Maternal and neonatal serum zinc level and its relationship with neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Dey, Arjun Chandra; Shahidullah, Mohammod; Mannan, Mohammad Abdul; Noor, Mohammad Khaled; Saha, Laxmi; Rahman, Shahana A

    2010-08-01

    Neural tube defect (NTD) is a multi-factorial disorder in which nutritional, genetic and environmental factors are involved. Among the nutritional factors, low level of serum zinc has been reported from different parts of the world. This hospital-based case-control study was conducted with the objective of finding the relationship between serum zinc level in newborns and their mothers and NTDs in a Bangladeshi population. The study was conducted during August 2006-July 2007 at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in Dhaka. In total, 32 mothers and their newborns with NTDs were included as cases and another 32 mothers with their normal babies were included as controls. Concentration of serum zinc was determined by pyro-coated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer (GF-AAS). The mean age of the case and control mothers was 25.28 years and 24.34 years respectively. The mean gestational age of the case newborns was 36.59 weeks and that of the control newborns was 37.75 weeks. The mean serum zinc level of the case and control mothers was 610.2 microg/L and 883.0 microg/L respectively (p < 0.01). The mean serum zinc level of the case and control newborns was 723 microg/L and 1,046 microg/L respectively (p < 0.01). In both case and control groups, the serum zinc level of the newborns positively correlated with that of the mothers. The serum zinc levels of the mothers and newborns negatively correlated with NTDs. Mothers with serum zinc level lower than normal were 7.66 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.5-23.28] times more likely to have NTDs compared to the normal zinc level of mothers. After adjusting for the zinc level of the newborns, parity, and age of the mothers, this risk reduced 1.61 times [confidence interval (CI) 95% 0.24-8.77]. On the other hand, the low serum zinc level of the newborns was 7.22 times more associated with NTDs compared to the newborns with the normal serum zinc level, which was statistically significant (p = 0

  19. Self-organized criticality in a two-dimensional cellular automaton model of a magnetic flux tube with background flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dănilă, B.; Harko, T.; Mocanu, G.

    2015-11-01

    We investigate the transition to self-organized criticality in a two-dimensional model of a flux tube with a background flow. The magnetic induction equation, represented by a partial differential equation with a stochastic source term, is discretized and implemented on a two-dimensional cellular automaton. The energy released by the automaton during one relaxation event is the magnetic energy. As a result of the simulations, we obtain the time evolution of the energy release, of the system control parameter, of the event lifetime distribution and of the event size distribution, respectively, and we establish that a self-organized critical state is indeed reached by the system. Moreover, energetic initial impulses in the magnetohydrodynamic flow can lead to one-dimensional signatures in the magnetic two-dimensional system, once the self-organized critical regime is established. The applications of the model for the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) is briefly considered, and it is shown that some astrophysical parameters of the bursts, like the light curves, the maximum released energy and the number of peaks in the light curve can be reproduced and explained, at least on a qualitative level, by working in a framework in which the systems settles in a self-organized critical state via magnetic reconnection processes in the magnetized GRB fireball.

  20. The iron exporter ferroportin 1 is essential for development of the mouse embryo, forebrain patterning and neural tube closure

    PubMed Central

    Mao, Jinzhe; McKean, David M.; Warrier, Sunita; Corbin, Joshua G.; Niswander, Lee; Zohn, Irene E.

    2010-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are some of the most common birth defects observed in humans. The incidence of NTDs can be reduced by peri-conceptional folic acid supplementation alone and reduced even further by supplementation with folic acid plus a multivitamin. Here, we present evidence that iron maybe an important nutrient necessary for normal development of the neural tube. Following implantation of the mouse embryo, ferroportin 1 (Fpn1) is essential for the transport of iron from the mother to the fetus and is expressed in the visceral endoderm, yolk sac and placenta. The flatiron (ffe) mutant mouse line harbors a hypomorphic mutation in Fpn1 and we have created an allelic series of Fpn1 mutations that result in graded developmental defects. A null mutation in the Fpn1 gene is embryonic lethal before gastrulation, hypomorphic Fpn1ffe/ffe mutants exhibit NTDs consisting of exencephaly, spina bifida and forebrain truncations, while Fpn1ffe/KI mutants exhibit even more severe NTDs. We show that Fpn1 is not required in the embryo proper but rather in the extra-embryonic visceral endoderm. Our data indicate that loss of Fpn1 results in abnormal morphogenesis of the anterior visceral endoderm (AVE). Defects in the development of the forebrain in Fpn1 mutants are compounded by defects in multiple signaling centers required for maintenance of the forebrain, including the anterior definitive endoderm (ADE), anterior mesendoderm (AME) and anterior neural ridge (ANR). Finally, we demonstrate that this loss of forebrain maintenance is due in part to the iron deficiency that results from the absence of fully functional Fpn1. PMID:20702562

  1. Analyses of copy number variation reveal putative susceptibility loci in MTX-induced mouse neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianhua; Wang, Xiuwei; Guan, Tao; Xiang, Qian; Wang, Mingsheng; Zhang, Zhi; Guan, Zhen; Wang, Guoliang; Zhu, Zhiqiang; Xie, Qiu; Li, Guannan; Guo, Jin; Wang, Fang; Zhang, Zhengguo; Niu, Bo; Zhang, Ting

    2014-09-01

    Copy number variations (CNVs) are thought to act as an important genetic mechanism underlying phenotypic heterogeneity. Impaired folate metabolism can result in neural tube defects (NTDs). However, the precise nature of the relationship between low folate status and NTDs remains unclear. Using an array-comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) assay, we investigated whether CNVs could be detected in the NTD embryonic neural tissues of methotrexate (MTX)-induced folate dysmetabolism pregnant C57BL/6 mice and confirmed the findings with quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). The CNVs were then comprehensively investigated using bioinformatics methods to prioritize candidate genes. We measured dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) activity and concentrations of folate and relevant metabolites in maternal serum using enzymologic method and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Three high confidence CNVs on XqA1.1, XqA1.1-qA2, and XqE3 were found in the NTD embryonic neural tissues. Twelve putative genes and three microRNAs were identified as potential susceptibility candidates in MTX-induced NTDs and possible roles in NTD pathogenesis. DHFR activity and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MeTHF), 5-formyltetrahydrofolate (5-FoTHF), and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) concentrations of maternal serum decreased significantly after MTX injection. These findings suggest that CNVs caused by defects in folate metabolism lead to NTD, and further support the hypothesis that folate dysmetabolism is a direct cause for CNVs in MTX-induced NTDs.

  2. Prenatal screening, diagnosis, and pregnancy management of fetal neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Wilson, R Douglas; Wilson, R Douglas; Audibert, Francois; Brock, Jo-Ann; Campagnolo, Carla; Carroll, June; Cartier, Lola; Chitayat, David; Gagnon, Alain; Johnson, Jo-Ann; Langlois, Sylvie; MacDonald, W Kim; Murphy-Kaulbeck, Lynn; Okun, Nanette; Pastuck, Melanie; Popa, Vanessa

    2014-10-01

    Objectif : Fournir, aux professionnels de la santé des domaines de l’obstétrique et de la génétique, des lignes directrices et des recommandations en ce qui a trait au dépistage / diagnostic prénatal et à la prise en charge obstétricale du dysraphisme spinal ouvert / fermé (DSOF) chez le fœtus. Options : La présente analyse englobe les techniques de dépistage / diagnostic prénatal qui sont actuellement utilisées aux fins de la détection du DSOF, y compris le dépistage des concentrations sériques en alphafoetoprotéines chez la mère, l’échographie, l’imagerie par résonance magnétique visant le fœtus et l’amniocentèse. Issues : Améliorer le dépistage / diagnostic prénatal et la prise en charge obstétricale du DSOF, tout en prenant en considération les soins offerts à la patiente, l’efficacité, les coûts et les interventions de soins. Résultats : La littérature publiée a été récupérée par l’intermédiaire de recherches menées dans PubMed ou MEDLINE, CINAHL et The Cochrane Library en novembre 2013 au moyen d’un vocabulaire contrôlé et de mots clés appropriés (p. ex. « prenatal screening », « congenital anomalies », « neural tube defects », « alpha-fetoprotein », « ultrasound scan », « magnetic resonance imaging »). Les résultats ont été restreints aux analyses systématiques, aux essais comparatifs randomisés / essais cliniques comparatifs et aux études observationnelles publiés en anglais entre 1977 et 2012. Les recherches ont été mises à jour de façon régulière et ont été intégrées à la directive clinique jusqu’au 30 novembre 2013. La littérature grise (non publiée) a été identifiée par l’intermédiaire de recherches menées dans les sites Web d’organismes s’intéressant à l’évaluation des technologies dans le domaine de la santé et d’organismes connexes, dans des collections de directives cliniques, dans des registres d

  3. High glucose-induced oxidative stress represses sirtuin deacetylase expression and increases histone acetylation leading to neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Yu, Jingwen; Wu, Yanqing; Yang, Peixin

    2016-05-01

    Aberrant epigenetic modifications are implicated in maternal diabetes-induced neural tube defects (NTDs). Because cellular stress plays a causal role in diabetic embryopathy, we investigated the possible role of the stress-resistant sirtuin (SIRT) family histone deacetylases. Among the seven sirtuins (SIRT1-7), pre-gestational maternal diabetes in vivo or high glucose in vitro significantly reduced the expression of SIRT 2 and SIRT6 in the embryo or neural stem cells, respectively. The down-regulation of SIRT2 and SIRT6 was reversed by superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) over-expression in the in vivo mouse model of diabetic embryopathy and the SOD mimetic, tempol and cell permeable SOD, PEGSOD in neural stem cell cultures. 2,3-dimethoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (DMNQ), a superoxide generating agent, mimicked high glucose-suppressed SIRT2 and SIRT6 expression. The acetylation of histone 3 at lysine residues 56 (H3K56), H3K14, H3K9, and H3K27, putative substrates of SIRT2 and SIRT6, was increased by maternal diabetes in vivo or high glucose in vitro, and these increases were blocked by SOD1 over-expression or tempol treatment. SIRT2 or SIRT6 over-expression abrogated high glucose-suppressed SIRT2 or SIRT6 expression, and prevented the increase in acetylation of their histone substrates. The potent sirtuin activator (SRT1720) blocked high glucose-increased histone acetylation and NTD formation, whereas the combination of a pharmacological SIRT2 inhibitor and a pan SIRT inhibitor mimicked the effect of high glucose on increased histone acetylation and NTD induction. Thus, diabetes in vivo or high glucose in vitro suppresses SIRT2 and SIRT6 expression through oxidative stress, and sirtuin down-regulation-induced histone acetylation may be involved in diabetes-induced NTDs. The mechanism underlying pre-gestational diabetes-induced neural tube defects (NTDs) is still elusive. Our study unravels a new epigenetic mechanism in which maternal diabetes-induced oxidative stress represses

  4. Estimating Neural Background Input with Controlled and Fast Perturbations: A Bandwidth Comparison between Inhibitory Opsins and Neural Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Eriksson, David

    2016-01-01

    To test the importance of a certain cell type or brain area it is common to make a “lack of function” experiment in which the neuronal population of interest is inhibited. Here we review physiological and methodological constraints for making controlled perturbations using the corticothalamic circuit as an example. The brain with its many types of cells and rich interconnectivity offers many paths through which a perturbation can spread within a short time. To understand the side effects of the perturbation one should record from those paths. We find that ephaptic effects, gap-junctions, and fast chemical synapses are so fast that they can react to the perturbation during the few milliseconds it takes for an opsin to change the membrane potential. The slow chemical synapses, astrocytes, extracellular ions and vascular signals, will continue to give their physiological input for around 20 ms before they also react to the perturbation. Although we show that some pathways can react within milliseconds the strength/speed reported in this review should be seen as an upper bound since we have omitted how polysynaptic signals are attenuated. Thus the number of additional recordings that has to be made to control for the perturbation side effects is expected to be fewer than proposed here. To summarize, the reviewed literature not only suggests that it is possible to make controlled “lack of function” experiments, but, it also suggests that such a “lack of function” experiment can be used to measure the context of local neural computations. PMID:27574506

  5. Uterus-like mass in association with neural tube defect: a case report and review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Kakkar, Aanchal; Sharma, Mehar Chand; Garg, Ajay; Goyal, Nishant; Suri, Vaishali; Sarkar, Chitra; Mahapatra, Ashok Kumar

    2012-01-01

    Uterus-like mass is an extremely rare choristoma of müllerian origin arising in association with neural tube defects. In this article, we describe the case of a 9-year-old girl with spina bifida, a mass lesion within the conus, and a subcutaneous lipoma in the lumbosacral region. Histopathological examination of the conus lesion revealed a uterus-like structure comprising of endometrial glands and stroma surrounded by fascicles of smooth muscle. This case differs from the few previously described cases in absence of neurological symptoms and early age at diagnosis. Thorough histopathological examination of resected tissue is therefore recommended for the diagnosis of this rare entity, as it may not have a typical presentation in all instances.

  6. Association between the methionine synthase A2756G polymorphism and neural tube defect risk: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Yang, Mei; Yang, Liping; Qi, Ling; Guo, Yiyang; Lin, Xiaofang; Zhang, Yu; Du, Yukai

    2013-05-10

    Many studies have accessed the association between methionine synthase (MTR) A2756G polymorphism and neural tube defect (NTD). However, the conclusions are inconsistent. Our study aimed to clarify the nature of the genetic risks contributed by this polymorphism for NTD using meta-analysis. We searched electronic literature from the PubMed, EMBASE, and Medline databases, from which 10 articles were selected according to the inclusion criteria. The meta-analysis was conducted in 3 groups, namely, NTD patients, mothers with NTD offspring and fathers with NTD offspring. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals were used to evaluate the strength of the association and the result was corrected by multiple testing. To sum up, no associations between the MTR A2756G polymorphism and NTD risk were found among the 3 groups in all genetic models. However, as their sample size is not large enough, this result needs further research.

  7. A Single-Center Experience of CNS Anomalies or Neural Tube Defects in Patients With Jarcho-Levin Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Demir, Nihat; Peker, Erdal; Gülşen, İsmail; Ağengin, Kemal; Kaba, Sultan; Tuncer, Oğuz

    2016-03-01

    Jarcho-Levin syndrome (JLS) is a genetic disorder characterized by distinct malformations of the ribs and vertebrae, and/or other associated abnormalities such as neural tube defect, Arnold-Chiari malformation, renal and urinary abnormalities, hydrocephalus, congenital cardiac abnormalities, and extremity malformations. The study included 12 cases at 37-42 weeks of gestation and diagnosed to have had Jarcho-Levin syndrome, Arnold-Chiari malformation, and meningmyelocele. All cases of Jarcho-Levin syndrome had Arnold-Chiari type 2 malformation; there was corpus callosum dysgenesis in 6, lumbosacral meningmyelocele in 6, lumbal meningmyelocele in 3, thoracal meningmyelocele in 3, and holoprosencephaly in 1 of the cases. With this article, the authors underline the neurologic abnormalities accompanying Jarcho-Levin syndrome and that each of these abnormalities is a component of Jarcho-Levin syndrome.

  8. Elevated nuclear and cytoplasmic FTY720-phosphate in mouse embryonic fibroblasts suggests the potential for multiple mechanisms in FTY720-induced neural tube defects

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    FTY720 (fingolimod) is an FDA-approved drug to treat relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. FTY720 treatment in pregnant inbred LM/Bc mice results in approximately 60% of embryos having a neural tube defect (NTD). Sphingosine kinases (Sphk1, Sphk2) phosphorylate FTY720 in vivo to form the bioactive...

  9. Increased nuclear sphingoid base-1-phosphates and HDAC inhibition after fumonisin and FTY720-treatment: the link between epigenomic modifications and neural tube defects?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Introduction: Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a mycotoxin produced by a common fungal contaminant of corn. Ingestion of FB1-contaminated food during early pregnancy is associated with increased risk for neural tube defects (NTDs). FB1 inhibits the enzyme ceramide synthase in de novo sphingolipid biosynthes...

  10. Consumption of folate deficient diet did not increase neural tube defects in LM/Bc mice exposed to fumonisin B1

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium verticillioides and F. proliferatum. It is found in corn and evidence suggests it is a possible risk factor for neural tube defects (NTD) in populations consuming large amounts of contaminated corn-based foods. The mechanism(s) underlying NTD i...

  11. Abnormal O-GlcNAcylation of Pax3 Occurring from Hyperglycemia-Induced Neural Tube Defects Is Ameliorated by Carnosine But Not Folic Acid in Chicken Embryos.

    PubMed

    Tan, Rui-Rong; Li, Yi-Fang; Zhang, Shi-Jie; Huang, Wen-Shan; Tsoi, Bun; Hu, Dan; Wan, Xin; Yang, Xuesong; Wang, Qi; Kurihara, Hiroshi; He, Rong-Rong

    2017-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are among the most common of the embryonic abnormalities associated with hyperglycemic gestation. In this study, the molecular mechanisms of embryonic neurogenesis influenced by hyperglycemia was investigated using chicken embryo models. High-concentration glucose was administered into chicken eggs and resulted in increased plasma and brain tissue glucose, and suppressed expression of glucose transporters (GLUTs). The rate of NTD positively correlated with hyperglycemia. Furthermore, abnormally increased O-GlcNAcylation, a nutritionally responsive modification, of the key neural tube marker Pax3 protein led to the loss of this protein. This loss was not observed in a folate-deficiency NTD induced by methotrexate. Carnosine, an endogenous dipeptide, showed significant recovery effects on neural tube development. In contrast, folic acid, a well-known periconceptional agent, surprisingly showed relatively minimal effect. Higher expression levels of the Pax3 protein were found in the carnosine-treated groups, while lower expression levels were found in folic acid groups. Furthermore, the abnormal O-GlcNAcylation of the Pax3 protein was restored by carnosine. These results suggest new insights into using endogenous nutrients for the protection of embryonic neurodevelopment affected by diabetes gestation. The abnormal excessive O-GlcNAcylation of Pax3 may be responsible for the neural tube defects associated with hyperglycemia.

  12. The unique axon trajectory of the accessory nerve is determined by intrinsic properties of the neural tube in the avian embryo.

    PubMed

    Bai, Zhongtian; Pu, Qin; Haque, Ziaul; Wang, Jianlin; Huang, Ruijin

    2016-05-01

    The accessory nerve is a cranial nerve, composed of only motor axons, which control neck muscles. Its axons ascend many segments along the lateral surface of the cervical spinal cord and hindbrain. At the level of the first somite, they pass ventrally through the somitic mesoderm into the periphery. The factors governing the unique root trajectory are unknown. Ablation experiments at the accessory nerve outlet points have shown that somites do not regulate the trajectory of the accessory nerve fibres. Factors from the neural tube that may control the longitudinal pathfinding of the accessory nerve fibres were tested by heterotopic transplantations of an occipital neural tube to the cervical and thoracic level. These transplantations resulted in a typical accessory nerve trajectory in the cervical and thoracic spinal cord. In contrast, cervical neural tube grafts were unable to give rise to the typical accessory nerve root pattern when transplanted to occipital level. Our results show that the formation of the unique axon root pattern of the accessory nerve is an intrinsic property of the neural tube.

  13. Folic acid and pantothenic acid protection against valproic acid-induced neural tube defects in CD-1 mice

    SciTech Connect

    Dawson, Jennifer E.; Raymond, Angela M.; Winn, Louise M. . E-mail: winnl@biology.queensu.ca

    2006-03-01

    In utero exposure to valproic acid (VPA) during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). Although the mechanism by which VPA mediates these effects is unknown, VPA-initiated changes in embryonic protein levels have been implicated. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of in utero VPA exposure on embryonic protein levels of p53, NF-{kappa}B, Pim-1, c-Myb, Bax, and Bcl-2 in the CD-1 mouse. We also evaluated the protective effects of folic acid and pantothenic acid on VPA-induced NTDs and VPA-induced embryonic protein changes in this model. Pregnant CD-1 mice were administered a teratogenic dose of VPA prior to neural tube closure and embryonic protein levels were analyzed. In our study, VPA (400 mg/kg)-induced NTDs (24%) and VPA-exposed embryos with an NTD showed a 2-fold increase in p53, and 4-fold decreases in NF-{kappa}B, Pim-1, and c-Myb protein levels compared to their phenotypically normal littermates (P < 0.05). Additionally, VPA increased the ratio of embryonic Bax/Bcl-2 protein levels (P < 0.05). Pretreatment of pregnant dams with either folic acid or pantothenic acid prior to VPA significantly protected against VPA-induced NTDs (P < 0.05). Folic acid also reduced VPA-induced alterations in p53, NF-{kappa}B, Pim-1, c-Myb, and Bax/Bcl-2 protein levels, while pantothenic acid prevented VPA-induced alterations in NF-{kappa}B, Pim-1, and c-Myb. We hypothesize that folic acid and pantothenic acid protect CD-1 embryos from VPA-induced NTDs by independent, but not mutually exclusive mechanisms, both of which may be mediated by the prevention of VPA-induced alterations in proteins involved in neurulation.

  14. MR-Based Morphometry of the Posterior Fossa in Fetuses with Neural Tube Defects of the Spine

    PubMed Central

    Woitek, Ramona; Dvorak, Anton; Weber, Michael; Seidl, Rainer; Bettelheim, Dieter; Schöpf, Veronika; Amann, Gabriele; Brugger, Peter C.; Furtner, Julia; Asenbaum, Ulrika; Prayer, Daniela; Kasprian, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Objectives In cases of “spina bifida,” a detailed prenatal imaging assessment of the exact morphology of neural tube defects (NTD) is often limited. Due to the diverse clinical prognosis and prenatal treatment options, imaging parameters that support the prenatal differentiation between open and closed neural tube defects (ONTDs and CNTDs) are required. This fetal MR study aims to evaluate the clivus-supraocciput angle (CSA) and the maximum transverse diameter of the posterior fossa (TDPF) as morphometric parameters to aid in the reliable diagnosis of either ONTDs or CNTDs. Methods The TDPF and the CSA of 238 fetuses (20–37 GW, mean: 28.36 GW) with a normal central nervous system, 44 with ONTDS, and 13 with CNTDs (18–37 GW, mean: 24.3 GW) were retrospectively measured using T2-weighted 1.5 Tesla MR -sequences. Results Normal fetuses showed a significant increase in the TDPF (r = .956; p<.001) and CSA (r = .714; p<.001) with gestational age. In ONTDs the CSA was significantly smaller (p<.001) than in normal controls and CNTDs, whereas in CNTDs the CSA was not significantly smaller than in controls (p = .160). In both ONTDs and in CNTDs the TDPF was significantly different from controls (p<.001). Conclusions The skull base morphology in fetuses with ONTDs differs significantly from cases with CNTDs and normal controls. This is the first study to show that the CSA changes during gestation and that it is a reliable imaging biomarker to distinguish between ONTDs and CNTDs, independent of the morphology of the spinal defect. PMID:25393279

  15. Nutritional and genetic determinants of vitamin B and homocysteine metabolisms in neural tube defects: a multicenter case-control study.

    PubMed

    Candito, Mirande; Rivet, Romain; Herbeth, Bernard; Boisson, Catherine; Rudigoz, René-Charles; Luton, Dominique; Journel, Hubert; Oury, Jean-François; Roux, François; Saura, Robert; Vernhet, Isabelle; Gaucherand, Pascal; Muller, Françoise; Guidicelli, Béatrice; Heckenroth, Hélène; Poulain, Patrice; Blayau, Martine; Francannet, Christine; Roszyk, Laurence; Brustié, Cécile; Staccini, Pascal; Gérard, Philippe; Fillion-Emery, Nathalie; Guéant-Rodriguez, Rosa-Maria; Van Obberghen, Emmanuel; Guéant, Jean-Louis

    2008-05-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are severe congenital malformations due to failure of neural tube formation in early pregnancy. The proof that folic acid prevents NTDs raises the question of whether other parts of homocysteine (Hcy) metabolism may affect rates of NTDs. This French case-control study covered: 77 women aged 17-42 years sampled prior to elective abortion for a severe NTDs (cases) and 61 women aged 20-43 years with a normal pregnancy. Plasma and erythrocyte folate, plasma B6, B12 and Hcy were tested as five polymorphisms MTHFR 677 C --> T, MTHFR 1298 A --> C, MTR 2756 A --> G, MTTR 66 A --> G and TCN2 776 C --> G. Cases had significantly lower erythrocyte folate, plasma folate, B12 and B6 concentrations than the controls, and higher Hcy concentration. The odds ratio was 2.15 (95% CI: 1.00-4.59) for women with the MTRR 66 A --> G allele and it was decreased for mothers carrying the MTHFR 1298 A --> C allele. In multivariate analysis, only the erythrocyte folate concentration (P = 0.005) and plasma B6 concentration (P = 0.020) were predictors. Red cell folate is the main determinant of NTDs in France. Folic acid supplement or flour fortification would prevent most cases. Increased consumption of vitamins B12 and B6 could contribute to the prevention of NTDs. Genetic polymorphisms played only a small role. Until folic acid fortification becomes mandatory, all women of reproductive age should consume folic acid in a multivitamin that also contains B12 and B6.

  16. Folic acid and pantothenic acid protection against valproic acid-induced neural tube defects in CD-1 mice.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Jennifer E; Raymond, Angela M; Winn, Louise M

    2006-03-01

    In utero exposure to valproic acid (VPA) during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). Although the mechanism by which VPA mediates these effects is unknown, VPA-initiated changes in embryonic protein levels have been implicated. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of in utero VPA exposure on embryonic protein levels of p53, NF-kappaB, Pim-1, c-Myb, Bax, and Bcl-2 in the CD-1 mouse. We also evaluated the protective effects of folic acid and pantothenic acid on VPA-induced NTDs and VPA-induced embryonic protein changes in this model. Pregnant CD-1 mice were administered a teratogenic dose of VPA prior to neural tube closure and embryonic protein levels were analyzed. In our study, VPA (400 mg/kg)-induced NTDs (24%) and VPA-exposed embryos with an NTD showed a 2-fold increase in p53, and 4-fold decreases in NF-kappaB, Pim-1, and c-Myb protein levels compared to their phenotypically normal littermates (P<0.05). Additionally, VPA increased the ratio of embryonic Bax/Bcl-2 protein levels (P<0.05). Pretreatment of pregnant dams with either folic acid or pantothenic acid prior to VPA significantly protected against VPA-induced NTDs (P<0.05). Folic acid also reduced VPA-induced alterations in p53, NF-kappaB, Pim-1, c-Myb, and Bax/Bcl-2 protein levels, while pantothenic acid prevented VPA-induced alterations in NF-kappaB, Pim-1, and c-Myb. We hypothesize that folic acid and pantothenic acid protect CD-1 embryos from VPA-induced NTDs by independent, but not mutually exclusive mechanisms, both of which may be mediated by the prevention of VPA-induced alterations in proteins involved in neurulation.

  17. Insights into prevention of human neural tube defects by folic acid arising from consideration of mouse mutants.

    PubMed

    Harris, Muriel J

    2009-04-01

    Almost 30 years after the initial study by Richard W. Smithells and coworkers, it is still unknown how maternal periconceptional folic acid supplementation prevents human neural tube defects (NTDs). In this article, questions about human NTD prevention are considered in relation to three groups of mouse models: NTD mutants that respond to folate, NTD mutants and strains that do not respond to folate, and mutants involving folate-pathway genes. Of the 200 mouse NTD mutants, only a few have been tested with folate; half respond and half do not. Among responsive mutants, folic acid supplementation reduces exencephaly and/or spina bifida aperta frequency in the Sp(2H), Sp, Cd, Cited2, Cart1, and Gcn5 mutants. Prevention ranges from 35 to 85%. The responsive Sp(2H) (Pax3) mutant has abnormal folate metabolism, but the responsive Cited2 mutant does not. Neither folic nor folinic acid reduces NTD frequency in Axd, Grhl3, Fkbp8, Map3k4, or Nog mutants or in the curly tail or SELH/Bc strains. Spina bifida frequency is reduced in Axd by methionine and in curly tail by inositol. Exencephaly frequency is reduced in SELH/Bc by an alternative commercial ration. Mutations in folate-pathway genes do not cause NTDs, except for 30% exencephaly in folate-treated Folr1. Among folate-pathway mutants, neural tube closure is normal in Cbs, Folr2, Mthfd1, Mthfd2, Mthfr, and Shmt1 mutants. Embryos die by midgestation in Folr1, Mtr, Mtrr, and RFC1 mutants. The mouse models point to genetic heterogeneity in the ability to respond to folic acid and also to heterogeneity in genetic cause of NTDs that can be prevented by folic acid.

  18. Nectin-2 and N-cadherin interact through extracellular domains and induce apical accumulation of F-actin in apical constriction of Xenopus neural tube morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Morita, Hitoshi; Nandadasa, Sumeda; Yamamoto, Takamasa S; Terasaka-Iioka, Chie; Wylie, Christopher; Ueno, Naoto

    2010-04-01

    Neural tube formation is one of the most dynamic morphogenetic processes of vertebrate development. However, the molecules regulating its initiation are mostly unknown. Here, we demonstrated that nectin-2, an immunoglobulin-like cell adhesion molecule, is involved in the neurulation of Xenopus embryos in cooperation with N-cadherin. First, we found that, at the beginning of neurulation, nectin-2 was strongly expressed in the superficial cells of neuroepithelium. The knockdown of nectin-2 impaired neural fold formation by attenuating F-actin accumulation and apical constriction, a cell-shape change that is required for neural tube folding. Conversely, the overexpression of nectin-2 in non-neural ectoderm induced ectopic apical constrictions with accumulated F-actin. However, experiments with domain-deleted nectin-2 revealed that the intracellular afadin-binding motif, which links nectin-2 and F-actin, was not required for the generation of the ectopic apical constriction. Furthermore, we found that nectin-2 physically interacts with N-cadherin through extracellular domains, and they cooperatively enhanced apical constriction by driving the accumulation of F-actin at the apical cell surface. Interestingly, the accumulation of N-cadherin at the apical surface of neuroepithelium was dependent on the presence of nectin-2, but that of nectin-2 was not affected by depletion of N-cadherin. We propose a novel mechanism of neural tube morphogenesis regulated by the two types of cell adhesion molecules.

  19. 5-HTTLPR polymorphism is linked to neural mechanisms of selective attention in preschoolers from lower socioeconomic status backgrounds.

    PubMed

    Isbell, Elif; Stevens, Courtney; Hampton Wray, Amanda; Bell, Theodore; Neville, Helen J

    2016-12-01

    While a growing body of research has identified experiential factors associated with differences in selective attention, relatively little is known about the contribution of genetic factors to the skill of sustained selective attention, especially in early childhood. Here, we assessed the association between the serotonin transporter linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) genotypes and the neural mechanisms of selective attention in young children from lower socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a dichotic listening task from 121 children (76 females, aged 40-67 months), who were also genotyped for the short and long allele of 5-HTTLPR. The effect of selective attention was measured as the difference in ERP mean amplitudes elicited by identical probe stimuli embedded in stories when they were attended versus unattended. Compared to children homozygous for the long allele, children who carried at least one copy of the short allele showed larger effects of selective attention on neural processing. These findings link the short allele of the 5-HTTLPR to enhanced neural mechanisms of selective attention and lay the groundwork for future studies of gene-by-environment interactions in the context of key cognitive skills.

  20. Fetal neural tube stem cells from Pax3 mutant mice proliferate, differentiate, and form synaptic connections when stimulated with folic acid.

    PubMed

    Ichi, Shunsuke; Nakazaki, Hiromichi; Boshnjaku, Vanda; Singh, Ravneet Monny; Mania-Farnell, Barbara; Xi, Guifa; McLone, David G; Tomita, Tadanori; Mayanil, Chandra Shekhar K

    2012-01-20

    Although maternal intake of folic acid (FA) prevents neural tube defects in 70% of the population, the exact mechanism of prevention has not been elucidated. We hypothesized that FA affects neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation and differentiation. This hypothesis was examined in a folate-responsive spina bifida mouse model, Splotch (Sp(-/-)), which has a homozygous loss-of-function mutation in the Pax3 gene. Neurospheres were generated with NSCs from the lower lumbar neural tube of E10.5 wild-type (WT) and Sp(-/-) embryos, in the presence and absence of FA. In the absence of FA, the number of neurospheres generated from Sp(-/-) embryos compared with WT was minimal (P<0.05). Addition of FA to Sp(-/-) cultures increased the expression of a Pax3 downstream target, fgfr4, and rescued NSC proliferative potential, as demonstrated by a significant increase in neurosphere formation (P<0.01). To ascertain if FA affected cell differentiation, FA-stimulated Sp(-/-) neurospheres were allowed to differentiate in the continued presence or absence of FA. Neurospheres from both conditions expressed multi-potent stem cell characteristics and the same differentiation potential as WT. Further, multiple neurospheres from both WT and FA-stimulated Sp(-/-) cell cultures formed extensive synaptic connections. On the whole, FA-mediated rescue of neural tube defects in Sp(-/-) embryos promotes NSC proliferation at an early embryonic stage. FA-stimulated Sp(-/-) neurospheres differentiate and form synaptic connections, comparable to WT.

  1. Differentiation Induction of Mouse Neural Stem Cells in Hydrogel Tubular Microenvironments with Controlled Tube Dimensions.

    PubMed

    Onoe, Hiroaki; Kato-Negishi, Midori; Itou, Akane; Takeuchi, Shoji

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, a tubular 3D microenvironment created in a calcium alginate hydrogel microtube with respect to the effect of scaffold dimensions on the differentiation of mouse neuronal stem cells (mNSCs) is evaluated. Five types of hydrogel microtubes with different core diameters (≈65-200 μm) and shell thicknesses (≈30-110 μm) are fabricated by using a double coaxial microfluidic device, and differentiation of encapsulated mNSCs is induced by changing the growth medium to the differentiation medium. The influence of the microtube geometries is examined by using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and fluorescent immunocytochemistry. The analyses reveal that differences in microtube thickness within 30-110 μm affected the relative Tuj1 expression but do not affect the morphology of encapsulated mNSCs. The diameters of cores influence both the relative Tuj1 expression and morphology of the differentiated neurons. It is found that the tubular microenvironment with a core diameter of less than ≈100 μm contributes to forming highly viable and aligned neural tissue. The tubular microenvironment can provide an effective method for constructing microfiber-shaped neural tissues with geometrically controlled differentiation induction.

  2. Neural underpinnings of background acoustic noise in normal aging and mild cognitive impairment.

    PubMed

    Sinanaj, Indrit; Montandon, Marie-Louise; Rodriguez, Cristelle; Herrmann, François; Santini, Francesco; Haller, Sven; Giannakopoulos, Panteleimon

    2015-12-03

    Previous contributions in younger cohorts have revealed that reallocation of cerebral resources, a crucial mechanism for working memory (WM), may be disrupted by parallel demands of background acoustic noise suppression. To date, no study has explored the impact of such disruption on brain activation in elderly individuals with or without subtle cognitive deficits. We performed a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study in 23 cases (mean age=75.7 y.o., 16 men) with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 16 elderly healthy controls (HC, mean age=70.1 y.o., three men) using a 2-back WM task, under two distinct MRI background acoustic noise conditions (louder vs. lower noise echo-planar imaging). General linear models were used to assess brain activation as a function of group and noise. In both groups, lower background noise is associated with increased activation of the working memory network (WMN). A decrease of the normally observed deactivation of the default mode network (DMN) is found under louder noise in both groups. Unlike HC, MCI cases also show decreased deactivation of the DMN under both louder and lower background noise. Under louder noise, this decrease is observed in anterior parts of the DMN in HC, and in the posterior cingulate cortex in MCI cases. Our results suggest that background acoustic noise has a differential impact on WMN activation in normal aging as a function of the cognitive status. Only louder noise has a disruptive effect on the usually observed DMN deactivation during WM task performance in HC. In contrast, MCI cases show altered DMN reactivity even in the presence of lower noise.

  3. Formate supplementation enhances folate-dependent nucleotide biosynthesis and prevents spina bifida in a mouse model of folic acid-resistant neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Sudiwala, Sonia; De Castro, Sandra C P; Leung, Kit-Yi; Brosnan, John T; Brosnan, Margaret E; Mills, Kevin; Copp, Andrew J; Greene, Nicholas D E

    2016-07-01

    The curly tail mouse provides a model for neural tube defects (spina bifida and exencephaly) that are resistant to prevention by folic acid. The major ct gene, responsible for spina bifida, corresponds to a hypomorphic allele of grainyhead-like 3 (Grhl3) but the frequency of NTDs is strongly influenced by modifiers in the genetic background. Moreover, exencephaly in the curly tail strain is not prevented by reinstatement of Grhl3 expression. In the current study we found that expression of Mthfd1L, encoding a key component of mitochondrial folate one-carbon metabolism (FOCM), is significantly reduced in ct/ct embryos compared to a partially congenic wild-type strain. This expression change is not attributable to regulation by Grhl3 or the genetic background at the Mthfd1L locus. Mitochondrial FOCM provides one-carbon units as formate for FOCM reactions in the cytosol. We found that maternal supplementation with formate prevented NTDs in curly tail embryos and also resulted in increased litter size. Analysis of the folate profile of neurulation-stage embryos showed that formate supplementation resulted in an increased proportion of formyl-THF and THF but a reduction in proportion of 5-methyl THF. In contrast, THF decreased and 5-methyl THF was relatively more abundant in the liver of supplemented dams than in controls. In embryos cultured through the period of spinal neurulation, incorporation of labelled thymidine and adenine into genomic DNA was suppressed by supplemental formate, suggesting that de novo folate-dependent biosynthesis of nucleotides (thymidylate and purines) was enhanced. We hypothesise that reduced Mthfd1L expression may contribute to susceptibility to NTDs in the curly tail strain and that formate acts as a one-carbon donor to prevent NTDs.

  4. Raphe of the posterior neural tube in the chick embryo: its closure and reopening as studied in living embryos with a high definition light microscope.

    PubMed

    van Straaten, H W; Jaskoll, T; Rousseau, A M; Terwindt-Rouwenhorst, E A; Greenberg, G; Shankar, K; Melnick, M

    1993-09-01

    Chick embryos cultured on a curved substratum show a transient enlargement of the posterior neuropore (PN), mimicking the temporary delay of PN closure as seen in the curly tail (ct) mouse mutant (van Straaten et al. [1993] Development 117:1163-1172). In the present study the PN enlargement in the chick embryo was investigated further with a high definition light microscope (HDmic), allowing high resolution viewing of living embryos in vitro. The temporary PN enlargement appeared due to considerable reopening of the raphe of the posterior neural tube, which was followed by reclosure after several hours. The raphe was subsequently studied in detail. It appeared very irregular, with small zones of apposed, open and fused neural folds. During closure, these raphe features shifted posteriorly. A distinct fusion sequence between surface epithelium and neuroepithelium was not seen. During experimental reopening of the raphe in vitro, small bridges temporarily arose, broke and disappeared quickly; they likely represented the first adhesion sites between the neural folds. More prominent adhesion sites partly detached, resulting in bridging filopodia-like connections; they probably represented the first anteroposterior locations of neural fold fusion. Our observations in the living chick embryo in vitro thus show that the caudal neural tube has an irregular raphe with few adhesion sites, which can be readily reopened. As a result of the irregularity, the PN does not close zipper-like, but button-like by forming multiple closure sites.

  5. Disturbed apoptosis and cell proliferation in developing neuroepithelium of lumbo-sacral neural tubes in retinoic acid-induced spina bifida aperta in rat.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xiaowei; Li, Hui; Miao, Jianing; Zhou, Fenghua; Liu, Bo; Wu, Di; Li, Shujing; Wang, Lili; Fan, Yang; Wang, Weilin; Yuan, Zhengwei

    2012-08-01

    Spina bifida is a complex congenital malformation resulting from failure of fusion in the spinal neural tube during embryogenesis. However, the cellular mechanism underlying spina bifida is not fully understood. Here, we investigated cell apoptosis in whole embryos and proliferation of neural progenitor cells in the spinal neural tube during neurulation in all-trans retinoic acid (atRA)-induced spina bifida in fetal rats. Cell apoptosis was assessed by TUNEL assay on whole-mount and serially sectioned samples of rat embryos with spina bifida. Cell proliferation of lumbo-sacral neural progenitor cells was assessed by staining for the mitotic marker Ki67 and pH3. We found an excess of apoptosis in the neuroepithelium of embryos with spina bifida, which became more marked as embryos progress from E11 to E13. Conversely, there was a reduction in cell proliferation in spina bifida embryos, with a progressively greater difference from controls with stage from E11 to 13. Thus, atRA-induced spina bifida in rat shows perturbed apoptosis and proliferation of neural progenitors in the lumbo-sacral spinal cord during embryonic development, which might contribute to the pathogenesis of spina bifida.

  6. A Study on The Incidence of Neural Tube Defects in A Tertiary Care Hospital Over A Period of Five Years

    PubMed Central

    Subramanian, Manickam; Rajilarajendran, Hannahsugirthabai; Ramanujam, Sailatha; Saktivel, Sathiya; Sivaanandam, Renuka

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Several congenital malformations affect developing fetuses, among which Neural tube defect (NTD) is most common. Folic acid supplementation brought decline in the incidence of NTDs. The present study aims at finding the incidence of NTDs in a tertiary care hospital and compares the results with the similar Indian studies published earlier. Materials and Methods The study was done at Chettinad Hospital & Research Institute (CHRI), Kelambakkam. The total number of deliveries was recorded for a period of five years from 2009 to 2013. Fetuses which were still born with neural defect were collected and observed in detail externally for the sex, type of NTD and other associated anomalies. Indian studies published between 1987 and 2014 reporting the incidence of NTDs among the births occurred were retrieved from the Internet and their various observations were used for comparison. Results The number of deliveries conducted between 2009 and 2013 at CHRI was 3220. Of these, babies born with NTDs were nine (5 males and 4 females). The incidence of fetuses with meroanencephaly, holoanencephaly, craniorachischisis, encephalocele and myelocele were 0.62, 0.62, 0.93, 0.31 and 0.31 per 1000 births respectively. Overall incidence of NTDs in the present study was 2.79/1000 births. Fetuses with NTDs also had the following anomalies – Club foot, cleft lip and palate and exomphalos. Conclusion Comparing the results with the previous studies it is clearly evident that the incidence of NTDs have significantly reduced from 11.42/1000 births to 2.79/1000 births. In most of the previous studies NTDs had a female preponderance whereas present study has a male preponderance.In older studies, spina bifida was the most common NTDs followed by anencephaly. But in the present study anencephaly was the common NTD than spina bifida. Incidence of NTDs has reduced due to various reasons like prenatal screening for fetal anomalies and folic acid supplementation. PMID:26393168

  7. Expression of the Celsr/flamingo homologue, c-fmi1, in the early avian embryo indicates a conserved role in neural tube closure and additional roles in asymmetry and somitogenesis.

    PubMed

    Formstone, Caroline J; Mason, Ivor

    2005-02-01

    Flamingo is one of a core group of proteins that regulate planar cell polarity of epithelial structures within the Drosophila embryo while their vertebrate counterparts have been implicated in the coordination of convergent extension movements during gastrulation and in neural tube closure, suggesting that planar polarity mechanisms also function in these processes. Failure of neural tube closure is one of the most common human birth defects, and a murine flamingo (fmi) homologue, Celsr1/fmi-1, was identified as the defective gene in two mouse mutants exhibiting failure of closure 1 of the neural tube. This failure resulted in craniorachischisis in which the neural tube is open from the midbrain posteriorly. The avian embryo provides a tractable system to study neural tube closure. We have identified a chick Celsr1/fmi-1 orthologue, c-fmi1 and provide the first study of expression of an avian flamingo gene. We show that expression is highly dynamic in the early embryo and that c-fmi1 transcripts become enriched within the avian neural epithelium at the initiation of neural tube closure, suggesting a conserved function for Flamingo proteins in this process. Our data also suggest a role for c-fmi1 in myotome development.

  8. Optimal serum and red blood cell folate concentrations in women of reproductive age for prevention of neural tube defects: World Health Organization guidelines.

    PubMed

    Cordero, Amy M; Crider, Krista S; Rogers, Lisa M; Cannon, Michael J; Berry, R J

    2015-04-24

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) such as spina bifida, anencephaly, and encephalocele are serious birth defects of the brain and spine that occur during the first month of pregnancy when the neural tube fails to close completely. Randomized controlled trials and observational studies have shown that adequate daily consumption of folic acid before and during early pregnancy considerably reduces the risk for NTDs. The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that women capable of becoming pregnant consume 400 µg of folic acid daily for NTD prevention. Furthermore, fortification of staple foods (e.g., wheat flour) with folic acid has decreased folate-sensitive NTD prevalence in multiple settings and is a highly cost-effective intervention.

  9. Inositol- and folate-resistant neural tube defects in mice lacking the epithelial-specific factor Grhl-3.

    PubMed

    Ting, Stephen B; Wilanowski, Tomasz; Auden, Alana; Hall, Mark; Voss, Anne K; Thomas, Tim; Parekh, Vishwas; Cunningham, John M; Jane, Stephen M

    2003-12-01

    The neural tube defects (NTDs) spina bifida and anencephaly are widely prevalent severe birth defects. The mouse mutant curly tail (ct/ct) has served as a model of NTDs for 50 years, even though the responsible genetic defect remained unrecognized. Here we show by gene targeting, mapping and genetic complementation studies that a mouse homolog of the Drosophila grainyhead (grh) gene, grainyhead-like-3 (Grhl3), is a compelling candidate for the gene underlying the curly tail phenotype. The NTDs in Grhl3-null mice are more severe than those in the curly tail strain, as the Grhl3 alleles in ct/ct mice are hypomorphic. Spina bifida in ct/ct mice is folate resistant, but its incidence can be markedly reduced by maternal inositol supplementation periconceptually. The NTDs in Grhl3-/- embryos are also folate resistant, but unlike those in ct/ct mice, they are resistant to inositol. These findings suggest that residual Grhl3 expression in ct/ct mice may be required for inositol rescue of folate-resistant NTDs.

  10. Amelioration of intracellular stress and reduction of neural tube defects in embryos of diabetic mice by phytochemical quercetin

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Lixue; Tan, Chengyu; Meng, Fantong; Liu, Peiyan; Reece, E. Albert; Zhao, Zhiyong

    2016-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus in early pregnancy causes birth defects, including neural tube defects (NTDs). Hyperglycemia increases production of nitric oxide (NO) through NO synthase 2 (Nos2) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), generating nitrosative and oxidative stress conditions in the embryo. The present study aimed to target nitrosative stress using a naturally occurring Nos2 inhibitor, quercetin, to prevent NTDs in the embryos of diabetic mice. Daily administration of quercetin to diabetic pregnant mice during the hyperglycemia-susceptible period of organogenesis significantly reduced NTDs and cell apoptosis in the embryos, compared with those of vehicle-treated diabetic pregnant mice. Using HPLC-coupled ESI-MS/MS, quercetin metabolites, including methylated and sulfonylated derivatives, were detected in the conceptuses. The methylated metabolite, 3-O-methylquercetin, was shown to reduce ROS level in embryonic stem cells cultured in high glucose. Quercetin treatment decreased the levels of Nos2 expression, protein nitrosylation, and protein nitration, alleviating nitrosative stress. Quercetin increased the expression of superoxide dismutase 1 and 2, and reduced the levels of oxidative stress markers. Expression of genes of redox regulating enzymes and DNA damage repair factors was upregulated. Our study demonstrates that quercetin ameliorates intracellular stresses, regulates gene expression, and reduces embryonic malformations in diabetic pregnancy. PMID:26887929

  11. Effectiveness of Folic Acid Fortified Flour for Prevention of Neural Tube Defects in a High Risk Region

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Haochen; De Steur, Hans; Chen, Gong; Zhang, Xiaotian; Pei, Lijun; Gellynck, Xavier; Zheng, Xiaoying

    2016-01-01

    Despite efforts to tackle folate deficiency and Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) through folic acid fortification, its implementation is still lacking where it is needed most, highlighting the need for studies that evaluate the effectiveness of folic acid fortified wheat flour in a poor, rural, high-risk, NTD region of China. One of the most affected regions, Shanxi Province, was selected as a case study. A community intervention was carried out in which 16,648 women of child-bearing age received fortified flour (eight villages) and a control group received ordinary flour (three villages). NTD birth prevalence and biological indicators were measured two years after program initiation at endline only. The effect on the NTD burden was calculated using the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) method. In the intervention group, serum folate level was higher than in the control group. NTDs in the intervention group were 68.2% lower than in the control group (OR = 0.313, 95% CI = 0.207–0473, p < 0.001). In terms of DALYs, burden in intervention group was approximately 58.5% lower than in the control group. Flour fortification was associated with lower birth prevalence and burden of NTDs in economically developing regions with a high risk of NTDs. The positive findings confirm the potential of fortification when selecting an appropriate food vehicle and target region. As such, this study provides support for decision makers aiming for the implementation of (mandatory) folic acid fortification in China. PMID:27005659

  12. Fetuses with neural tube defects: ethical approaches and the role of health care professionals in Turkish health care institutions.

    PubMed

    Doğan, Hanzade; Sahinoglu, Serap

    2005-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are very serious malformations for the fetus, causing either low life expectancy or a chance of survival only with costly and difficult surgical interventions. In western countries the average prevalence is 1/1000-2000 and in Turkey it is 4/1000. The aim of the study was to characterize ethical approaches at institutional level to the fetus with an NTD and the mother, and the role of health care professionals in four major centers in Turkey. The authors chose perinatology units of four university hospitals and prepared questionnaires for the responsible professionals concerning their own and their institution's ethical approaches to the fetus with an NTD and the mother. The investigation revealed that there were no institutional ethical frameworks or ethics committees available to professional teams in the units. The roles of the health care professionals and their individual decisions and approaches based on ethical principles are described. The ethical decision-making process concerning fetuses with NTDs, examples of institutional approaches to the topic and institutional frameworks, and the role of nurses and other health care professionals are all discussed, based on a literature review. The authors suggest that institutional ethical frameworks, ethics committees, professionals' ethics education and multidisciplinary teamwork should be established for critical situations such as fetuses with an NTD.

  13. 'Cut from the same cloth': Shared microsatellite variants among cancers link to ectodermal tissues-neural tube and crest cells.

    PubMed

    Karunasena, Enusha; Mciver, Lauren J; Bavarva, Jasmin H; Wu, Xiaowei; Zhu, Hongxiao; Garner, Harold R

    2015-09-08

    The pluripotent cells of the embryonic ectodermal tissues are known to be a precursor for multiple tumor types. The adaptability of these cells is a trait exploited by cancer. We previously described cancer-associated microsatellite loci (CAML) shared between glioblastoma (GBM) and lower-grade gliomas. Therefore, we hypothesized that these variants, identified from germline DNA, are shared by cancers from tissues originating from ectodermal tissues: neural tube cells (NTC) and crest cells (NCC). Using exome sequencing data from four cancers with origins to NTC and NCC, a 'signature' of loci significant to each cancer (p-value ≤ 0.01) was created and compared with previously identified CAML from breast cancer. The results of this analysis show that variant loci among the cancers with tissue origins from NTC/NCC were closely linked. Signaling pathways linked to genes with non-coding CAML genotypes revealed enriched connections to hereditary, neurological, and developmental disease or disorders. Thus, variants in genes from tissues initiating from NTC/NCC, if recurrently detected, may indicate a common etiology. Additionally, CAML genotypes from non-tumor DNA may predict cancer phenotypes and are common to shared embryonic tissues of origin.

  14. Not all cases of neural-tube defect can be prevented by increasing the intake of folic acid.

    PubMed

    Heseker, Helmut B; Mason, Joel B; Selhub, Jacob; Rosenberg, Irwin H; Jacques, Paul F

    2009-07-01

    Some countries have introduced mandatory folic acid fortification, whereas others support periconceptional supplementation of women in childbearing age. Several European countries are considering whether to adopt a fortification policy. Projections of the possible beneficial effects of increased folic acid intake assume that the measure will result in a considerable reduction in neural-tube defects (NTD) in the target population. Therefore, the objective of the present study is to evaluate the beneficial effects of different levels of folic acid administration on the prevalence of NTD. Countries with mandatory fortification achieved a significant increase in folate intake and a significant decline in the prevalence of NTD. This was also true for supplementation trials. However, the prevalence of NTD at birth declined to approximately five cases at birth per 10 000 births and seven to eight cases at birth or abortion per 10 000 births. This decline was independent of the amount of folic acid administered and apparently reveals a 'floor effect' for folic acid-preventable NTD. This clearly shows that not all cases of NTD are preventable by increasing the folate intake. The relative decline depends on the initial NTD rate. Countries with NTD prevalence close to the observed floor may have much smaller reductions in NTD rates with folic acid fortification. Additionally, potential adverse effects of fortification on other vulnerable population groups have to be seriously considered. Policy decisions concerning national mandatory fortification programmes must take into account realistically projected benefits as well as the evidence of risks to all vulnerable groups.

  15. Awareness and intake of folic acid for the prevention of neural tube defects among Lebanese women of childbearing age.

    PubMed

    Nasr Hage, Claudine; Jalloul, Maya; Sabbah, Mohamad; Adib, Salim M

    2012-01-01

    Since the early 1990s, international recommendations have promoted folic acid supplementation during the periconception period as an effective way of preventing neural tube defects (NTDs). However, the adoption of this recommendation remains insufficient. To assess the awareness and actual intake of folic acid among married Lebanese women aged 18-45 years, a cross-sectional study was conducted among 600 women selected from all five administrative districts in Lebanon, using a multistage cluster sampling procedure. An anonymous questionnaire was completed which covered measures of knowledge and use of folate supplements, as well as demographic, socioeconomic and obstetrical factors. Sixty percent of surveyed women (60%; n = 360) had heard about folic acid. Doctors were the most frequent source of information (61.1%) but only 24.7% of women have been told of the correct period during which folic acid supplementation was useful. Overall, only 6.2% had taken folic acid tablets during the adequate period. Younger age, higher education level and stability/sufficiency of income appeared to be significant predictors of awareness among Lebanese women. Actual folic acid intake was significantly associated with younger age, higher number of pregnancies, planning the last pregnancy and having had that last one after 1990. In Lebanon, the level of folic acid awareness and adequate intake remain relatively low. Several approaches should be used to promote folic acid intake including awareness campaigns, and routine counseling by primary health care physicians on folic acid during preconception visits.

  16. Ectopic cross-talk between thyroid and retinoic acid signaling: A possible etiology for spinal neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Li, Huili; Bai, Baoling; Zhang, Qin; Bao, Yihua; Guo, Jin; Chen, Shuyuan; Miao, Chunyue; Liu, Xiaozhen; Zhang, Ting

    2015-12-01

    Previous studies have highlighted the connections between neural tube defects (NTDs) and both thyroid hormones (TH) and vitamin A. However, whether the two hormonal signaling pathways interact in NTDs has remained unclear. We measured the expression levels of TH signaling genes in human fetuses with spinal NTDs associated with maternal hyperthyroidism as well as levels of retinoic acid (RA) signaling genes in mouse fetuses exposed to an overdose of RA using NanoString or real-time PCR on spinal cord tissues. Interactions between the two signaling pathways were detected by ChIP assays. The data revealed attenuated DIO2/DIO3 switching in fetuses with NTDs born to hyperthyroid mothers. The promoters of the RA signaling genes CRABP1 and RARB were ectopically occupied by increased RXRG and RXRB but displayed decreased levels of inhibitory histone modifications, suggesting that elevated TH signaling abnormally stimulates RA signaling genes. Conversely, in the mouse model, the observed decrease in Dio3 expression could be explained by increased levels of inhibitory histone modifications in the Dio3 promoter region, suggesting that overactive RA signaling may ectopically derepress TH signaling. This study thus raises in vivo a possible abnormal cross-promotion between two different hormonal signals through their common RXRs and the subsequent recruitment of histone modifications, prompting further investigation into their involvement in the etiology of spinal NTDs.

  17. Mutations in the COPII vesicle component gene SEC24B are associated with human neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xue-Yan; Zhou, Xiang-Yu; Wang, Qing Qing; Li, Hong; Chen, Ying; Lei, Yun-Ping; Ma, Xiao-Hang; Kong, Pan; Shi, Yan; Jin, Li; Zhang, Ting; Wang, Hong-Yan

    2013-08-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are severe birth malformations that affect one in 1,000 live births. Recently, mutations in the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway genes had been implicated in the pathogenesis of NTDs in both the mouse model and in human cohorts. Mouse models indicate that the homozygous disruption of Sec24b, which mediates the ER-to-Golgi transportation of the core PCP gene Vangl2 as a component of the COPII vesicle, will result in craniorachischisis. In this study, we found four rare missense heterozygous SEC24B mutations (p.Phe227Ser, p.Phe682Leu, p.Arg1248Gln, and p.Ala1251Gly) in NTDs cases that were absent in all controls. Among them, p.Phe227Ser and p.Phe682Leu affected its protein stability and physical interaction with VANGL2. Three variants (p.Phe227Ser, p.Arg1248Gln, and p.Ala1251Gly) were demonstrated to affect VANGL2 subcellular localization in cultured cells. Further functional analysis in the zebrafish including overexpression and dosage-dependent rescue study suggested that these four mutations all displayed loss-of-function effects compared with wild-type SEC24B. Our study demonstrated that functional mutations in SEC24B might contribute to the etiology of a subset of human NTDs and further expanded our knowledge of the role of PCP pathway-related genes in the pathogenesis of human NTDs.

  18. Supplementation with vitamin D3 during pregnancy protects against lipopolysaccharide-induced neural tube defects through improving placental folate transportation.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuan-Hua; Yu, Zhen; Fu, Lin; Xia, Mi-Zhen; Zhao, Mei; Wang, Hua; Zhang, Cheng; Hu, Yong-Fang; Tao, Fang-Biao; Xu, De-Xiang

    2015-05-01

    Several reports demonstrated that maternal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure at middle gestational stage caused neural tube defects (NTDs). This study investigated the effects of supplementation with vitamin D3 (VitD3) during pregnancy on LPS-induced NTDs. Pregnant mice except controls were ip injected with LPS (25 μg/kg) daily from gestational day (GD)8 to GD12. In LPS+VitD3 group, pregnant mice were orally administered with VitD3 (25 μg/kg) before LPS injection. As expected, a 5-day LPS injection resulted in 62.5% (10/16) of dams and 20.3% of fetuses with NTDs. Additional experiment showed that a 5-day LPS injection downregulated placental proton-coupled folate transporter (pcft) and reduced folate carrier 1 (rfc1), 2 major folate transporters in placentas. Consistent with downregulation of placental folate transporters, folate transport from maternal circulation into embryos was disturbed in LPS-treated mice. Interestingly, VitD3 not only inhibited placental inflammation but also attenuated LPS-induced downregulation of placental folate transporters. Correspondingly, VitD3 markedly improved folate transport from maternal circulation into the embryos. Importantly, supplementation with VitD3 during pregnancy protected mice from LPS-induced NTDs. Taken together, these results suggest that supplementation with VitD3 during pregnancy prevents LPS-induced NTDs through inhibiting placental inflammation and improving folate transport from maternal circulation into the embryos.

  19. Effectiveness of Folic Acid Fortified Flour for Prevention of Neural Tube Defects in a High Risk Region.

    PubMed

    Wang, Haochen; De Steur, Hans; Chen, Gong; Zhang, Xiaotian; Pei, Lijun; Gellynck, Xavier; Zheng, Xiaoying

    2016-03-09

    Despite efforts to tackle folate deficiency and Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) through folic acid fortification, its implementation is still lacking where it is needed most, highlighting the need for studies that evaluate the effectiveness of folic acid fortified wheat flour in a poor, rural, high-risk, NTD region of China. One of the most affected regions, Shanxi Province, was selected as a case study. A community intervention was carried out in which 16,648 women of child-bearing age received fortified flour (eight villages) and a control group received ordinary flour (three villages). NTD birth prevalence and biological indicators were measured two years after program initiation at endline only. The effect on the NTD burden was calculated using the disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) method. In the intervention group, serum folate level was higher than in the control group. NTDs in the intervention group were 68.2% lower than in the control group (OR = 0.313, 95% CI = 0.207-0473, p < 0.001). In terms of DALYs, burden in intervention group was approximately 58.5% lower than in the control group. Flour fortification was associated with lower birth prevalence and burden of NTDs in economically developing regions with a high risk of NTDs. The positive findings confirm the potential of fortification when selecting an appropriate food vehicle and target region. As such, this study provides support for decision makers aiming for the implementation of (mandatory) folic acid fortification in China.

  20. Developing effective campaign messages to prevent neural tube defects: a qualitative assessment of women's reactions to advertising concepts.

    PubMed

    Massi Lindsey, Lisa L; Silk, Kami J; Von Friederichs-Fitzwater, Marlene M; Hamner, Heather C; Prue, Christine E; Boster, Franklin J

    2009-03-01

    The incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs), serious birth defects of the brain and spine that affect approximately 3,000 pregnancies in the United States each year, can be reduced by 50-70% with daily periconceptional consumption of the B vitamin folic acid. Two studies were designed to assess college women's reactions to and perceptions of potential campaign advertising concepts derived from preproduction formative research to increase folic acid consumption through the use of a daily multivitamin. Study one assessed draft advertising concepts in eight focus groups (N = 71) composed of college-enrolled women in four cities geographically dispersed across the United States. Based on study one results, the concepts were revised and reassessed in study two with a different sample (eight focus groups; N = 73) of college women in the same four cities. Results indicated that participants generally responded favorably to concepts in each of the two studies, and provided insight into individual concepts to increase their overall appeal and effectiveness. The specific findings and implications of these results are discussed.

  1. Time trends in the prevalence and epidemiological characteristics of neural tube defects in Liaoning Province, China, 2006-2015: A population-based study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tie-Ning; Gong, Ting-Ting; Chen, Yan-Ling; Wu, Qi-Jun; Zhang, Yuan; Jiang, Cheng-Zhi; Li, Jing; Li, Li-Li; Zhou, Chen; Huang, Yan-Hong

    2017-02-03

    To evaluate the time trends in the prevalence of neural tube defects and all their subtypes as well as to identify the epidemiological characteristics of these malformations documented in the Liaoning Province of northeast China from 2006 to 2015. This was a population-based observational study using data from 3,248,954 live births as well as from 6217 cases of neural tube defects, 1,600 cases of anencephaly, 2,029 cases of spina bifida, 404 cases of encephalocele, and 3,008 cases of congenital hydrocephalus from 14 cities in Liaoning Province from 2006 to 2015. All analyses were conducted using SPSS software. During the observational period, the prevalence of neural tube defects, anencephaly, spina bifida, encephalocele, and congenital hydrocephalus was 19.1, 4.9, 6.2, 1.2, and 9.3 per 10,000 live births, respectively. Significantly decreasing trends were observed in the prevalence of all these malformations except for encephalocele. Notably, relatively higher prevalence rates were found in isolated compared with non-isolated malformations, with significant differences in selected characteristics (e.g., prognosis status, gestational age, and birth weight) between isolated and non-isolated cases of these malformations. The prevalence of neural tube defects showed a downward trend in Liaoning Province from 2006 to 2015. However, more attention should be focused on non-isolated cases in the future because of the severe clinical manifestations. Future prevention efforts should be strengthened to reduce the risk of these malformations, especially the non-isolated subtype, in areas with high prevalence.

  2. Neighborhood Deprivation and Risk of Congenital Heart Defects, Neural Tube Defects and Orofacial Clefts: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Deguen, Séverine; Kihal, Wahida; Jeanjean, Maxime; Padilla, Cindy; Zmirou-Navier, Denis

    2016-01-01

    Background We conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis to address the open question of a possible association between the socioeconomic level of the neighborhoods in which pregnant women live and the risk of Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs), Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) and OroFacial Clefts (OFCs). Methods We searched MEDLINE from its inception to December 20th, 2015 for case-control, cohort and ecological studies assessing the association between neighborhood socioeconomic level and the risk of CHDs, NTDs and the specific phenotypes Cleft Lip with or without Cleft Palate (CLP) and Cleft Palate (CP). Study-specific risk estimates were pooled according to random-effect and fixed-effect models. Results Out of 245 references, a total of seven case-control studies, two cohort studies and two ecological studies were assessed in the systematic review; all studies were enrolled in the meta-analysis with the exception of the two cohort studies. No significant association has been revealed between CHDs or NTDs and neighborhood deprivation index. For CLP phenotype subgroups, we found a significantly higher rate in deprived neighborhoods (Odds Ratios (OR) = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.36) whereas this was not significant for CP phenotype subgroups (OR = 1.20, 95%CI: 0.89, 1.61). Conclusion In spite of the small number of epidemiological studies included in the present literature review, our findings suggest that neighborhood socioeconomic level where mothers live is associated only with an increased risk of CLP phenotype subgroups. This finding has methodological limitations that impede the formulation of firm conclusions, and further investigations should confirm this association. PMID:27783616

  3. Association of the Maternal MTHFR C677T Polymorphism with Susceptibility to Neural Tube Defects in Offsprings: Evidence from 25 Case-Control Studies

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Peng; Ji, Guixiang; Gu, Aihua; Zhao, Peng

    2012-01-01

    Background Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a critical enzyme in folate metabolism and is involved in DNA methylation, DNA synthesis, and DNA repair. In addition, it is a possible risk factor in neural tube defects (NTDs). The association of the C677T polymorphism in the MTHFR gene and NTD susceptibility has been widely demonstrated, but the results remain inconclusive. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis with 2429 cases and 3570 controls to investigate the effect of the MTHFR C677T polymorphism on NTDs. Methods An electronic search of PubMed and Embase database for papers on the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and NTD risk was performed. All data were analysed with STATA (version 11). Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated to assess the association. Sensitivity analysis, test of heterogeneity, cumulative meta-analysis, and assessment of bias were performed in our meta-analysis. Results A significant association between the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and NTD susceptibility was revealed in our meta-analysis ( TT versus CC: OR  = 2.022, 95% CI: 1.508, 2.712; CT+TT versus CC: OR  = 1.303, 95% CI: 1.089, 1.558; TT versus CC+CT: OR  = 1.716, 95% CI: 1.448, 2.033; 2TT+CT versus 2CC+CT: OR  = 1.330, 95% CI: 1.160, 1.525). Moreover, an increased NTD risk was found after stratification of the MTHFR C677T variant data by ethnicity and source of controls. Conclusion The results suggested the maternal MTHFR C677T polymorphism is a genetic risk factor for NTDs. Further functional studies to investigate folate-related gene polymorphisms, periconceptional multivitamin supplements, complex interactions, and the development of NTDs are warranted. PMID:23056169

  4. Detection of neural tube defect in the first and second trimester of pregnancy by ultrasound in Imam Hospital, Ahwaz between December 2008-2010

    PubMed Central

    Masihi, Sara; Barati, Mojgan; Marfu, Javad; Eskandari, Zahra

    2012-01-01

    Background: Central nervous system malformations are the second most common congenital malformations after congenital heart diseases. These malformations are associated with many instances of morbidity and mortality which underline the importance of prevention and their early diagnosis. Objective: The objective of this study is the diagnosis of neural tube defect (NTDs) in the first trimester and its comparison to second trimester diagnoses in order to reduce the complications associated with late pregnancy terminations and its costs. Materials and Methods: This study was a trans-sectional study. A total number of 1074 patients who referred to Imam Khomeini Hospital were enrolled in this study. During the 11th-13th (+6 days) gestational week the patients were screened sonographically; subsequently they were re-scanned for fetal anomalies during 18th-20th gestational week, and we followed the babies after birth. Considering that Intracranial Translucency (IT) was introduced in the newer researches, it was, too, measured in 125 of the cases. Results: In a total number of 1074 patients we had one patient with an anencephalous fetus whom was diagnosed in the first trimester of pregnancy. In the second trimester, we detected one case of myelomenigocele; when we referred to this patient’s first trimester sonography, there was no visible IT. In the 125 cases in whom the IT length was measured, it was normal; the 2nd trimester sonographies in these patients were also normal. Conclusion: It must be noted that the diagnosis of NTD is more accurate in the second trimester of pregnancy. Consequently it is recommended that in high risk patients, the second trimester sonography be performed transvaginally, and in an earlier gestational age (14th-16th gestational weeks). PMID:25246925

  5. Genetic Variants in the Folate Pathway and the Risk of Neural Tube Defects: A Meta-Analysis of the Published Literature

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ti; Lou, Jiao; Zhong, Rong; Wu, Jing; Zou, Li; Sun, Yu; Lu, Xuzai; Liu, Li; Miao, Xiaoping; Xiong, Guanglian

    2013-01-01

    Background Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) are among the most prevalent and most severe congenital malformations worldwide. Polymorphisms in key genes involving the folate pathway have been reported to be associated with the risk of NTDs. However, the results from these published studies are conflicting. We surveyed the literature (1996–2011) and performed a comprehensive meta-analysis to provide empirical evidence on the association. Methods and Findings We investigated the effects of 5 genetic variants from 47 study populations, for a total of 85 case-control comparisons MTHFR C677T (42 studies; 4374 cases, 7232 controls), MTHFR A1298C (22 studies; 2602 cases, 4070 controls), MTR A2756G (9 studies; 843 cases, 1006 controls), MTRR A66G (8 studies; 703 cases, 1572 controls), and RFC-1 A80G (4 studies; 1107 cases, 1585 controls). We found a convincing evidence of dominant effects of MTHFR C677T (OR 1.23; 95%CI 1.07–1.42) and suggestive evidence of RFC-1 A80G (OR 1.55; 95%CI 1.24–1.92). However, we found no significant effects of MTHFR A1298C, MTR A2756G, MTRR A66G in risk of NTDs in dominant, recessive or in allelic models. Conclusions Our meta-analysis strongly suggested a significant association of the variant MTHFR C677T and a suggestive association of RFC-1 A80G with increased risk of NTDs. However, other variants involved in folate pathway do not demonstrate any evidence for a significant marginal association on susceptibility to NTDs. PMID:23593147

  6. Preliminary data on changes in neural tube defect prevalence rates after folic acid fortification in South America.

    PubMed

    Castilla, Eduardo E; Orioli, Iêda M; Lopez-Camelo, Jorge S; Dutra, Maria da Graça; Nazer-Herrera, Julio

    2003-12-01

    Several South American countries are fortifying wheat flour with folic acid. However, only Chile started in 2000 to add 2.2 mg/kg, providing 360 microg daily per capita, an acceptable dosage for preventing the occurrence of some neural tube defect (NTD) cases. ECLAMC (Spanish acronym for the Latin American Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations) routinely monitoring birth defects in South America since 1976, surveyed the impact of this fortification. Data from 361,374 births occurred in 43 South American hospitals, distributed in five different countries, active throughout the 1999-2001 triennium, were selected from the ECLAMC network. Birth prevalence rates for three different congenital anomalies with similar expected prevalence rates, were surveyed by the Cumulative Sum Method (CUSUM) method. They were NTD, oral clefts (OC), and Down syndrome (DS). Expected values were derived from observations made in 1999, and CUSUM was applied to the consecutive series of 24 months covering years 2000 and 2001. Only one of three congenital anomaly types, NTDs, in only one of five sampled out countries, Chile, showed a significant decrease, of 31%, during the 2000-2001 biennium, corresponding to the birth of the periconceptionally fortified infants. The level of significance (P < 0.001) was reached in the 20th month after fortification started, corresponding to August 2001. This is the first observation of a significant decrease in the occurrence of NTD after folic acid food fortification in a population little influenced by confounders common in the developed world as pre-existing secular decreasing trends, and partially unregistered induced abortions.

  7. Association between MTHFD1 G1958A Polymorphism and Neural Tube Defects Susceptibility: A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jianxin; Zhang, Yanfei; Wei, Liang; Sun, Zhiyang; Liu, Zhongmin

    2014-01-01

    Objectives The methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase (MTHFD1) gene, as one of the key genes involved in the folate pathway, has been reported to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects (NTDs). However, the results of published studies are contradictory and inconclusive. Thus, this meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effect of the common polymorphism in the MTHFD1 gene, the G1958A (R653Q, dbSNP ID: rs2236225) variant, on the risk of NTDs in all eligible studies. Methods Relevant literature published before January 3, 2014 was retrieved from the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and CBM databases. Pooled crude odds ratios (ORs) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between the MTHFD1 G1958A polymorphism and NTDs risk. Results We performed a meta-analysis of nine studies with a total of 4,302 NTDs patients and 4,238 healthy controls. Our results demonstrated a significant correlation between the MTHFD1 G1958A polymorphism and NTDs in an overall meta-analysis. For family-based studies, the study subjects were classified as NTD cases, mothers with NTDs offspring, and fathers with NTDs offspring. We found no association between any of the fathers’ genotypes and NTDs, whereas there was a clear excess of the 1958A allele in the mothers of children with NTDs compared with controls individuals. Conclusions In summary, our meta-analysis strongly suggests that the MTHFD1 G1958A polymorphism might be associated with maternal risk for NTDs in Caucasian populations. However, the evidence of this association should be interpreted with caution due to the selective nature of publication of genetic association studies. PMID:24977710

  8. Dieting to lose weight and occurrence of neural tube defects in offspring of Mexican-American women.

    PubMed

    Suarez, Lucina; Felkner, Marilyn; Brender, Jean D; Canfield, Mark A

    2012-05-01

    Lowered maternal weight gain and reduction in early pregnancy have been associated with risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) in offspring. We examined the association of self-reported maternal dieting behaviors on the occurrence of NTDs. We conducted a population based case-control study among Mexican-American women who were residents of the 14 Texas counties bordering Mexico. Case women had an NTD-affected pregnancy identified at birth or prenatally and had deliveries during the years 1995-2000. Control women were those who delivered live born infants without an apparent congenital malformation, randomly selected and frequency-matched to cases by year and facility. One hundred eighty-four case women and 225 control women were asked in person about the use of nutritional supplements, dieting to lose weight, and type of weight reduction supplements used during the 3 months before conception. Women who reported being on a diet to lose weight during the 3 months before conception had an NTD odds ratio (OR) of 1.9 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1, 3.3) compared with those not reporting being on a diet. Neither consuming vitamin drinks (OR = 1.2) nor using diet pills (OR = 1.6) during the 3 months before conception had ORs that were different from the null, when compared to women not reporting those behaviors. The risk effect for dieting did not differ markedly among normal or underweight (OR = 2.0, 95% CI = 0.7, 5.6), overweight (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 0.7, 5.0), or obese women (OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 0.6, 4.0). No effect was seen among dieting women who were consuming at least 1.0 mg/day of folate (OR = 1.1, CI = 0.3, 4.5). Maternal dieting prior to conception may increase the risk of NTDs in offspring.

  9. PAX genes and human neural tube defects: an amino acid substitution in PAX1 in a patient with spina bifida.

    PubMed Central

    Hol, F A; Geurds, M P; Chatkupt, S; Shugart, Y Y; Balling, R; Schrander-Stumpel, C T; Johnson, W G; Hamel, B C; Mariman, E C

    1996-01-01

    From studies in the mouse and from the clinical and molecular analysis of patients with type 1 Waardenburg syndrome, particular members of the PAX gene family are suspected factors in the aetiology of human neural tube defects (NTD). To investigate the role of PAX1, PAX3, PAX7, and PAX9, allelic association studies were performed in 79 sporadic and 38 familial NTD patients from the Dutch population. Sequence variation was studied by SSC analysis of the paired domain regions of the PAX1, PAX7, and PAX9 genes and of the complete PAX3 gene. In one patient with spina bifida, a mutation in the PAX1 gene was detected changing the conserved amino acid Gln to His at position 42 in the paired domain of the protein. The mutation was inherited through the maternal line from the unaffected grandmother and was not detected in 300 controls. In the PAX3 gene, variation was detected at several sites including a Thr/Lys amino acid substitution in exon 6. All alleles were present among patients and controls in about the same frequencies. However, an increased frequency of the rare allele of a silent polymorphism in exon 2 was found in NTD patients, but no significant association was observed (p = 0.06). No sequence variation was observed in the paired domain of the PAX7 and PAX9 genes. Our findings so far do not support a major role of the PAX genes examined in the aetiology of NTD. However, the detection of a mutation in PAX1 suggests that, in principle, this gene can act as a risk factor for human NTD. Images PMID:8863157

  10. Maternal consumption of non-staple food in the first trimester and risk of neural tube defects in offspring.

    PubMed

    Wang, Meng; Wang, Zhi-Ping; Gao, Li-Jie; Yang, Hui; Zhao, Zhong-Tang

    2015-04-24

    To study the associations between maternal consumption of non-staple food in the first trimester and risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) in offspring. Data collected from a hospital-based case-control study conducted between 2006 and 2008 in Shandong/Shanxi provinces including 459 mothers with NTDs-affected births and 459 mothers without NTDs-affected births. Logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between maternal consumption of non-staple food in the first trimester and risk of NTDs in offspring. The effects were evaluated by odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) with SAS9.1.3.software. Maternal consumption of milk, fresh fruits and nuts in the first trimester were protective factors for total NTDs. Compared with consumption frequency of ˂1 meal/week, the ORs for milk consumption frequency of 1-2, 3-6, ≥7 meals/week were 0.50 (95% CI: 0.28-0.88), 0.56 (0.32-0.99), and 0.59 (0.38-0.90), respectively; the ORs for fresh fruits consumption frequency of 1-2, 3-6, ≥7 meals/week were 0.29 (95% CI: 0.12-0.72), 0.22 (0.09-0.53), and 0.32 (0.14-0.71), respectively; the ORs for nuts consumption frequency of 1-2, 3-6, ≥7 meals/week were 0.60 (95% CI: 0.38-0.94), 0.49 (0.31-0.79), and 0.63 (0.36-1.08), respectively. Different effects of above factors on NTDs were found for subtypes of anencephaly and spina bifida. Maternal non-staple food consumption of milk, fresh fruits and nuts in the first trimester was associated with reducing NTDs risk in offspring.

  11. [Folate and iron in fertile age women from a Venezuelan community affected by incidence of neural tube defects].

    PubMed

    Mariela, Montilva; Jham, Papale; Nieves, García-Casal María; Yelitza, Berné; Yudith, Ontiveros; Lourdes, Durán

    2010-06-01

    The objective of this transversal study was to determine folate and iron nutritional status of women in fertile age from Municipio Jiménez, Lara State, Venezuela. The sampling was probabilistic by conglomerates from the urban and rural areas, selecting 15 conglomerates from which women between 12 and 45 years (269), were studied. After signing informed consent, participating were interviewed for personal data, antecedents related to folate and iron, socioeconomic data (Graffar-Mendez Castellano method and unsatisfied basic needs). In blood sample was determined Hemoglobin, and Erythrocytic Folate (FE). Serum was obtained to determine Ferritin and Serum Folate (FS). 53.53% of the sample presented low FS levels, 10.78% were FS deficient. Severe FE deficiency was present in 80.7% of the cases, moderate deficiency affected 5.9%. For both tests, median was higher for women in treatment with Acido Fólico or pregnant (p = 0.000), median for FE was higher for adults (p = 0.001) and in non poor women (p = 0.011). There were no significant differences for coffee, alcohol, anticonceptive consumption, urban or rural resident or socioeconomic strata. The prevalence of anemia was 11.2% being significantly more frequent in adults than in adolescents (p = 0.029) and in urban women (p = 0.042). Low ferritin were found in 37.3% of the sample, the effect of different variables was not statistically significant. In conclusion, there is a high prevalence of iron and folate deficiencies in women of fertile age from Municipio Jiménez, which could constitute a conditioning factor for the appearance of neural tube defects.

  12. [C677T polymorphism of the methylentetrahydrofolate reductase gene in mothers of children affected with neural tube defects].

    PubMed

    Morales de Machín, Alisandra; Méndez, Karile; Solís, Ernesto; Borjas de Borjas, Lisbeth; Bracho, Ana; Hernández, María Luisa; Negrón, Aimara; Delgado, Wilmer; Sánchez, Yanira

    2015-09-01

    Neural tube defects (NTD) are the most common congenital anomalies of the central nervous system, with a multifactorial pattern of inheritance, presumably involving the interaction of several genetic and environmental factors. The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene 677C>T polymorphism has been implicated as a risk factor for NTD. The main objective of this research was to investigate the association of the 677C>T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene as a genetic risk factor for NTD. Molecular analysis was performed in DNA samples from 52 mothers with antecedent of NTD offspring and from 119 healthy control mothers. Using the Polymerase Chain Reaction, a 198 bases pairs fragment was digested with the restriction enzyme Hinfi. 677T MTHFR allele frequencies for the problem and the control groups were 51.92% and 34.45%, respectively, and 677C MTHFR allele frequencies were 48.08% and 65.55%, respectively. There were significant differences in allele (p: 0.002) and genotype (p: 0.007) frequencies between these two groups. The odds ratio (OR) to the TT genotype vs. the CC genotype was estimated as OR: 4.9 [95% CI: 1,347-6.416] p: 0.002; CT+TT vs. CC: OR: 2.9 [95% CI: 1.347-6.416] p: 0.005; TT vs. CT+CC: OR: 2.675 [95% CI: 1,111-6.441] p: 0.024. The data presented in this study support the relationship between MTHFR 677C>T polymorphism and risk in mothers with antecedent of NTD offspring.

  13. "Polymorphisms in folate metabolism genes as maternal risk factor for neural tube defects: an updated meta-analysis".

    PubMed

    Yadav, Upendra; Kumar, Pradeep; Yadav, Sushil Kumar; Mishra, Om Prakash; Rai, Vandana

    2015-02-01

    Epidemiological studies have evaluated the association between maternal methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T, A1298C and methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) A66G polymorphisms and risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) in offspring. However, the results from the published studies on the association between these three polymorphisms and NTD risk are conflicting. To derive a clearer picture of association between these three maternal polymorphisms and risk of NTD, we performed meta-analysis. A comprehensive search was conducted to identify all case-control studies of maternal MTHFR and MTRR polymorphisms and NTD risk. We used odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to assess the strength of the association. Overall, we found that maternal MTHFR C677T polymorphism (OR(TvsC) =1.20; 95% CI = 1.13-1.28) and MTRR A66G polymorphism (OR(GvsA) = 1.21; 95% CI = 0.98-1.49) were risk factors for producing offspring with NTD but maternal MTHFR A1298C polymorphism (OR(CvsA) = 0.91; 95% CI = 0.78-1.07) was not associated with NTD risk. However, in stratified analysis by geographical regions, we found that the maternal C677T polymorphism was significantly associated with the risk of NTD in Asian (OR(TvsC) = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.05-1.94), European (OR(TvsC) = 1.13; 95% CI: 1.04-1.24) and American (OR(TvsC) = 1.26; 95% CI: 1.13-1.41) populations. In conclusion, present meta-analysis supports that the maternal MTHFR C677T and MTRR A66G are polymorphisms contributory to risk for NTD.

  14. Polymorphisms in FZD3 and FZD6 genes and risk of neural tube defects in a northern Han Chinese population.

    PubMed

    Shi, Ou-Yan; Yang, Hui-Yun; Shen, Yong-Ming; Sun, Wei; Cai, Chun-You; Cai, Chun-Quan

    2014-11-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are the most common and severe malformations of the central nervous system. The association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the Frizzled 3 (FZD3) and Frizzled 6 (FZD6) genes and NTDs in the Han population of northern China was principally studied. One synonymous SNP (rs2241802) in FZD3 gene and three nonsynonymous SNPs (rs827528, rs3808553 and rs12549394) in FZD6 gene were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing methods in 135 NTD patients and 135 normal controls. The allele, genotype and haplotype frequencies were calculated and analyzed to examine the relationship between FZD3/FZD6 SNPs and NTDs. Both T allele and TT genotype frequencies of the FZD6 rs3808553 loci in the NTDs group were significantly higher than those in the controls, and children with T allele and TT genotype were associated with increased NTDs risk (OR = 1.575, 95 % CI 1.112-2.230, P = 0.010 and OR = 2.811, 95 % CI 1.325-5.967, P = 0.023, respectively). There were no differences among different genotypes or alleles in other three SNPs. Haplotypes A-G-C and A-T-C in FZD6 were found associated with NTDs in the case-control study (OR = 0.560, 95 % CI 0.378-0.830, P = 0.004 and OR = 1.670, 95 % CI 1.126-2.475, P = 0.011, respectively). The rs3808553 of FZD6 is obviously associated with NTDs in Han population of northern China. The TT genotype may increase risk for NTDs.

  15. Diabetes and obesity-related genes and the risk of neural tube defects in the national birth defects prevention study.

    PubMed

    Lupo, Philip J; Canfield, Mark A; Chapa, Claudia; Lu, Wei; Agopian, A J; Mitchell, Laura E; Shaw, Gary M; Waller, D Kim; Olshan, Andrew F; Finnell, Richard H; Zhu, Huiping

    2012-12-15

    Few studies have evaluated genetic susceptibility related to diabetes and obesity as a risk factor for neural tube defects (NTDs). The authors investigated 23 single nucleotide polymorphisms among 9 genes (ADRB3, ENPP1, FTO, LEP, PPARG, PPARGC1A, SLC2A2, TCF7L2, and UCP2) associated with type 2 diabetes or obesity. Samples were obtained from 737 NTD case-parent triads included in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study during 1999-2007. Log-linear models were used to evaluate maternal and offspring genetic effects. After application of the false discovery rate, there were 5 significant maternal genetic effects. The less common alleles at the 4 FTO single nucleotide polymorphisms showed a reduction of NTD risk (for rs1421085, relative risk (RR) = 0.73 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.62, 0.87); for rs8050136, RR = 0.79 (95% CI: 0.67, 0.93); for rs9939609, RR = 0.79 (95% CI: 0.67, 0.94); and for rs17187449, RR = 0.80 (95% CI: 0.68, 0.95)). Additionally, maternal LEP rs2071045 (RR = 1.31, 95% CI: 1.08, 1.60) and offspring UCP2 rs660339 (RR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.64) were associated with NTD risk. Furthermore, the maternal genotype for TCF7L2 rs3814573 suggested an increased NTD risk among obese women. These findings indicate that maternal genetic variants associated with glucose homeostasis may modify the risk of having an NTD-affected pregnancy.

  16. Association between ALDH1L1 gene polymorphism and neural tube defects in the Chinese Han population.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lihua; Lu, Xiaolin; Guo, Jin; Zhang, Ting; Wang, Fang; Bao, Yihua

    2016-07-01

    We investigated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the aldehyde dehydrogenase family1 L1 gene (ALDH1L1) and their association with neural tube defects (NTDs) in the Chinese population. A total of 271 NTDs cases and 192 healthy controls were used in this study. A total of 112 selected SNPs in the ALDH1L1 gene were analyzed using the next-generation sequencing method. Statistical analysis was carried out to investigate the correlation between SNPs and patient susceptibility to NTDs. Statistical analysis revealed a significant correlation between the SNP sites rs4646733, rs2305225, and rs2276731 in the ALDH1L1 gene and NTDs. The TT genotype and T allele of rs4646733 in ALDH1L1 were associated with a significantly increased incidence of NTDs [odds ratio (OR) = 2.16, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.199-3.896 for genotype; and OR = 1.46, 95 % CI 1.092-1.971 for allele]. The AA genotype and A allele of rs2305225 in ALDH1L1 were associated with a significantly increased incidence of NTDs (OR = 2.03, 95 % CI 1.202-3.646 for genotype, and OR = 1.44, 95 % CI 1.096-1.905 for allele). The CT genotype and C allele of rs2276731 in ALDH1L1 significantly were associated with an increased incidence of NTDs (OR = 1.67, 95 % CI 1.129-2.491 with genotype, and OR = 1.32, 95 % CI 0.956-1.816 with allele).The polymorphic loci rs4646733, rs2305225, and rs2276731 in the ALDH1L1 gene maybe potential risk factors for NTDs in the Chinese population.

  17. A second common mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene: an additional risk factor for neural-tube defects?

    PubMed Central

    van der Put, N M; Gabreëls, F; Stevens, E M; Smeitink, J A; Trijbels, F J; Eskes, T K; van den Heuvel, L P; Blom, H J

    1998-01-01

    Recently, we showed that homozygosity for the common 677(C-->T) mutation in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene, causing thermolability of the enzyme, is a risk factor for neural-tube defects (NTDs). We now report on another mutation in the same gene, the 1298(A-->C) mutation, which changes a glutamate into an alanine residue. This mutation destroys an MboII recognition site and has an allele frequency of .33. This 1298(A-->C) mutation results in decreased MTHFR activity (one-way analysis of variance [ANOVA] P < .0001), which is more pronounced in the homozygous than heterozygous state. Neither the homozygous nor the heterozygous state is associated with higher plasma homocysteine (Hcy) or a lower plasma folate concentration-phenomena that are evident with homozygosity for the 677(C-->T) mutation. However, there appears to be an interaction between these two common mutations. When compared with heterozygosity for either the 677(C-->T) or 1298(A-->C) mutations, the combined heterozygosity for the 1298(A-->C) and 677(C-->T) mutations was associated with reduced MTHFR specific activity (ANOVA P < .0001), higher Hcy, and decreased plasma folate levels (ANOVA P <.03). Thus, combined heterozygosity for both MTHFR mutations results in similar features as observed in homozygotes for the 677(C-->T) mutation. This combined heterozygosity was observed in 28% (n =86) of the NTD patients compared with 20% (n =403) among controls, resulting in an odds ratio of 2.04 (95% confidence interval: .9-4.7). These data suggest that the combined heterozygosity for the two MTHFR common mutations accounts for a proportion of folate-related NTDs, which is not explained by homozygosity for the 677(C-->T) mutation, and can be an additional genetic risk factor for NTDs. PMID:9545395

  18. Cloning of zebrafish nkx6.2 and a comprehensive analysis of the conserved transcriptional response to Hedgehog/Gli signaling in the zebrafish neural tube

    PubMed Central

    Guner, Burcu; Karlstrom, Rolf O.

    2007-01-01

    Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling helps pattern the vertebrate neural tube, in part by regulating the dorsal/ventral expression of a number of homeodomain containing transcription factors. These Hh responsive genes have been divided into two classes, with Class II genes being activated by Hh signaling and Class I genes being repressed by Hh signaling. While the transcriptional response to varying Hh levels is well defined in chick and mouse, it is only partially described in zebrafish, despite the fact that zebrafish has emerged as a powerful genetic system for the study of neural patterning. To better characterize the Hh response in the zebrafish neural tube, we cloned the zebrafish Class II Hh target genes nkx2.9 and nkx6.2. We then analyzed the expression of a number of Class I and Class II Hh responsive genes in wild type, Hh mutant, and Hh over-expressing zebrafish embryos. We show that expression of Class I and Class II genes is highly conserved in the vertebrate neural tube. Further, ventral-most Class II gene expression was completely lost in all Hh pathway mutants analyzed, indicating high levels of Hh signaling are blocked in all of these mutants. In contrast, more dorsally expressed genes were variably affected in different Hh pathway mutants, indicating mid-levels of Hh signaling are differentially affected. This comprehensive expression study provides an important tool for the characterization of Hh signaling in zebrafish and provides a sensitive assay for determining the degree to which newly identified zebrafish mutants affect Hh signaling. PMID:17307034

  19. Folate deficiency-induced oxidative stress contributes to neuropathy in young and aged zebrafish--implication in neural tube defects and Alzheimer's diseases.

    PubMed

    Kao, Tseng-Ting; Chu, Chia-Yi; Lee, Gang-Hui; Hsiao, Tsun-Hsien; Cheng, Nai-Wei; Chang, Nan-Shan; Chen, Bing-Hung; Fu, Tzu-Fun

    2014-11-01

    Folate is a nutrient essential for the development, function and regeneration of nervous systems. Folate deficiency has been linked to many neurological disorders including neural tube defects in fetus and Alzheimer's diseases in the elderly. However, the etiology underlying these folate deficiency-associated diseases is not completely understood. In this study, zebrafish transgenic lines with timing and duration-controllable folate deficiency were developed by ectopically overexpressing a recombinant EGFP-γ-glutamyl hydrolase (γGH). Impeded neural crest cell migration was observed in the transgenic embryos when folate deficiency was induced in early stages, leading to defective neural tube closure and hematopoiesis. Adding reduced folate or N-acetylcysteine reversed the phenotypic anomalies, supporting the causal link between the increased oxidative stress and the folate deficiency-induced abnormalities. When folate deficiency was induced in aged fish accumulation of beta-amyloid and phosphorylated Tau protein were found in the fish brain cryo-sections. Increased autophagy and accumulation of acidic autolysosome were apparent in folate deficient neuroblastoma cells, which were reversed by reduced folate or N-acetylcysteine supplementation. Decreased expression of cathepsin B, a lysosomal protease, was also observed in cells and tissue with folate deficiency. We concluded that folate deficiency-induced oxidative stress contributed to the folate deficiency-associated neuropathogenesis in both early and late stages of life.

  20. Differences in the Neural Mechanisms of Selective Attention in Children from Different Socioeconomic Backgrounds: An Event-Related Brain Potential Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stevens, Courtney; Lauinger, Brittni; Neville, Helen

    2009-01-01

    Previous research indicates that children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds show deficits in aspects of attention, including a reduced ability to filter irrelevant information and to suppress prepotent responses. However, less is known about the neural mechanisms of group differences in attention, which could reveal the stages of processing at…

  1. Neural Tube Defects

    MedlinePlus

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  2. Valproic acid increases conservative homologous recombination frequency and reactive oxygen species formation: a potential mechanism for valproic acid-induced neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Defoort, Ericka N; Kim, Perry M; Winn, Louise M

    2006-04-01

    Valproic acid, a commonly used antiepileptic agent, is associated with a 1 to 2% incidence of neural tube defects when taken during pregnancy; however, the molecular mechanism by which this occurs has not been elucidated. Previous research suggests that valproic acid exposure leads to an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS). DNA damage due to ROS can result in DNA double-strand breaks, which can be repaired through homologous recombination (HR), a process that is not error-free and can result in detrimental genetic changes. Because the developing embryo requires tight regulation of gene expression to develop properly, we propose that the loss or dysfunction of genes involved in embryonic development through aberrant HR may ultimately cause neural tube defects. To determine whether valproic acid induces HR, Chinese hamster ovary 3-6 cells, containing a neomycin direct repeat recombination substrate, were exposed to valproic acid for 4 or 24 h. A significant increase in HR after exposure to valproic acid (5 and 10 mM) for 24 h was observed, which seems to occur through a conservative HR mechanism. We also demonstrated that exposure to valproic acid (5 and 10 mM) significantly increased intracellular ROS levels, which were attenuated by preincubation with polyethylene glycol-conjugated (PEG)-catalase. A significant change in the ratio of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine/2'-de-oxyguanosine, a measure of DNA oxidation, was not observed after valproic acid exposure; however, preincubation with PEG-catalase significantly blocked the increase in HR. These data demonstrate that valproic acid increases HR frequency and provides a possible mechanism for valproic acid-induced neural tube defects.

  3. A consideration of the evidence that genetic defects in planar cell polarity contribute to the etiology of human neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Juriloff, Diana M; Harris, Muriel J

    2012-10-01

    A variety of human birth defects originate in failure of closure of the embryonic neural tube. The genetic cause of the most common nonsyndromic defects, spina bifida (SB) or anencephaly, is considered to be combinations of variants at multiple genes. The genes contributing to the etiology of neural tube closure defects (NTDs) are unknown. Mutations in planar cell polarity (PCP) genes in mice cause a variety of defects including the NTD, craniorachischisis, and sometimes SB or exencephaly (EX); they also demonstrate the role of digenic combinations of PCP mutants in NTDs. Recent studies have sought rare predicted-to-be-deleterious alterations (putative mutations) in coding sequence of PCP genes in human cases with various anomalies of the neural tube. This review summarizes the cumulative results of these studies according to a framework based on the embryopathogenesis of NTDs, and considers some of the insights from the approaches used and the limitations. Rare putative mutations in the PCP genes VANGL2, SCRIB, DACT1, and CELSR1 cumulatively contributed to over 20% of cases with craniorachischisis, a rare defect; no contributing variants were found for PRICKLE1 or PTK7. PCP rare putative mutations had a weaker role in myelomeningocele (SB), being found in approximately 6% of cases and cumulated across CELSR1, FUZ, FZD6, PRICKLE1, VANGL1, and VANGL2. These results demonstrate that PCP gene alterations contribute to the etiology of human NTDs. We recommend that future research should explore other types of PCP gene variant such as regulatory mutations and low frequency (1 to 5%) deleterious polymorphisms.

  4. Genome-wide association mapping in dogs enables identification of the homeobox gene, NKX2-8, as a genetic component of neural tube defects in humans.

    PubMed

    Safra, Noa; Bassuk, Alexander G; Ferguson, Polly J; Aguilar, Miriam; Coulson, Rochelle L; Thomas, Nicholas; Hitchens, Peta L; Dickinson, Peter J; Vernau, Karen M; Wolf, Zena T; Bannasch, Danika L

    2013-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) is a general term for central nervous system malformations secondary to a failure of closure or development of the neural tube. The resulting pathologies may involve the brain, spinal cord and/or vertebral column, in addition to associated structures such as soft tissue or skin. The condition is reported among the more common birth defects in humans, leading to significant infant morbidity and mortality. The etiology remains poorly understood but genetic, nutritional, environmental factors, or a combination of these, are known to play a role in the development of NTDs. The variable conditions associated with NTDs occur naturally in dogs, and have been previously reported in the Weimaraner breed. Taking advantage of the strong linkage-disequilibrium within dog breeds we performed genome-wide association analysis and mapped a genomic region for spinal dysraphism, a presumed NTD, using 4 affected and 96 unaffected Weimaraners. The associated region on canine chromosome 8 (pgenome  =3.0 × 10(-5)), after 100,000 permutations, encodes 18 genes, including NKX2-8, a homeobox gene which is expressed in the developing neural tube. Sequencing NKX2-8 in affected Weimaraners revealed a G to AA frameshift mutation within exon 2 of the gene, resulting in a premature stop codon that is predicted to produce a truncated protein. The exons of NKX2-8 were sequenced in human patients with spina bifida and rare variants (rs61755040 and rs10135525) were found to be significantly over-represented (p=0.036). This is the first documentation of a potential role for NKX2-8 in the etiology of NTDs, made possible by investigating the molecular basis of naturally occurring mutations in dogs.

  5. The impact of prenatal diagnosis on neural tube defect (NTD) pregnancy versus birth incidence in British Columbia.

    PubMed

    Van Allen, Margot I; Boyle, Erin; Thiessen, Paul; McFadden, Deborah; Cochrane, Douglas; Chambers, G Keith; Langlois, Sylvie; Stathers, Patricia; Irwin, Beverly; Cairns, Elizabeth; MacLeod, Patrick; Delisle, Marie-France; Uh, Soo-Hong

    2006-01-01

    The birth incidence of neural tube defect (NTD) cases in British Columbia (B.C.), and elsewhere in North America, is reported to be declining. This decline is being attributed to folic acid (FA) supplementation and food fortification, but 2nd trimester prenatal screening of pregnancies for NTDs and other congenital anomalies has increased during this timeframe, as well. This descriptive, population-based study evaluates the impact of prenatal screening of NTD-affected pregnancies on (1) pregnancy outcome and (2) reporting of NTD births to the provincial Health Status Registry (B.C.H.S.R.); and it assesses (3) the use of periconceptional FA supplementation. NTD cases were ascertained from medical records of health centres providing care to families with NTD-affected pregnancies and newborns; and from NTD cases reported to the B.C.H.S.R. In 1997-1999, the B.C.H.S.R. published a NTD incidence of 0.77/1000. In this study, 151 NTD-affected pregnancies were identified, with an incidence of 1.16/1000. Partial Reporting of induced abortions in a NTD incidence 45.5% low than the actual incidence. Medical records were available for review on 144/151 pregnancies. Prenatal screening identified 86.1% (124/144) of NTD-affected pregnancies, with 72.6% (90/124) resulting in pregnancy termination, and 27.4% (34/124) continuing to term. Use of FA supplementation in the periconceptional period was recorded in 36.4% of pregnancies (39/107). Thus in B.C. the decline in the NTD incidence is due predominantly to pregnancy terminations following prenatal diagnosis, which reduces the NTD incidence by 60%, from 1.16/1000 to 0.47/1000. Continued efforts for primary and the option of secondary prevention of NTDs are recommended in order to improve newborn health in B.C. and elsewhere. These interventions need to be monitored, however, for optimal health care planning.

  6. Use of natural neural scaffolds consisting of engineered vascular endothelial growth factor immobilized on ordered collagen fibers filled in a collagen tube for peripheral nerve regeneration in rats.

    PubMed

    Ma, Fukai; Xiao, Zhifeng; Meng, Danqing; Hou, Xianglin; Zhu, Jianhong; Dai, Jianwu; Xu, Ruxiang

    2014-10-15

    The search for effective strategies for peripheral nerve regeneration has attracted much attention in recent years. In this study, ordered collagen fibers were used as intraluminal fibers after nerve injury in rats. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays an important role in nerve regeneration, but its very fast initial burst of activity within a short time has largely limited its clinical use. For the stable binding of VEGF to ordered collagen fibers, we fused a collagen-binding domain (CBD) to VEGF through recombinant DNA technology. Then, we filled the ordered collagen fibers-CBD-VEGF targeting delivery system in a collagen tube to construct natural neural scaffolds, which were then used to bridge transected nerve stumps in a rat sciatic nerve transection model. After transplantation, the natural neural scaffolds showed minimal foreign body reactions and good integration into the host tissue. Oriented collagen fibers in the collagen tube could guide regenerating axons in an oriented manner to the distal, degenerating nerve segment, maximizing the chance of target reinnervation. Functional and histological analyses indicated that the recovery of nerve function in the natural neural scaffolds-treated group was superior to the other grafted groups. The guiding of oriented axonal regeneration and effective delivery systems surmounting the otherwise rapid and short-lived diffusion of growth factors in body fluids are two important strategies in promoting peripheral nerve regeneration. The natural neural scaffolds described take advantage of these two aspects and may produce synergistic effects. These properties qualified the artificial nerve conduits as a putative candidate system for the fabrication of peripheral nerve reconstruction devices.

  7. Single-tube multiplexed molecular detection of endemic porcine viruses in combination with background screening for transboundary diseases.

    PubMed

    Wernike, Kerstin; Hoffmann, Bernd; Beer, Martin

    2013-03-01

    Detection of several pathogens with multiplexed real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays in a one-step setup allows the simultaneous detection of two endemic porcine and four different selected transboundary viruses. Reverse transcription (RT)-qPCR systems for the detection of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2), two of the most economically important pathogens of swine worldwide, were combined with a screening system for diseases notifiable to the World Organization of Animal Health, namely, classical and African swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease, and Aujeszky's disease. Background screening was implemented using the identical fluorophore for all four different RT-qPCR assays. The novel multiplex RT-qPCR system was validated with a large panel of different body fluids and tissues from pigs and other animal species. Both reference samples and clinical specimens were used for a complete evaluation. It could be demonstrated that a highly sensitive and specific parallel detection of the different viruses was possible. The assays for the notifiable diseases were even not affected by the simultaneous amplification of very high loads of PRRSV- and PCV2-specific sequences. The novel broad-spectrum multiplex assay allows in a unique form the routine investigation for endemic porcine pathogens with exclusion diagnostics of the most important transboundary diseases in samples from pigs with unspecific clinical signs, such as fever or hemorrhages. The new system could significantly improve early detection of the most important notifiable diseases of swine and could lead to a new approach in syndromic surveillance.

  8. Neural tube defect in a 4000-year-old Egyptian infant mummy: a case of meningocele from the museum of anthropology and ethnography of Turin (Italy).

    PubMed

    Boano, Rosa; Fulcheri, Ezio; Martina, Maria Cristina; Ferraris, Andrea; Grilletto, Renato; Cremo, Rossana; Cesarani, Federico; Gandini, Giovanni; Massa, Emma Rabino

    2009-11-01

    This paper reports a paleopathological study of a severe neural tube defect in an ancient mummy, more specifically, a meningocele in an Egyptian infant from the XI dynasty (2100-1955B.C.). This is one of the most ancient cases of meningocele in mummified human remains described in paleopathological literature. Prehistoric and early historic examples of severe congenital defects of the vertebral column and neural tube are rare, because of the precarious preservation conditions of ancient human remains. Further, since the majority are only the skeletal remains, paleopathological and paleoepidemiological analysis based on the observation of bones is even more difficult. Hence, it is not easy to investigate this disease in the past in all its complexities and true diffusion. The case presented here is peculiar, since it concerns a mummy with almost all soft tissues preserved, thus allowing us to describe the defect in an infant. Only targeted, minimally invasive examinations were performed. An anthropological investigation with helical CT scan and histological analysis was used to diagnose the defect and identify post-mortem transformation processes. The analyses confirmed the diagnosis of meningocele in an approximately six-month-old infant.

  9. Loop-tail phenotype in heterozygous mice and neural tube defects in homozygous mice result from a nonsense mutation in the Vangl2 gene.

    PubMed

    Chen, B; Mao, H H; Chen, L; Zhang, F L; Li, K; Xue, Z F

    2013-01-22

    N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) is a powerful point mutagen that can generate random mutations. It has been used to generate mouse mutations to produce phenotypic models of human disease. Neural tube defects (NTD) are common birth defects in which the brain and/or spinal cord can be exposed; however, the mechanisms of these defects are poorly understood. Craniorachischisis is one type of NTD that bears a close resemblance to the phenotype of the loop-tail (Lp) mouse. Here we describe a C57BL/6J Lp mouse generated by ENU-induced mutagenesis. The mutation was mapped to the Vangl2 gene on chromosome 1, near markers D1Mit113 and D1Mit149. Sequence analysis of Vangl2 heterozygotes (Vangl2(m1Yzcm)/+) revealed a C/T transition mutation that resulted in substitution of a glutamine codon for a stop (nonsense) codon at position 449. The Vangl2 protein is involved in epithelium planar cell polarity. The predicted truncated protein would lack the PDZ-domain binding motif involved in protein-protein interaction; therefore, Vangl2(m1Yzcm) may be a loss-of-function mutant. Morphological and histological examination of homozygous mouse embryos revealed a neural tube closure defect that leads to craniorachischisis. This Vangl2(m1Yzcm) mouse represents a valuable model for the study of NTDs in humans.

  10. Mutations in PTF1A are not a common cause for human VATER/VACTERL association or neural tube defects mirroring Danforth's short tail mouse.

    PubMed

    Gurung, Nirmala; Grosse, Greta; Draaken, Markus; Hilger, Alina C; Nauman, Nuzhat; Müller, Andreas; Gembruch, Ulrich; Merz, Waltraut M; Reutter, Heiko; Ludwig, Michael

    2015-07-01

    Danforth's short tail (Sd) mutant mice exhibit defects of the neural tube and other abnormalities, which are similar to the human vertebral anomalies, anal atresia, cardiac defects, tracheosophageal fistula and/or esophageal atresia, renal and radial abnormalities, and limb defects (VATER/VACTERL) association, including defects of the hindgut. Sd has been shown to underlie ectopic gene expression of murine Ptf1a, which encodes pancreas-specific transcription factor 1A, due to the insertion of a retrotansposon in its 5' regulatory domain. In order to investigate the possible involvement of this gene in human VATER/VACTERL association and human neural tube defects (NTDs), a sequence analysis was performed. DNA samples from 103 patients with VATER/VACTERL and VATER/VACTERL‑like association, all presenting with anorectal malformations, and 72 fetuses with NTDs, where termination of pregnancy had been performed, were included in the current study. The complete PTF1A coding region, splice sites and 1.5 kb of the 5' flanking promotor region was sequenced. However, no pathogenic alterations were detected. The results of the present study do not support the hypothesis that high penetrant mutations in these regions of PTF1A are involved in the development of human VATER/VACTERL association or NTDs, although rare mutations may be detectable in larger patient samples.

  11. C677T polymorphism of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene does not affect folic acid, vitamin B12, and homocysteine serum levels in Turkish children with neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Erdogan, M O; Yildiz, S H; Solak, M; Eser, O; Cosar, E; Eser, B; Koken, R; Buyukbas, S

    2010-06-22

    Association between neural tube defects (NTDs) and C677T polymorphism of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene was suspected, because the MTHFR gene codes for a key enzyme in folate metabolism. Its deficiency usually leads to significant reductions in plasma concentrations of folate, vitamin B(12) and methionine, whereas homocysteine levels are increased. We examined folate, vitamin B(12) and homocysteine serum concentrations and polymorphism of the C677T MTHFR gene in Turkish children with neural tube defects. Thirty-three children with NTDs, 26 mothers and 48 healthy individuals were studied. C677T MTHFR polymorphism was determined by melting curve analyses (LightCycler). The levels of folate, vitamin B(12) and homocysteine serum concentrations in NTDs were evaluated and compared, along with information concerning alleles of the MTHFR gene. C677T allele frequencies in NTD children and their mothers were similar to those found in controls. Serum folate and vitamin B(12) concentrations were significantly higher in NTD children than that of controls. Serum homocysteine concentrations were not significantly higher in NTD children and mothers. We concluded that C677T MTHFR gene polymorphism does not affect folic acid, vitamin B(12) and homocysteine metabolism in Turkish children with NTDs. C677T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene cannot be regarded as a major risk factor for NTDs in Turkish children.

  12. Prevalence of cystathionine beta synthase gene mutation 852Ins68 as a possible risk for neural tube defects in eastern India.

    PubMed

    Saxena, A K; Gupta, J; Pandey, S; Gangopadhaya, A N; Pandey, L K

    2011-10-07

    Cystathionine beta synthase gene (CβS) catalyzes the condensation of homocysteine with serine, forming cystathionine by the transsulfuration pathway. Disruption of CβS enzyme activity due to defective folic acid metabolism increases the risk factor for neural tube defects. We evaluated the CβS gene mutation in 25 children with neural tube defects (NTDs), including lumbosacral and thoracic myelomeningocele and open NTDs and mothers of cases, along with 25 healthy children and their mothers, serving as controls. Genomic DNA was isolated to assess the polymorphism of 852Ins68 in the CβS gene using PCR-RFLP analysis and nucleotide sequencing techniques. The 68-bp insertion was observed in one of the 25 NTD cases (lumbosacral myelomeningocele), and in two of the mothers of NTD cases. Statistical analysis was carried out using the Fischer exact probability test, which showed a lack of significance (P > 0.05), but the odds ratio of 2.08 with 95% confidence interval of 0.17-24.6 in NTDs mother was quite high because of the small sample size. However, the study was further extended to find out the involvement of specific nucleotide sequences, which again confirmed the 852Ins68 insertion and replacement of nucleotides (TCCAT to GGGG) in lumbosacral myelomeningocele (due to other category of NTDs), suggesting that it could be an independent risk factor for birth defects, including NTDs.

  13. Frizzled 1 and frizzled 2 genes function in palate, ventricular septum and neural tube closure: general implications for tissue fusion processes

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Huimin; Smallwood, Philip M.; Wang, Yanshu; Vidaltamayo, Roman; Reed, Randall; Nathans, Jeremy

    2010-01-01

    The closure of an open anatomical structure by the directed growth and fusion of two tissue masses is a recurrent theme in mammalian embryology, and this process plays an integral role in the development of the palate, ventricular septum, neural tube, urethra, diaphragm and eye. In mice, targeted mutations of the genes encoding frizzled 1 (Fz1) and frizzled 2 (Fz2) show that these highly homologous integral membrane receptors play an essential and partially redundant role in closure of the palate and ventricular septum, and in the correct positioning of the cardiac outflow tract. When combined with a mutant allele of the planar cell polarity gene Vangl2 (Vangl2Lp), Fz1 and/or Fz2 mutations also cause defects in neural tube closure and misorientation of inner ear sensory hair cells. These observations indicate that frizzled signaling is involved in diverse tissue closure processes, defects in which account for some of the most common congenital anomalies in humans. PMID:20940229

  14. Revised lineage of larval photoreceptor cells in Ciona reveals archetypal collaboration between neural tube and neural crest in sensory organ formation.

    PubMed

    Oonuma, Kouhei; Tanaka, Moeko; Nishitsuji, Koki; Kato, Yumiko; Shimai, Kotaro; Kusakabe, Takehiro G

    2016-12-01

    The Ciona intestinalis larva has two distinct photoreceptor organs, a conventional pigmented ocellus and a nonpigmented ocellus, that are asymmetrically situated in the brain. The ciliary photoreceptor cells of these ocelli resemble visual cells of the vertebrate retina. Precise elucidation of the lineage of the photoreceptor cells will be key to understanding the developmental mechanisms of these cells as well as the evolutionary relationships between the photoreceptor organs of ascidians and vertebrates. Photoreceptor cells of the pigmented ocellus have been thought to develop from anterior animal (a-lineage) blastomeres, whereas the developmental origin of the nonpigmented ocellus has not been determined. Here, we show that the photoreceptor cells of both ocelli develop from the right anterior vegetal hemisphere: those of the pigmented ocellus from the right A9.14 cell and those of the nonpigmented ocellus from the right A9.16 cell. The pigmented ocellus is formed by a combination of two lineages of cells with distinct embryonic origins: the photoreceptor cells originate from a medial portion of the A-lineage neural plate, while the pigment cell originates from the lateral edge of the a-lineage neural plate. In light of the recently proposed close evolutionary relationship between the ocellus pigment cell of ascidians and the cephalic neural crest of vertebrates, the ascidian ocellus may represent a prototypic contribution of the neural crest to a cranial sensory organ.

  15. IRDL Cloning: A One-Tube, Zero-Background, Easy-to-Use, Directional Cloning Method Improves Throughput in Recombinant DNA Preparation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiancai; Xu, Ronghua; Liu, Aizhong

    2014-01-01

    Rapid and efficient construction of expression vectors and subsequent transformation are basic recombinant methods for the investigation of gene functionality. Although novel cloning methods have recently been developed, many laboratories worldwide continue to use traditional restriction digestion-ligation methods to construct expression vectors owing to financial constraints and the unavailability of appropriate vectors. We describe an improved restriction digestion-ligation (IRDL) cloning method that combines the advantage of directional cloning from double digestion-ligation with that of a low background observed by using a positive selection marker gene ccdB to facilitate digestion and ligation in a single tube. The IRDL cloning overcomes the time-consuming and laborious limits of traditional methods, thereby providing an easy-to-use, low-cost, and one-step strategy for directional cloning of target DNA fragments into an expression vector. As a proof-of-concept example, we developed two yeast vectors to demonstrate the feasibility and the flexibility of the IRDL cloning method. This method would provide an effective and easy-to-use system for gene cloning and functional genomics studies. PMID:25243603

  16. IRDL cloning: a one-tube, zero-background, easy-to-use, directional cloning method improves throughput in recombinant DNA preparation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiancai; Xu, Ronghua; Liu, Aizhong

    2014-01-01

    Rapid and efficient construction of expression vectors and subsequent transformation are basic recombinant methods for the investigation of gene functionality. Although novel cloning methods have recently been developed, many laboratories worldwide continue to use traditional restriction digestion-ligation methods to construct expression vectors owing to financial constraints and the unavailability of appropriate vectors. We describe an improved restriction digestion-ligation (IRDL) cloning method that combines the advantage of directional cloning from double digestion-ligation with that of a low background observed by using a positive selection marker gene ccdB to facilitate digestion and ligation in a single tube. The IRDL cloning overcomes the time-consuming and laborious limits of traditional methods, thereby providing an easy-to-use, low-cost, and one-step strategy for directional cloning of target DNA fragments into an expression vector. As a proof-of-concept example, we developed two yeast vectors to demonstrate the feasibility and the flexibility of the IRDL cloning method. This method would provide an effective and easy-to-use system for gene cloning and functional genomics studies.

  17. Comparison of rabbit facial nerve regeneration in nerve growth factor-containing silicone tubes to that in autologous neural grafts.

    PubMed

    Spector, J G; Lee, P; Derby, A; Roufa, D G

    1995-11-01

    Previous reports suggest that nerve growth factor (NGF) enhanced nerve regeneration in rabbit facial nerves. We compared rabbit facial nerve regeneration in 10-mm silicone tubes prefilled with NGF or cytochrome C (Cyt C), bridging an 8-mm nerve gap, to regeneration of 8-mm autologous nerve grafts. Three weeks following implantation, NGF-treated regenerates exhibited a more mature fascicular organization and more extensive neovascularization than Cyt C-treated controls. Morphometric analysis at the middle of the tube of 3- and 5-week regenerates revealed no significant difference in the mean number of myelinated or unmyelinated axons between NGF- and Cyt C-treated implants. However, when the numbers of myelinated fibers in 5-week regenerates were compared to those in their respective preoperative controls, NGF-treated regenerates had recovered a significantly greater percentage of myelinated axons than Cyt C-treated implants (46% versus 18%, respectively). The number of regenerating myelinated axons in the autologous nerve grafts at 5 weeks was significantly greater than the number of myelinated axons in the silicone tubes. However, in the nerve grafts the majority of the axons were found in the extrafascicular connective tissue (66%). The majority of these myelinated fibers did not find their way into the distal nerve stump. Thus, although the number of regenerating myelinated axons within the nerve grafts is greater than that of axons within silicone tube implants, functional recovery of autologous nerve graft repairs may not be superior to that of intubational repairs.

  18. Ethanol-induced impairment of polyamine homeostasis – A potential cause of neural tube defect and intrauterine growth restriction in fetal alcohol syndrome

    SciTech Connect

    Haghighi Poodeh, Saeid; Alhonen, Leena; Salonurmi, Tuire; Savolainen, Markku J.

    2014-03-28

    Highlights: • Polyamine pools in embryonic and extraembryonic tissues are developmentally regulated. • Alcohol administration perturbs polyamine levels in the tissues with various patterns. • Total absence of polyamines in the embryo head at 9.5 dpc is critical for development. • The deficiency is associated with reduction in endothelial cell sprouting in the head. • Retarded migration of neural crest cells may cause development of neural tube defect. - Abstract: Introduction: Polyamines play a fundamental role during embryogenesis by regulating cell growth and proliferation and by interacting with RNA, DNA and protein. The polyamine pools are regulated by metabolism and uptake from exogenous sources. The use of certain inhibitors of polyamine synthesis causes similar defects to those seen in alcohol exposure e.g. retarded embryo growth and endothelial cell sprouting. Methods: CD-1 mice received two intraperitoneal injections of 3 g/kg ethanol at 4 h intervals 8.75 days post coitum (dpc). The fetal head, trunk, yolk sac and placenta were collected at 9.5 and 12.5 dpc and polyamine concentrations were determined. Results: No measurable quantity of polyamines could be detected in the embryo head at 9.5 dpc, 12 h after ethanol exposure. Putrescine was not detectable in the trunk of the embryo at that time, whereas polyamines in yolk sac and placenta were at control level. Polyamine deficiency was associated with slow cell growth, reduction in endothelial cell sprouting, an altered pattern of blood vessel network formation and consequently retarded migration of neural crest cells and growth restriction. Discussion: Our results indicate that the polyamine pools in embryonic and extraembryonic tissues are developmentally regulated. Alcohol administration, at the critical stage, perturbs polyamine levels with various patterns, depending on the tissue and its developmental stage. The total absence of polyamines in the embryo head at 9.5 dpc may explain why this

  19. Detailed expression profile of all six Glypicans and their modifying enzyme Notum during chick embryogenesis and their role in dorsal-ventral patterning of the neural tube.

    PubMed

    Saad, Kawakeb; Otto, Anthony; Theis, Susanne; Kennerley, Niki; Munsterberg, Andrea; Luke, Graham; Patel, Ketan

    2017-04-20

    Vertebrate development is orchestrated by secreted signalling molecules that regulate cell behaviour and cell fate decisions during early embryogenesis. The activity of key signalling molecules including members of Hedgehog, Bone Morphogenetic Proteins and Wnt families are regulated by Glypicans, a family of GPI linked polypeptides. Glypicans either promote or inhibit the action of signalling molecules and add a layer of complexity that needs to be understood in order to fully decipher the processes that regulate early vertebrate development. Here we present a detailed expression profile of all six Glypicans and their modifying enzyme Notum during chick embryogenesis. Our results strongly suggest that these proteins have many as yet undiscovered roles to play during early embryogenesis. Finally, we have taken an experimental approach to investigate their role during the patterning of a key embryonic structure - the neural tube. In particular, we show that over-expression of Notum leads to the dorsalisation of this structure.

  20. Primary prevention of neural-tube defects and some other congenital abnormalities by folic acid and multivitamins: history, missed opportunity and tasks.

    PubMed

    Czeizel, Andrew E; Bártfai, Zoltán; Bánhidy, Ferenc

    2011-08-01

    The history of intervention trials of periconception folic acid with multivitamin and folic acid supplementation in women has shown a recent breakthrough in the primary prevention of structural birth defects, namely neural-tube defects and some other congenital abnormalities. Recently, some studies have demonstrated the efficacy of this new method in reducing congenital abnormalities with specific origin; for example, in the offspring of diabetic and epileptic mothers, and in pregnancy with high fever. The benefits and drawbacks of four possible uses of periconception folate/folic acid and multivitamin supplementation are discussed: we believe there has been a missed opportunity to implement this preventive approach in medical practice. The four methods are as follows: (i) dietary intake of folate and other vitamins, (ii) periconception folic acid/multivitamin supplementation, (iii) food fortification with folic acid, and (iv) the combination of oral contraceptives with 6S-5-methytetrahydrofolate ('folate').

  1. Physical and transcriptional map of a 3-Mb region of mouse chromosome 1 containing the gene for the neural tube defect mutant loop-tail (Lp).

    PubMed

    Eddleston, J; Murdoch, J N; Copp, A J; Stanier, P

    1999-03-01

    The Lp mouse mutant provides a model for the severe human neural tube defect (NTD), cranio-rachischisis. To identify the Lp gene, a positional cloning approach has been adopted. Previously, linkage analysis in a large intraspecific backcross was used to map the Lp locus to distal mouse chromosome 1. Here we report a detailed physical map of this region. The interval surrounding Lp has been cloned in a yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) contig consisting of 63 clones spanning approximately 3.2 Mb. Fifty sequence tagged sites (STSs) have been used to construct the contig and establish marker order across the interval. Based on the high level of conserved synteny between distal mouse chromosome 1 and human 1q21-q24, many of these STSs were designed from expressed sequences identified by cross-screening human and mouse databases of expressed sequence tags. Added to other known genes in the region, a total of 29 genes were located and ordered within the contig. Seven novel polymorphisms were identified within the region, allowing refinement of the genetic map and a reduction in the size of the physical interval containing the Lp gene. The Lp interval, between D1Mit113 and Tagln2, can be spanned by two nonchimeric overlapping YACs that define a physical distance of approximately 1 Mb. Within this region, 10 potential candidate genes have been mapped. The materials and genes described here will provide a resource for the identification and further study of the mutated Lp gene that causes this severe neural tube defect and will provide candidates for other defects known to map to the homologous region on human chromosome 1q.

  2. Neural tube defects on the Texas-Mexico border: what we've learned in the 20 years since the Brownsville cluster.

    PubMed

    Suarez, Lucina; Felkner, Marilyn; Brender, Jean D; Canfield, Mark; Zhu, Huiping; Hendricks, Katherine A

    2012-11-01

    We reviewed the published findings from the Texas Neural Tube Defect Project, a 6-year case-control study (1995-2000) of neural tube defects (NTDs) on the Texas-Mexico border. In this review, we highlight what was learned about environmental, genetic, and nutritional factors (i.e., those related to the folate and other metabolic pathways) and the novel putative risk factors that emerged from this study of Mexican American women living on the Texas-Mexico border. Our investigations of the micronutrients and metabolic pathways involved confirmed the findings of other researchers that increased folate intake has a protective effect and that low serum B(12) , high serum homocysteine levels, and obesity independently contribute to risk. Studies of this population also have implicated hyperinsulinemia and low ferritin, metabolic risk factors, which require additional study to elucidate their physiologic mechanism. Environmental contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which were of community concern, did little to explain NTD risk. Studies in this folic acid deficit-population also revealed several novel risk factors, namely, diarrhea, stress, fumonisins, and the combination of nitrosatable drug exposure with high nitrate/nitrite intake. In conclusion, the 23 studies among the Mexican American women living along the Texas-Mexico border have demonstrated the multifactorial nature of NTDs and that a population deficient in folic acid will be vulnerable to a variety of insults whether brought on by individual behaviors (e.g., obesity) or through the surrounding environment (e.g., fumonisins). Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Maternal PCMT1 gene polymorphisms and the risk of neural tube defects in a Chinese population of Lvliang high-risk area.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Huizhi; Wang, Fang; Wang, Jianhua; Xie, Hua; Guo, Jin; Liu, Chi; Wang, Li; Lu, Xiaolin; Bao, Yihua; Wang, Guoliang; Zhong, Rugang; Niu, Bo; Zhang, Ting

    2012-09-01

    Protein-L-isoaspartate (D-aspartate) O-methyltransferase 1 (PCMT1) gene encodes for the protein repair enzyme L-isoaspartate (D-aspartate) O-methyltransferase (PIMT), which is known to protect certain neural cells from Bax-induced apoptosis. Previous study has shown that PCMT1 polymorphisms rs4552 and rs4816 of infant are associated with spina bifida in the Californian population. The association between maternal polymorphism and neural tube defects is still uncovered. A case-control study was conducted to investigate a possible association between maternal PCMT1 and NTDs in Lvliang high-risk area of Shanxi Province in China, using a high-resolution DNA melting analysis genotyping method. We found that increased risk for anencephaly in isolated NTDs compared with the normal control group was observed for the G (vs. A) allele (p=0.034, OR=1.896, 95% CI, 1.04-3.45) and genotypes GG+GA (p=0.025, OR=2.237, 95% CI, 1.09-4.57). Although the significance was lost after multiple comparison correction, the results implied that maternal polymorphisms in PCMT1 might be a potential genetic risk factor for isolated anencephaly in this Chinese population.

  4. Generation and characterization of a novel neural crest marker allele, Inka1-LacZ, reveals a role for Inka1 in mouse neural tube closure

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Bethany S.; Sargent, Thomas D.; Williams, Trevor

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies identified Inka1 as a gene regulated by AP-2α in the neural crest required for craniofacial morphogenesis in fish and frog. Here, we extend the analysis of Inka1 function and regulation to the mouse by generating a LacZ knock-in allele. Inka1-LacZ allele expression occurs in the cephalic mesenchyme, heart, and paraxial mesoderm prior to E8.5. Subsequently, expression is observed in the migratory neural crest cells and their derivatives. Consistent with expression of Inka1 in tissues of the developing head during neurulation, a low percentage of Inka1−/− mice show exencephaly while the remainder are viable and fertile. Further studies indicate that AP-2α is not required for Inka1 expression in the mouse, and suggest that there is no significant genetic interaction between these two factors during embryogenesis. Together, these data demonstrate that while the expression domain of Inka1 is conserved among vertebrates, its function and regulation are not. PMID:20175189

  5. The posterior neural plate in axolotl gives rise to neural tube or turns anteriorly to form somites of the tail and posterior trunk.

    PubMed

    Taniguchi, Yuka; Kurth, Thomas; Weiche, Susanne; Reichelt, Saskia; Tazaki, Akira; Perike, Srikanth; Kappert, Verena; Epperlein, Hans-Henning

    2017-02-15

    Classical grafting experiments in the Mexican axolotl had shown that the posterior neural plate of the neurula is no specified neuroectoderm but gives rise to somites of the tail and posterior trunk. The bipotentiality of this region with neuromesodermal progenitor cell populations was revealed more recently also in zebrafish, chick, and mouse. We reinvestigated the potency of the posterior plate in axolotl using grafts from transgenic embryos, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization. The posterior plate is brachyury-positive except for its more anterior parts which express sox2. Between anterior and posterior regions of the posterior plate a small domain with sox2+ and bra+ cells exists. Lineage analysis of grafted GFP-labeled posterior plate tissue revealed that posterior GFP+ cells move from dorsal to ventral, form the posterior wall, turn anterior bilaterally, and join the gastrulated paraxial presomitic mesoderm. More anterior sox2+/GFP+ cells, however, are integrated into the developing spinal cord. Tail notochord is formed from axial mesoderm involuted already during gastrulation. Thus the posterior neural plate is a postgastrula source of paraxial mesoderm, which performs an anterior turn, a novel morphogenetic movement. More anterior plate cells, in contrast, do not turn anteriorly but become specified to form tail spinal cord.

  6. The roof plate boundary is a bi-directional organiser of dorsal neural tube and choroid plexus development.

    PubMed

    Broom, Emma R; Gilthorpe, Jonathan D; Butts, Thomas; Campo-Paysaa, Florent; Wingate, Richard J T

    2012-11-01

    The roof plate is a signalling centre positioned at the dorsal midline of the central nervous system and generates dorsalising morphogenic signals along the length of the neuraxis. Within cranial ventricles, the roof plate gives rise to choroid plexus, which regulates the internal environment of the developing and adult brain and spinal cord via the secretion of cerebrospinal fluid. Using the fourth ventricle as our model, we show that the organiser properties of the roof plate are determined by its boundaries with the adjacent neuroepithelium. Through a combination of in ovo transplantation, co-culture and electroporation techniques in chick embryos between embryonic days 3 and 6, we demonstrate that organiser properties are maintained by interactions between the non-neural roof plate and the neural rhombic lip. At the molecular level, this interaction is mediated by Delta-Notch signalling and upregulation of the chick homologue of Hes1: chairy2. Gain- and loss-of-function approaches reveal that cdelta1 is both necessary and sufficient for organiser function. Our results also demonstrate that while chairy2 is specifically required for the maintenance of the organiser, its ectopic expression is not sufficient to recapitulate organiser properties. Expression of atonal1 in the rhombic lip adjacent at the roof plate boundary is acutely dependent on both boundary cell interactions and Delta-Notch signalling. Correspondingly, the roof plate boundary organiser also signals to the roof plate itself to specify the expression of early choroid plexus markers. Thus, the roof plate boundary organiser signals bi-directionally to acutely coordinate the development of adjacent neural and non-neural tissues.

  7. Neural Segregation of Concurrent Speech: Effects of Background Noise and Reverberation on Auditory Scene Analysis in the Ventral Cochlear Nucleus.

    PubMed

    Sayles, Mark; Stasiak, Arkadiusz; Winter, Ian M

    2016-01-01

    Concurrent complex sounds (e.g., two voices speaking at once) are perceptually disentangled into separate "auditory objects". This neural processing often occurs in the presence of acoustic-signal distortions from noise and reverberation (e.g., in a busy restaurant). A difference in periodicity between sounds is a strong segregation cue under quiet, anechoic conditions. However, noise and reverberation exert differential effects on speech intelligibility under "cocktail-party" listening conditions. Previous neurophysiological studies have concentrated on understanding auditory scene analysis under ideal listening conditions. Here, we examine the effects of noise and reverberation on periodicity-based neural segregation of concurrent vowels /a/ and /i/, in the responses of single units in the guinea-pig ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN): the first processing station of the auditory brain stem. In line with human psychoacoustic data, we find reverberation significantly impairs segregation when vowels have an intonated pitch contour, but not when they are spoken on a monotone. In contrast, noise impairs segregation independent of intonation pattern. These results are informative for models of speech processing under ecologically valid listening conditions, where noise and reverberation abound.

  8. Human amniotic fluid-derived mesenchymal cells from fetuses with a neural tube defect do not deposit collagen type i protein after TGF-β1 stimulation in vitro.

    PubMed

    Hosper, Nynke A; Bank, Ruud A; van den Berg, Paul P

    2014-03-01

    In spina bifida, the neural tube fails to close during the embryonic period. Exposure of the neural tube to the amniotic fluid during pregnancy causes additional neural damage. Intrauterine tissue engineering using a biomaterial seeded with stem cells might prevent this additional damage. For this purpose, autologous cells from the amniotic fluid are an attractive source. To close the defect, it is important that these cells deposit an extracellular matrix. However, it is not known if amniotic fluid mesenchymal cells (AFMCs) from a fetus with a neural tube defect (NTD) share the same characteristics as AFMCs from a healthy fetus. We found that cells derived from fetuses with a NTD, in contrast to healthy human amniotic fluid cells, did not deposit collagen type I. Furthermore, the NTD cells showed, compared with both healthy amniotic fluid cells and fetal fibroblasts, much lower mRNA expression levels of genes that are involved in collagen biosynthesis [procollagen C-endopeptidase enhancer proteins (PCOLCE), PCOLCE2, ADAM metallopeptidase with thrombospondin type 1 motif, 2 (ADAMTS2), ADAMTS14]. This indicates that NTD-AFMCs have different characteristics compared with healthy AFMCs and might not be suitable for fetal therapy to close the defect in spina bifida patients.

  9. Folic acid and soybean isoflavone combined supplementation protects the post-neural tube closure defects of rodents induced by cyclophosphamide in vivo and in vitro.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Haifeng; Liang, Jiang; Li, Xuemin; Yu, Huanling; Li, Xiuhua; Xiao, Rong

    2010-03-01

    To evaluate the neuroprotective effect of folic acid (FA) and soybean isoflavone (SIF) combined supplementation on the post-neural tube closure of rodents induced by cyclophosphamide (CPA) in vitro and in vivo, pregnant rats were randomly divided into control, model, solo-FA intervention, solo-SIF intervention and co-intervention of FA and SIF groups. Rats in solo-intervention groups and co-intervention group were treated with FA 0.7 mg/kg, SIF 160 mg/kg and FA 0.7 mg/kg+SIF 160 mg/kg at the duration of pregnancy, respectively. On the 13th day of gestation, control rats were given physiological saline and the other four groups were treated with CPA12.5mg/kg. On the 14th day of gestation, three rats selected randomly from every group were executed and the ultrastructure, DNA damage and the proteins expressions of Bcl-2, Bax and P53 on embryo brains were checked. The rest of the rats were executed on the 20th day, the frequency of neural tube closure defects and fetus' development indices were measured. In addition, T-SOD, MDA and NO in serum of the pregnant rats were checked. In vitro, the effect of FA and genistein on the apoptosis was determined. Compared with the model group, the malformation incidence was lower but fetus' development indices were higher in the combination treated group. The combination decreased the damage of CPA, such as damaged nuclear DNA, early apoptotic morphological changes, Bax and P53 expressions on embryo brains and in vivo. Furthermore, T-SOD activity in serum of the pregnant rats increased and the levels of MDA and NO decreased in the combined supplementation group. Our study indicates the neuroprotection of FA and SIF combined administration is superior to solo treatment. Decrease of DNA damage and neuron apoptosis involved in the mechanisms. Furthermore, the up-regulation of Bcl-2 and the down-regulation of Bax and P53 proteins also participate in the effect.

  10. A Background of a Volatile Plant Compound Alters Neural and Behavioral Responses to the Sex Pheromone Blend in a Moth.

    PubMed

    Dupuy, Fabienne; Rouyar, Angéla; Deisig, Nina; Bourgeois, Thomas; Limousin, Denis; Wycke, Marie-Anne; Anton, Sylvia; Renou, Michel

    2017-01-01

    Recognition of intra-specific olfactory signals within a complex environment of plant-related volatiles is crucial for reproduction in male moths. Sex pheromone information is detected by specific olfactory receptor neurons (Phe-ORNs), highly abundant on the male antenna. The information is then transmitted to the pheromone processing macroglomerular complex (MGC) within the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobe, where it is processed by local interneurons and projection neurons. Ultimately a behavioral response, orientation toward the pheromone source, is elicited. Volatile plant compounds (VPCs) are detected by other functional types of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) projecting in another area of the antennal lobe. However, Phe-ORNs also respond to some VPCs. Female-produced sex pheromones are emitted within a rich environment of VPCs, some of which have been shown to interfere with the detection and processing of sex pheromone information. As interference between the different odor sources might depend on the spatial and temporal features of the two types of stimuli, we investigated here behavioral and neuronal responses to a brief sex pheromone blend pulse in a VPC background as compared to a control background in the male noctuid moth Agrotis ipsilon. We observed male orientation behavior in a wind tunnel and recorded responses of Phe-ORNs and MGC neurons to a brief sex pheromone pulse within a background of individual VPCs. We also recorded the global input signal to the MGC using in vivo calcium imaging with the same stimulation protocol. We found that VPCs eliciting a response in Phe-ORNs and MGC neurons masked responses to the pheromone and decreased the contrast between background odor and the sex pheromone at both levels, whereas α-pinene did not interfere with first order processing. The calcium signal produced in response to a VPC background was tonic, lasting longer than the VPC stimulus duration, and masked entirely the pheromone response

  11. A Background of a Volatile Plant Compound Alters Neural and Behavioral Responses to the Sex Pheromone Blend in a Moth

    PubMed Central

    Dupuy, Fabienne; Rouyar, Angéla; Deisig, Nina; Bourgeois, Thomas; Limousin, Denis; Wycke, Marie-Anne; Anton, Sylvia; Renou, Michel

    2017-01-01

    Recognition of intra-specific olfactory signals within a complex environment of plant-related volatiles is crucial for reproduction in male moths. Sex pheromone information is detected by specific olfactory receptor neurons (Phe-ORNs), highly abundant on the male antenna. The information is then transmitted to the pheromone processing macroglomerular complex (MGC) within the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobe, where it is processed by local interneurons and projection neurons. Ultimately a behavioral response, orientation toward the pheromone source, is elicited. Volatile plant compounds (VPCs) are detected by other functional types of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) projecting in another area of the antennal lobe. However, Phe-ORNs also respond to some VPCs. Female-produced sex pheromones are emitted within a rich environment of VPCs, some of which have been shown to interfere with the detection and processing of sex pheromone information. As interference between the different odor sources might depend on the spatial and temporal features of the two types of stimuli, we investigated here behavioral and neuronal responses to a brief sex pheromone blend pulse in a VPC background as compared to a control background in the male noctuid moth Agrotis ipsilon. We observed male orientation behavior in a wind tunnel and recorded responses of Phe-ORNs and MGC neurons to a brief sex pheromone pulse within a background of individual VPCs. We also recorded the global input signal to the MGC using in vivo calcium imaging with the same stimulation protocol. We found that VPCs eliciting a response in Phe-ORNs and MGC neurons masked responses to the pheromone and decreased the contrast between background odor and the sex pheromone at both levels, whereas α-pinene did not interfere with first order processing. The calcium signal produced in response to a VPC background was tonic, lasting longer than the VPC stimulus duration, and masked entirely the pheromone response

  12. Use of high‐frequency ultrasound to study the prenatal development of cranial neural tube defects and hydrocephalus in Gldc‐deficient mice

    PubMed Central

    Autuori, Maria C.; Pai, Yun J.; Stuckey, Daniel J.; Savery, Dawn; Marconi, Anna M.; Massa, Valentina; Lythgoe, Mark F.; Copp, Andrew J.; David, Anna L.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Objective We used non‐invasive high‐frequency ultrasound (HFUS) imaging to investigate embryonic brain development in a mouse model for neural tube defects (NTDs) and non‐ketotic hyperglycinemia (NKH). Method Using HFUS, we imaged embryos carrying loss of function alleles of Gldc encoding glycine decarboxylase, a component of the glycine cleavage system in mitochondrial folate metabolism, which is known to be associated with cranial NTDs and NKH in humans. We serially examined the same litter during the second half of embryonic development and quantified cerebral structures. Genotype was confirmed using PCR. Histology was used to confirm ultrasound findings. Results High‐frequency ultrasound allowed in utero detection of two major brain abnormalities in Gldc‐deficient mouse embryos, cranial NTDs (exencephaly) and ventriculomegaly (corresponding with the previous finding of post‐natal hydrocephalus). Serial ultrasound allowed individual embryos to be analysed at successive gestational time points. From embryonic day 16.5 to 18.5, the lateral ventricle volume reduced in wild‐type and heterozygous embryos but increased in homozygous Gldc‐deficient embryos. Conclusion Exencephaly and ventriculomegaly were detectable by HFUS in homozygous Gldc‐deficient mouse embryos indicating this to be an effective tool to study CNS development. Longitudinal analysis of the same embryo allowed the prenatal onset and progression of ventricle enlargement in Gldc‐deficient mice to be determined. © 2017 The Authors. Prenatal Diagnosis published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:28056489

  13. Effects of Korean red ginseng extracts on neural tube defects and impairment of social interaction induced by prenatal exposure to valproic acid.

    PubMed

    Kim, Pitna; Park, Jin Hee; Kwon, Kyoung Ja; Kim, Ki Chan; Kim, Hee Jin; Lee, Jong Min; Kim, Hahn Young; Han, Seol-Heui; Shin, Chan Young

    2013-01-01

    Ginseng is one of the most widely used medicinal plants, which belongs to the genus Panax. Compared to uncured white ginseng, red ginseng has been generally regarded to produce superior pharmacological effects with lesser side/adverse effects, which made it popular in a variety of formulation from tea to oriental medicine. Using the prenatal valproic acid (VPA)-injection model of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in rats, which produces social impairrment and altered seizure susceptibility as in human ASD patients as well as mild neural tube defects like crooked tail phenotype, we examined whether chronic administration of red ginseng extract may rescue the social impairment and crooked tail phenotype in prenatally VPA-exposed rat offspring. VPA-induced impairment in social interactions tested using sociability and social preference paradigms as well as crooked tail phenotypes were significantly improved by administration of Korean red ginseng (KRG) in a dose dependent manner. Rat offspring prenatally exposed to VPA showed higher sensitivity to electric shock seizure and increased locomotor activity in open-field test. KRG treatment reversed abnormal locomotor activity and sensitivity to electric shock to control level. These results suggest that KRG may modulate neurobehavioral and structural organization of nervous system adversely affected by prenatal exposure to VPA.

  14. Indoor air pollution from coal combustion and the risk of neural tube defects in a rural population in Shanxi Province, China.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhiwen; Zhang, Le; Ye, Rongwei; Pei, Lijun; Liu, Jianmeng; Zheng, Xiaoying; Ren, Aiguo

    2011-08-15

    The authors evaluated indoor air pollution from coal combustion (IAPCC) as a potential risk factor for neural tube defects (NTDs) in a rural population in Shanxi Province, China. The studied rural population has both high IAPCC exposure and a high prevalence of NTDs. A population-based case-control study was used to identify 610 NTD cases and 837 normal controls between November 2002 and December 2007. Information was collected within 1 week following delivery or pregnancy termination due to prenatal NTD diagnosis. The authors derived an exposure index by integrating a series of IAPCC-related characteristics concerning dwelling and lifestyle. Compared with women with no IAPCC exposure, women with any exposure at all had a 60% increased risk of having a child with an NTD (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.6, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 2.1). An increased NTD risk was linked to both residential heating (adjusted OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.4) and cooking (adjusted OR = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 2.1). The risk increased with increases in the exposure index, showing a dose-response trend (P < 0.001). This is the first known study to link IAPCC to NTDs. Additional studies are needed to confirm the link between IAPCC and NTDs.

  15. Association of neural tube defects in children of mothers with MTHFR 677TT genotype and abnormal carbohydrate metabolism risk: a case-control study.

    PubMed

    Cadenas-Benitez, N M; Yanes-Sosa, F; Gonzalez-Meneses, A; Cerrillos, L; Acosta, D; Praena-Fernandez, J M; Neth, O; Gomez de Terreros, I; Ybot-González, P

    2014-03-26

    Abnormalities in maternal folate and carbohydrate metabolism have both been shown to induce neural tube defects (NTD) in humans and animal models. However, the relationship between these two factors in the development of NTDs remains unclear. Data from mothers of children with spina bifida seen at the Unidad de Espina Bífida del Hospital Infantil Virgen del Rocío (case group) were compared to mothers of healthy children with no NTD (control group) who were randomly selected from patients seen at the outpatient ward in the same hospital. There were 25 individuals in the case group and 41 in the control group. Analysis of genotypes for the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677CT polymorphism in women with or without risk factors for abnormal carbohydrate metabolism revealed that mothers who were homozygous for the MTHFR 677TT polymorphism and at risk of abnormal carbohydrate metabolism were more likely to have offspring with spina bifida and high levels of homocysteine, compared to the control group. The increased incidence of NTDs in mothers homozygous for the MTHFR 677TT polymorphism and at risk of abnormal carbohydrate metabolism stresses the need for careful metabolic screening in pregnant women, and, if necessary, determination of the MTHFR 677CT genotype in those mothers at risk of developing abnormal carbohydrate metabolism.

  16. Perinatal and Neonatal Outcomes of Patients Who Were Diagnosed with Neural Tube Defect in Midtrimester Fetal Ultrasound Scan and Refused Request for Termination of Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Eraslan, Sevil; Celik, Ebru; Simsek, Yavuz

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. In this study, we aimed to demonstrate the perinatal and neonatal outcomes of patients who were diagnosed with neural tube defect (NTD) in the midtrimester fetal ultrasound scan and refused the request for termination of pregnancy. Material and Methods. The records of 69 patients, for whom NTD was detected in the midtrimester fetal ultrasound scan and who preferred the continuation of the pregnancy after comprehensive counselling about the possible prognosis and treatment options during the period between January 2011 and February 2016, were reviewed retrospectively. Results. Of these patients, 66.7% were 25–35 years old; 95.7% were multiparous; and 1.4% had a history of a fetus having NTD in previous pregnancies. There were 7 (10.1%) neonatal deaths in these patients. Meningomyelocele closure procedure was the most performed surgery in the postnatal period (92%). Of these patients, 30.7% had paraplegia; 51.6% had neurogenic bladder; and 6.4% had infections due to surgery. Conclusion. The results of this study demonstrated perinatal and neonatal outcomes of fetuses with NTD who were not terminated by the preference of the family in midtrimester. The experience of our centre would be beneficial as a tool for nondirective counselling of these patients when considering the antenatal/postnatal care options and postnatal prognosis. PMID:27999804

  17. Perinatal and Neonatal Outcomes of Patients Who Were Diagnosed with Neural Tube Defect in Midtrimester Fetal Ultrasound Scan and Refused Request for Termination of Pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Melekoglu, Rauf; Eraslan, Sevil; Celik, Ebru; Simsek, Yavuz

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. In this study, we aimed to demonstrate the perinatal and neonatal outcomes of patients who were diagnosed with neural tube defect (NTD) in the midtrimester fetal ultrasound scan and refused the request for termination of pregnancy. Material and Methods. The records of 69 patients, for whom NTD was detected in the midtrimester fetal ultrasound scan and who preferred the continuation of the pregnancy after comprehensive counselling about the possible prognosis and treatment options during the period between January 2011 and February 2016, were reviewed retrospectively. Results. Of these patients, 66.7% were 25-35 years old; 95.7% were multiparous; and 1.4% had a history of a fetus having NTD in previous pregnancies. There were 7 (10.1%) neonatal deaths in these patients. Meningomyelocele closure procedure was the most performed surgery in the postnatal period (92%). Of these patients, 30.7% had paraplegia; 51.6% had neurogenic bladder; and 6.4% had infections due to surgery. Conclusion. The results of this study demonstrated perinatal and neonatal outcomes of fetuses with NTD who were not terminated by the preference of the family in midtrimester. The experience of our centre would be beneficial as a tool for nondirective counselling of these patients when considering the antenatal/postnatal care options and postnatal prognosis.

  18. Abnormal epigenetic regulation of the gene expression levels of Wnt2b and Wnt7b: Implications for neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Bai, Baoling; Chen, Shuyuan; Zhang, Qin; Jiang, Qian; Li, Huili

    2016-01-01

    The association between Wnt genes and neural tube defects (NTDs) is recognized, however, it remains to be fully elucidated. Our previous study demonstrated that epigenetic mechanisms are affected in human NTDs. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate whether Wnt2b and Wnt7b are susceptible to abnormal epigenetic modification in NTDs, using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays to evaluate histone enrichments and the MassARRAY platform to detect the methylation levels of target regions within Wnt genes. The results demonstrated that the transcriptional activities of Wnt2b and Wnt7b were abnormally upregulated in mouse fetuses with NTDs and, in the GC‑rich promoters of these genes, histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4) acetylation was enriched, whereas H3K27 trimethylation was reduced. Furthermore, several CpG sites in the altered histone modification of target regions were significantly hypomethylated. The present study also detected abnormal epigenetic modifications of these Wnt genes in human NTDs. In conclusion, the present study detected abnormal upregulation in the levels of Wnt2b and Wnt7b, and hypothesized that the alterations may be due to the ectopic opening of chromatin structure. These results improve understanding of the dysregulation of epigenetic modification of Wnt genes in NTDs.

  19. Epigenetic alterations in folate transport genes in placental tissue from fetuses with neural tube defects and in leukocytes from subjects with hyperhomocysteinemia.

    PubMed

    Farkas, Sanja A; Böttiger, Anna K; Isaksson, Helena S; Finnell, Richard H; Ren, Aiguo; Nilsson, Torbjörn K

    2013-03-01

    The objectives of this study were to identify tissue-specific differentially methylated regions (T-DMR's) in the folate transport genes in placental tissue compared with leukocytes, and from placental tissues obtained from normal infants or with neural tube defects (NTDs). Using pyrosequencing, we developed methylation assays for the CpG islands (CGIs) and the CGI shore regions of the folate receptor α (FOLR1), proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT) and reduced folate carrier 1 (RFC1) genes. The T-DMRs differed in location for each gene and the difference in methylation ranged between 2 and 54%. A higher T-DMR methylated fraction was associated with a lower mRNA level of the FOLR1 and RFC1 genes. Methylation fractions differed according to RFC1 80G > A genotype in the NTD cases and in leukocytes from subjects with high total plasma homocysteine (tHcy). There were no differences in methylated fraction of folate transporter genes between NTD cases and controls. We suggest that T-DMRs participate in the regulation of expression of the FOLR1 and RFC1 genes, that the RFC1 80G > A polymorphism exerts a gene-nutrition interaction on DNA methylation in the RFC1 gene, and that this interaction appears to be most prominent in NTD-affected births and in subjects with high tHcy concentrations.

  20. Sex difference in neural tube defects in p53-null mice is caused by differences in the complement of X not Y genes.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xuqi; Watkins, Rebecca; Delot, Emmanuele; Reliene, Ramune; Schiestl, Robert H; Burgoyne, Paul S; Arnold, Arthur P

    2008-02-01

    To shed light on the biological origins of sex differences in neural tube defects (NTDs), we examined Trp53-null C57BL/6 mouse embryos and neonates at 10.5 and 18.5 days post coitus (dpc) and at birth. We confirmed that female embryos show more NTDs than males. We also examined mice in which the testis-determining gene Sry is deleted from the Y chromosome but inserted onto an autosome as a transgene, producing XX and XY gonadal females and XX and XY gonadal males. At birth, Trp53 nullizygous mice were predominantly XY rather than XX, irrespective of gonadal type, showing that the sex difference in the lethal effect of Trp53 nullizygosity by postnatal day 1 is caused by differences in sex chromosome complement. At 10.5 dpc, the incidence of NTDs in Trp53-null progeny of XY* mice, among which the number of the X chromosomes varies independently of the presence or absence of a Y chromosome, was higher in mice with two copies of the X chromosome than in mice with a single copy. The presence of a Y chromosome had no protective effect, suggesting that sex differences in NTDs are caused by sex differences in the number of X chromosomes.

  1. Genetic effects on variation in red-blood-cell folate in adults: Implications for the familial aggregation of neural tube defects

    SciTech Connect

    Mitchell, L.E.; Duffy, P.; Bellingham, G.

    1997-02-01

    Recent studies have implicated folic acid as an important determinant of normal human growth, development, and function. Insufficient folate levels appear to be a risk factor for neural tube defects (NTD), as well as for several chronic diseases of adulthood. However, relatively little is known about the factors that influence folate status in the general population. To estimate the relative contribution of genetic and nongenetic factors to variation in folate, we have evaluated red blood cell (RBC) folate levels in 440 pairs of MZ twins and in 331 pairs of DZ twins. The data were best described by a model in which 46% of the variance in RBC folate was attributable to additive genetic effects, 16% of the variance was due to measured phenotypic covariates, and 38% of the variance was due to random environmental effects. Moreover, the correlations for RBC folate in MZ co-twins (r = .46) and in repeat measures from the same individual (r = .51) were very similar, indicating that virtually all repeatable variation in RBC folate is attributable to genetic factors. On the basis of these results, it would seem reasonable to initiate a search for the specific genes that influence RBC folate levels in the general population. Such genes ultimately may be used to identify individuals at increased risk for NTD and other folate-related diseases. 23 refs., 1 tab.

  2. Organochlorine Pesticide Levels in Maternal Serum and Risk of Neural Tube Defects in Offspring in Shanxi Province, China: A Case-Control Study

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bin; Yi, Deqing; Jin, Lei; Li, Zhiwen; Liu, Jufen; Zhang, Yali; Qiu, Xinghua; Liu, Wenxin; Tao, Shu; Ren, Aiguo

    2014-01-01

    Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in placental tissue have been reported to be associated with an increased risk for fetal neural tube defects (NTDs). Our case-control study was performed to explore the association between maternal serum OCP concentration and NTD risk in offspring. Serum samples were collected from 117 mothers who delivered NTD infants (case group) and 121 mothers who delivered healthy infants (control group). Only three of the 25 OCPs were detected in more than half of the maternal serum samples. The median concentration of total OCPs in the case group was significantly higher than that of the control group. However, no dose-response relationships between higher levels of any individual OCP or total OCPs and the risk of NTDs or subtypes were observed in either the unadjusted binary unconditional logistic regression model or the model adjusted by potential confounders. We conclude that no clear association between maternal serum OCP residues and NTD risk in offspring was observed in this population. PMID:24911776

  3. Tissue-Specific Methylation of Long Interspersed Nucleotide Element-1 of Homo Sapiens (L1Hs) During Human Embryogenesis and Roles in Neural Tube Defects.

    PubMed

    Wang, L; Chang, S; Guan, J; Shangguan, S; Lu, X; Wang, Z; Wu, L; Zou, J; Zhao, H; Bao, Y; Qiu, Z; Niu, B; Zhang, T

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation of long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposition events plays crucial roles during early development. Previously we showed that LINE-1 hypomethylation in neuronal tissues is associated with pathogenesis of neural tube defect (NTD). Herein, we further evaluated LINE-1 Homo sapiens (L1Hs) methylation in tissues derived from three germ layers of stillborn NTD fetuses, to define patterns of tissue specific methylation and site-specific hypomethylation at CpG sites within an L1Hs promoter region. Stable, tissue-specific L1Hs methylation patterns throughout three germ layer lineages of the fetus, placenta, and maternal peripheral blood were observed. Samples from maternal peripheral blood exhibited the highest level of L1Hs methylation (64.95%) and that from placenta showed the lowest (26.82%). Between samples from NTDs and controls, decrease in L1Hs methylation was only significant in NTD-affected brain tissue at 7.35%, especially in females (8.98%). L1Hs hypomethylation in NTDs was also associated with a significant increase in expression level of an L1Hs-encoded transcript in females (r = -0.846, p = 0.004). This could be due to genomic DNA instability and alternation in chromatins accessibility resulted from abnormal L1Hs hypomethylation, as showed in this study with HCT-15 cells treated with methylation inhibitor 5-Aza.

  4. Levels of PAH-DNA adducts in placental tissue and the risk of fetal neural tube defects in a Chinese population.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yue; Jin, Lei; Wang, Linlin; Li, Zhiwen; Zhang, Le; Zhu, Huiping; Finnell, Richard H; Zhou, Guodong; Ren, Aiguo

    2013-06-01

    We examined the relationship between PAH-DNA adduct levels in the placental tissue, measured by a highly sensitive (32)P-postlabeling assay, and the risk of fetal neural tube defects (NTDs). We further explored the interaction between PAH-DNA adducts and placental PAHs with respect to NTD risk. Placental tissues from 80 NTD-affected pregnancies and 50 uncomplicated normal pregnancies were included in this case-control study. Levels of PAH-DNA adducts were lower in the NTD group (8.12 per 10(8) nucleotides) compared to controls (9.92 per 10(8) nucleotides). PAH-DNA adduct concentrations below the median was associated with a 3-fold increased NTD risk. Women with a low PAH-DNA adduct level in concert with a high placental PAH level resulted in a 10-fold elevated risk of having an NTD-complicated pregnancy. A low level of placental PAH-DNA adducts was associated with an increased risk of NTDs; this risk increased dramatically when a low adduct level was coupled with a high placental PAH concentration.

  5. Tube support

    DOEpatents

    Mullinax, Jerry L.

    1988-01-01

    A tube support for supporting horizontal tubes from an inclined vertical support tube passing between the horizontal tubes. A support button is welded to the vertical support tube. Two clamping bars or plates, the lower edges of one bearing on the support button, are removably bolted to the inclined vertical tube. The clamping bars provide upper and lower surface support for the horizontal tubes.

  6. GMDH-type neural network modeling and genetic algorithm-based multi-objective optimization of thermal and friction characteristics in heat exchanger tubes with wire-rod bundles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahimi, Masoud; Beigzadeh, Reza; Parvizi, Mehdi; Eiamsa-ard, Smith

    2016-08-01

    The group method of data handling (GMDH) technique was used to predict heat transfer and friction characteristics in heat exchanger tubes equipped with wire-rod bundles. Nusselt number and friction factor were determined as functions of wire-rod bundle geometric parameters and Reynolds number. The performance of the developed GMDH-type neural networks was found to be superior in comparison with the proposed empirical correlations. For optimization, the genetic algorithm-based multi-objective optimization was applied.

  7. Pre-conception Folic Acid and Multivitamin Supplementation for the Primary and Secondary Prevention of Neural Tube Defects and Other Folic Acid-Sensitive Congenital Anomalies.

    PubMed

    Wilson, R Douglas; Wilson, R Douglas; Audibert, François; Brock, Jo-Ann; Carroll, June; Cartier, Lola; Gagnon, Alain; Johnson, Jo-Ann; Langlois, Sylvie; Murphy-Kaulbeck, Lynn; Okun, Nanette; Pastuck, Melanie; Deb-Rinker, Paromita; Dodds, Linda; Leon, Juan Andres; Lowel, Hélène L; Luo, Wei; MacFarlane, Amanda; McMillan, Rachel; Moore, Aideen; Mundle, William; O'Connor, Deborah; Ray, Joel; Van den Hof, Michiel

    2015-06-01

    Objectif : Offrir des renseignements à jour sur l’utilisation pré et postconceptionnelle d’acide folique par voie orale, avec ou sans supplément de multivitamines / micronutriments, aux fins de la prévention des anomalies du tube neural et d’autres anomalies congénitales. Ces renseignements aideront les médecins, les sages-femmes, les infirmières et les autres professionnels de la santé à contribuer aux efforts de sensibilisation des femmes quant à l’utilisation et aux posologies adéquates de la supplémentation en acide folique / multivitamines, avant et pendant la grossesse. Résultats : La littérature publiée a été récupérée par l’intermédiaire de recherches menées dans PubMed, Medline, CINAHL et la Cochrane Library en janvier 2011 au moyen d’un vocabulaire contrôlé et de mots clés appropriés (p. ex. « folic acid », « prenatal multivitamins », « folate sensitive birth defects », « congenital anomaly risk reduction », « pre-conception counselling »). Les résultats ont été restreints aux analyses systématiques, aux études observationnelles et aux essais comparatifs randomisés / essais cliniques comparatifs publiés en anglais entre 1985 et juin 2014. Les recherches ont été mises à jour de façon régulière et intégrées à la directive clinique jusqu’en juin 2014. La littérature grise (non publiée) a été identifiée par l’intermédiaire de recherches menées dans les sites Web d’organismes s’intéressant à l’évaluation des technologies dans le domaine de la santé et d’organismes connexes, dans des collections de directives cliniques, dans des registres d’essais cliniques, et auprès de sociétés de spécialité médicale nationales et internationales. Coûts, risques et avantages : Les coûts financiers sont ceux de la supplémentation quotidienne en vitamines et de la consommation d’un régime alimentaire santé enrichi en folate. Les risques sont ceux qui sont li

  8. Ear Tubes

    MedlinePlus

    ... Marketplace Find an ENT Doctor Near You Ear Tubes Ear Tubes Patient Health Information News media interested ... throat specialist) may be considered. What are ear tubes? Ear tubes are tiny cylinders placed through the ...

  9. Supplement use and other characteristics among pregnant women with a previous pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect - United States, 1997-2009.

    PubMed

    Arth, Annelise; Tinker, Sarah; Moore, Cynthia; Canfield, Mark; Agopian, Aj; Reefhuis, Jennita

    2015-01-16

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) include anomalies of the brain (anencephaly and encephalocele) and spine (spina bifida). Even with ongoing mandatory folic acid fortification of enriched cereal grain products, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women of childbearing potential consume a daily supplement containing 400 µg-800 µg of folic acid. Women with a prior NTD-affected pregnancy have an increased risk for having another NTD-affected pregnancy, and if they are planning another pregnancy, the recommendation is that they consume high-dosage folic acid supplements (4.0 mg/day) beginning ≥4 weeks before conception and continuing through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. To learn whether folic acid supplementation (from multivitamins or single- ingredient supplements) was commonly used during pregnancy by women with a previous NTD-affected pregnancy, supplement use was assessed among a convenience sample of women with a previous NTD-affected pregnancy who participated in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS), a case-control study of major birth defects in the United States. Characteristics of women who previously had an NTD-affected pregnancy and whose index pregnancy (pregnancy included in NBDPS) was either affected by an NTD (N = 17) (i.e., recurrence-cases) or resulted in a live-born infant without a major birth defect (N = 10) (i.e., recurrence-controls) were assessed. Taking a supplement that included folic acid was more common among recurrence-control mothers (80%) than recurrence-case mothers (35%). The recommendation that women should take folic acid supplements just before and during early pregnancy is not being followed by many women and offers an opportunity for NTD prevention, especially among women who are at a higher risk because they have had a previous pregnancy affected by an NTD.

  10. Elevated Nuclear and Cytoplasmic FTY720-Phosphate in Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts Suggests the Potential for Multiple Mechanisms in FTY720-Induced Neural Tube Defects.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Nicole M; Riley, Ronald T; Showker, Jency L; Voss, Kenneth A; Sachs, Andrew J; Maddox, Joyce R; Gelineau-van Waes, Janee B

    2016-03-01

    FTY720 (fingolimod) is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved drug to treat relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. FTY720 treatment in pregnant inbred LM/Bc mice results in approximately 60% of embryos having a neural tube defect (NTD). Sphingosine kinases (Sphk1, Sphk2) phosphorylate FTY720 in vivo to form the bioactive metabolite FTY720-1-phosphate (FTY720-P). Cytoplasmic FTY720-P is an agonist for 4 of the 5 sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors (S1P1, 3-5) and can also act as a functional antagonist of S1P1, whereas FTY720-P generated in the nucleus inhibits histone deacetylases (HDACs), leading to increased histone acetylation. This study demonstrates that treatment of LM/Bc mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) with FTY720 results in a significant accumulation of FTY720-P in both the cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments. Elevated nuclear FTY720-P is associated with decreased HDAC activity and increased histone acetylation at H3K18 and H3K23 in LM/Bc MEFs. Treatment of LM/Bc MEFs with FTY720 and a selective Sphk2 inhibitor, ABC294640, significantly reduces the amount of FTY720-P that accumulates in the nucleus. The data provide insight into the relative amounts of FTY720-P generated in the nuclear versus cytoplasmic subcellular compartments after FTY720 treatment and the specific Sphk isoforms involved. The results of this study suggest that FTY720-induced NTDs may involve multiple mechanisms, including: (1) sustained and/or altered S1P receptor activation and signaling by FTY720-P produced in the cytoplasm and (2) HDAC inhibition and histone hyperacetylation by FTY720-P generated in the nucleus that could lead to epigenetic changes in gene regulation.

  11. The "thermolabile" variant of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and neural tube defects: An evaluation of genetic risk and the relative importance of the genotypes of the embryo and the mother.

    PubMed Central

    Shields, D C; Kirke, P N; Mills, J L; Ramsbottom, D; Molloy, A M; Burke, H; Weir, D G; Scott, J M; Whitehead, A S

    1999-01-01

    Recent reports have implicated the "thermolabile" (T) variant of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) in the causation of folate-dependent neural tube defects (NTDs). We report herein the largest genetic study of NTD cases (n=271) and families (n=218) to date, establishing that, in Ireland, the "TT" genotype is found in 18.8% of cases versus 8.3% of controls (odds ratio 2.57; confidence interval [CI] 1.48-4.45; P=.0005). The maternal and paternal TT genotypes have intermediate frequencies of 13.8% and 11.9%, respectively, indicating that the predominant MTHFR-related genetic effect acts via the TT genotype of the developing embryo. Analysis of the 218 family triads of mother, father, and affected child with log-linear models supports this interpretation, providing significant evidence that the case TT genotype is associated with NTDs (P=.02) but no evidence of a maternal TT genotypic effect (P=. 83). The log-linear model predicted that the risk of NTDs conferred by the case TT genotype is 1.61 (CI 1.06-2.46), consistent with the paramount importance of the case TT genotype in determining risk. There is no compelling evidence for more than a modest additional risk conferred by a maternal TT genotype. These results favor a biological model of MTHFR-related NTD pathogenesis in which suboptimal maternal folate status imposes biochemical stress on the developing embryo, a stress it is ill-equipped to tolerate if it has a TT genotype. PMID:10090889

  12. Lack of association between the methylenetetrahydropholate reductase gene A1298C polymorphism and neural tube defects in a Turkish study group.

    PubMed

    Yildiz, S H; Ozdemir Erdogan, M; Solak, M; Eser, O; Arıkan Terzi, E S; Eser, B; Kocabaş, V; Aslan, A

    2016-06-03

    The etiology underlying neural tube defects (NTDs) is not fully understood and is believed to involve a complex milieu of genetic and environmental factors. The A1298C polymorphism in the methylenetetrahydropholate reductase gene (MTHFR) has been associated with mild risk for NTDs. In this study, the genotype distribution of the MTHFR gene A1298C polymorphism and the levels of serum homocysteine, vitamin B12, and folate were evaluated in 33 children with NTDs, their mothers, and 46 healthy controls. Genotyping of the A1298C polymorphism was performed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. The A and C allele frequencies in children with NTDs and their mothers were similar to controls (P = 0.160). The 1298AA and 1298CC genotype frequencies (P = 0.551 and 0.062, respectively) in children with NTDs and their mothers did not differ from controls. On the other hand, the 1298AC genotype frequencies in children with NTDs and their mothers were significantly different from controls (P = 0.025). The genotype frequency of 1298AC was lower in children with NTDs than in controls. There was no significant association between clinical distribution of NTDs and 1298AA/AC/CC genotypes (P > 0.05). Serum vitamin B12 levels were higher in children with NTDs than their mothers and controls (P = 0.001). There were no differences among serum homocysteine and folate levels in all groups (P = 0.494 and 0.141, respectively). Both genetic and nutritional factors are important in the etiology of NTDs. Thus, the A1298C polymorphism cannot be regarded as a major risk factor for NTDs.

  13. Evaluation of proton-coupled folate transporter (SLC46A1) polymorphisms as risk factors for neural tube defects and oral clefts.

    PubMed

    VanderMeer, Julia E; Carter, Tonia C; Pangilinan, Faith; Mitchell, Adam; Kurnat-Thoma, Emma; Kirke, Peadar N; Troendle, James F; Molloy, Anne M; Munger, Ronald G; Feldkamp, Marcia L; Mansilla, Maria A; Mills, James L; Murray, Jeff C; Brody, Lawrence C

    2016-04-01

    Many folate-related genes have been investigated for possible causal roles in neural tube defects (NTDs) and oral clefts. However, no previous reports have examined the major gene responsible for folate uptake, the proton-coupled folate transporter (SLC46A1). We tested for association between these birth defects and single nucleotide polymorphisms in the SLC46A1 gene. The NTD study population included 549 complete and incomplete case-family triads, and 999 controls from Ireland. The oral clefts study population comprised a sample from Utah (495 complete and incomplete case-family triads and 551 controls) and 221 Filipino multiplex cleft families. There was suggestive evidence of increased NTD case risk with the rs17719944 minor allele (odds ratio (OR): 1.29; 95% confidence intervals (CI): [1.00-1.67]), and decreased maternal risk of an NTD pregnancy with the rs4795436 minor allele (OR: 0.62; [0.39-0.99]). In the Utah sample, the rs739439 minor allele was associated with decreased case risk for cleft lip with cleft palate (genotype relative risk (GRR): 0.56 [0.32-0.98]). Additionally, the rs2239907 minor allele was associated with decreased case risk for cleft lip with cleft palate in several models, and with cleft palate only in a recessive model (OR: 0.41; [0.20-0.85]). These associations did not remain statistically significant after correcting for multiple hypothesis testing. Nominal associations between SLC46A1 polymorphisms and both Irish NTDs and oral clefts in the Utah population suggest some role in the etiology of these birth defects, but further investigation in other populations is needed.

  14. Gene-environment interactions in the causation of neural tube defects: folate deficiency increases susceptibility conferred by loss of Pax3 function.

    PubMed

    Burren, Katie A; Savery, Dawn; Massa, Valentina; Kok, Robert M; Scott, John M; Blom, Henk J; Copp, Andrew J; Greene, Nicholas D E

    2008-12-01

    Risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) is determined by genetic and environmental factors, among which folate status appears to play a key role. However, the precise nature of the link between low folate status and NTDs is poorly understood, and it remains unclear how folic acid prevents NTDs. We investigated the effect of folate level on risk of NTDs in splotch (Sp(2)(H)) mice, which carry a mutation in Pax3. Dietary folate restriction results in reduced maternal blood folate, elevated plasma homocysteine and reduced embryonic folate content. Folate deficiency does not cause NTDs in wild-type mice, but causes a significant increase in cranial NTDs among Sp(2)(H) embryos, demonstrating a gene-environment interaction. Control treatments, in which intermediate levels of folate are supplied, suggest that NTD risk is related to embryonic folate concentration, not maternal blood folate concentration. Notably, the effect of folate deficiency appears more deleterious in female embryos than males, since defects are not prevented by exogenous folic acid. Folate-deficient embryos exhibit developmental delay and growth retardation. However, folate content normalized to protein content is appropriate for developmental stage, suggesting that folate availability places a tight limit on growth and development. Folate-deficient embryos also exhibit a reduced ratio of s-adenosylmethionine (SAM) to s-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH). This could indicate inhibition of the methylation cycle, but we did not detect any diminution in global DNA methylation, in contrast to embryos in which the methylation cycle was specifically inhibited. Hence, folate deficiency increases the risk of NTDs in genetically predisposed splotch embryos, probably via embryonic growth retardation.

  15. The search for genetic polymorphisms in the homocysteine/folate pathway that contribute to the etiology of human neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Molloy, Anne M; Brody, Lawrence C; Mills, James L; Scott, John M; Kirke, Peadar N

    2009-04-01

    In this paper, we trace the history of current research into the genetic and biochemical mechanisms that underlie folate-preventable neural tube defects (NTDs). The inspired suggestion by Smithells that common vitamins might prevent NTDs ignited a decade of biochemical investigations-first exploring the nutritional and metabolic factors related to NTDs, then onto the hunt for NTD genes. Although NTDs were known to have a strong genetic component, the concept of common genetic variance being linked to disease risk was relatively novel in 1995, when the first folate-related polymorphism associated with NTDs was discovered. The realization that more genes must be involved started a rush to find polymorphic needles in genetic haystacks. Early efforts entailed the intellectually challenging and time-consuming task of identifying and analyzing candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in folate pathway genes. Luckily, human genome research has developed rapidly, and the search for the genetic factors that contribute to the etiology of human NTDs has evolved to mirror the increased level of knowledge and data available on the human genome. Large-scale candidate gene analysis and genome-wide association studies are now readily available. With the technical hurdles removed, the remaining challenge is to gather a sample large enough to uncover the polymorphisms that contribute to NTD risk. In some respects the real work is beginning. Although moving forward is exciting, it is humbling that the most important result-prevention of NTDs by maternal folic acid supplementation-was achieved years ago, the direct result of Smithells' groundbreaking studies.

  16. The C677T polymorphism of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene in Mexican mestizo neural-tube defect parents, control mestizo and native populations.

    PubMed

    Dávalos, I P; Olivares, N; Castillo, M T; Cantú, J M; Ibarra, B; Sandoval, L; Morán, M C; Gallegos, M P; Chakraborty, R; Rivas, F

    2000-01-01

    The C677T mutation of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene, associated with the thermolabile form of the enzyme, has reportedly been found to be increased in neural-tube defects (NTD), though this association is still unclear. A group of 107 mestizo parents of NTD children and five control populations: 101 mestizo (M), 50 Huichol (H), 38 Tarahumara (T), 21 Purepecha (P) and 20 Caucasian (C) individuals were typed for the MTHFR C677T variant by the PCR/RFLP (HinfI) method. Genotype frequencies were in agreement with the Hardy-Weinberg expectations in all six populations. Allele frequency (%) of the C677T variant was 45 in NTD, 44 in M, 56 in H, 36 in T, 57 in P, 35 in C. Pairwise inter-population comparisons of allele frequency disclosed a very similar distribution between NTD and M groups (exact test, P=0.92). Among controls, differences between M and individual native groups were NS (0.06

  17. Murine Dishevelled 3 Functions in Redundant Pathways with Dishevelled 1 and 2 in Normal Cardiac Outflow Tract, Cochlea, and Neural Tube Development

    PubMed Central

    Etheridge, S. Leah; Ray, Saugata; Li, Shuangding; Hamblet, Natasha S.; Lijam, Nardos; Tsang, Michael; Greer, Joy; Kardos, Natalie; Wang, Jianbo; Sussman, Daniel J.; Chen, Ping; Wynshaw-Boris, Anthony

    2008-01-01

    Dishevelled (Dvl) proteins are important signaling components of both the canonical β-catenin/Wnt pathway, which controls cell proliferation and patterning, and the planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, which coordinates cell polarity within a sheet of cells and also directs convergent extension cell (CE) movements that produce narrowing and elongation of the tissue. Three mammalian Dvl genes have been identified and the developmental roles of Dvl1 and Dvl2 were previously determined. Here, we identify the functions of Dvl3 in development and provide evidence of functional redundancy among the three murine Dvls. Dvl3 −/− mice died perinatally with cardiac outflow tract abnormalities, including double outlet right ventricle and persistent truncus arteriosis. These mutants also displayed a misorientated stereocilia in the organ of Corti, a phenotype that was enhanced with the additional loss of a single allele of the PCP component Vangl2/Ltap (LtapLp/+). Although neurulation appeared normal in both Dvl3 −/− and LtapLp/+ mutants, Dvl3 +/−;LtapLp/+ combined mutants displayed incomplete neural tube closure. Importantly, we show that many of the roles of Dvl3 are also shared by Dvl1 and Dvl2. More severe phenotypes were observed in Dvl3 mutants with the deficiency of another Dvl, and increasing Dvl dosage genetically with Dvl transgenes demonstrated the ability of Dvls to compensate for each other to enable normal development. Interestingly, global canonical Wnt signaling appeared largely unaffected in the double Dvl mutants, suggesting that low Dvl levels are sufficient for functional canonical Wnt signals. In summary, we demonstrate that Dvl3 is required for cardiac outflow tract development and describe its importance in the PCP pathway during neurulation and cochlea development. Finally, we establish several developmental processes in which the three Dvls are functionally redundant. PMID:19008950

  18. What Are Neural Tube Defects?

    MedlinePlus

    ... that can occur in the brain, spine, or spinal column of a developing embryo and are present at ... protect them, including the backbone (also called the spinal column or vertebra). As development progresses, the top of ...

  19. The levels of vitamın B12, folate and homocysteine in mothers and their babies with neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Peker, Erdal; Demir, Nihat; Tuncer, Oğuz; Üstyol, Lokman; Balahoroğlu, Ragıp; Kaba, Sultan; Karaman, Kamuran

    2016-09-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the serum levels of vitamin B12, folate, and homocysteine (Hcy) in mothers and their babies, and to assess the association between these levels and neural tube defect (NTD). The study group included 92 baby-mother pairs, where the babies had NTD, and the control group included 102 pairs, where the babies had no NTD, from May 2012 to May 2015. Plasma vitamin B12, folate, and Hcy levels of the babies and mothers were measured, and compared with each other. NTD was diagnosed in 2.6% of our babies. The vitamin B12 levels in the mothers and the babies in the study group were determined as 166.2 ± 63.7 pg/mL and 240.3 ± 120.3 pg/mL, and in the control group as 1 9 0 ± 80.2 pg/mL and 299.5 ± 151.4 pg/mL, respectively. There was a significant difference between the two groups in terms of both the mothers' and the babies' vitamin B12 levels (p = 0.024 and p = 0.003, respectively). The plasma folate levels of the mothers in the study group (5.2 ± 3 ng/mL) were significantly lower than control group (6.4 ± 4.3 ng/mL, p = 0.032).The plasma Hcy level of the mothers in the study group (9.3 ± 3.8 μmol/L) was significantly higher than the control group (7 ± 3.8 μmol/L, p < 0.001). High plasma Hcy levels and low plasma folate and vitamin B12 levels are risk factors for NTD. Our results show that the risk for NTD can be decreased by fortification of mothers-to-be, particularly in rural areas with folate and vitamin B12 deficiency, which would lower the plasma Hcy level.

  20. Understanding the increased risk of neural tube defect-affected pregnancies among Mexico-born women in California: immigration and anthropometric factors.

    PubMed

    Velie, Ellen M; Shaw, Gary M; Malcoe, Lorraine H; Schaffer, Donna M; Samuels, Steven J; Todoroff, Karen; Block, Gladys

    2006-05-01

    Mexico-born women in the United States have an unexplained twofold increased risk of neural tube defect (NTD)-affected pregnancies. We examined whether immigration characteristics were associated with the NTD risk and whether anthropometric factors contributed to the increased risk among Mexico-born women. Data were derived from a large population-based case-control study in California. In-person interviews were conducted with mothers of 538 (88% of eligible) NTD-affected fetuses/infants and mothers of 539 (88%) randomly selected non-malformed control infants. The crude odds ratio (OR) for NTDs among all Mexico-born women, women residing <2 years in the US, and women >16 years old at immigration compared with non-Hispanic white women was 2.4 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.8, 3.3], 7.2 [95% CI = 3.7, 14.0] and 3.0 [95% CI = 2.0, 4.4], respectively. Risk for second- or third-generation Mexican-Americans was similar to that of white women. The crude OR for all Mexico-born women was reduced from 2.4 to 2.0 [95% CI = 1.3, 3.0] and for those residing <2 years in the US from 8.4 to 7.1 [95% CI = 3.2, 15.3] after adjustment for maternal body mass index (BMI), height, compromised diet, diabetes, and other known risk factors. In term pregnancies, additional adjustment for pregnancy weight gain reduced the OR in all Mexico-born women and recent immigrants by 16% and 25%, respectively. Low pregnancy weight gain (<10 vs. 10-14 kg) was particularly associated with increased NTD risk among Mexico-born women (OR(ADJ) = 5.8; 95% CI = 2.1, 15.8). Findings indicate that recent Mexican immigrants have a sevenfold increased risk for NTDs. Maternal BMI and height contributed very little, and inadequate weight gain contributed modestly to the NTD risk disparity for Mexican immigrants.

  1. TUBE TESTER

    DOEpatents

    Gittings, H.T. Jr.; Kalbach, J.F.

    1958-01-14

    This patent relates to tube testing, and in particular describes a tube tester for automatic testing of a number of vacuum tubes while in service and as frequently as may be desired. In it broadest aspects the tube tester compares a particular tube with a standard tube tarough a difference amplifier. An unbalanced condition in the circuit of the latter produced by excessive deviation of the tube in its characteristics from standard actuates a switch mechanism stopping the testing cycle and indicating the defective tube.

  2. Mesoderm is required for coordinated cell movements within zebrafish neural plate in vivo

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Morphogenesis of the zebrafish neural tube requires the coordinated movement of many cells in both time and space. A good example of this is the movement of the cells in the zebrafish neural plate as they converge towards the dorsal midline before internalizing to form a neural keel. How these cells are regulated to ensure that they move together as a coherent tissue is unknown. Previous work in other systems has suggested that the underlying mesoderm may play a role in this process but this has not been shown directly in vivo. Results Here we analyze the roles of subjacent mesoderm in the coordination of neural cell movements during convergence of the zebrafish neural plate and neural keel formation. Live imaging demonstrates that the normal highly coordinated movements of neural plate cells are lost in the absence of underlying mesoderm and the movements of internalization and neural tube formation are severely disrupted. Despite this, neuroepithelial polarity develops in the abnormal neural primordium but the resulting tissue architecture is very disorganized. Conclusions We show that the movements of cells in the zebrafish neural plate are highly coordinated during the convergence and internalization movements of neurulation. Our results demonstrate that the underlying mesoderm is required for these coordinated cell movements in the zebrafish neural plate in vivo. PMID:24755297

  3. Spatial discrimination against background with different optical systems for collection of fluorescence in laser-excited atomic fluorescence spectrometry with a graphite tube electrothermal atomizer.

    PubMed

    Yuzefovsky, A I; Lonardo, R F; Michel, R G

    1995-07-01

    A single 90 degrees off-axis ellipsoidal mirror fragment was used in a dispersive detection system for electrothermal atomization laser-excited atomic fluorescence spectrometry. The performance of the new optical arrangement was compared with those of optical arrangements that employed a plane mirror in combination with biconvex or plano-convex lenses. All the optical arrangements collected fluorescence in a scheme called front surface illustration. BEAM-4, an optical ray tracing program, was used for calculations of spatial ray distributions and optical collection efficiency for the various optical configurations. Experimentally, the best collection efficiency was obtained by use of the ellipsoidal mirror, in qualitative agreement with simulations done by use of the BEAM-4 software. The best detection limit for cobalt with the new optical arrangement was 20 fg, which was a factor of 5 better than that obtained with conventional optical arrangements with otherwise the same instrumentation. The signal-to-background ratio and the fluorescence collection efficiency were also studied as a function of position of the optical components for the various optical arrangements. For both cobalt and phosphorus, the signal-to-background ratio with the new optical arrangement remained stable within 10-20% during +/- 8 mm shifts in the position of the detection system from the focal plane of the optics. Overall, the new optical arrangement offered high collection efficiency, excellent sensitivity, and facile optical alignment due to efficient spatial separation between the fluorescence signal and the background radiation. The advantages of the new optical arrangement were particularly important during measurements in the presence of high levels of blackbody radiation.

  4. Folic acid awareness and use among women with a history of a neural tube defect pregnancy--Texas, 2000-2001.

    PubMed

    Canfield, Mark A; Anderson, James L; Waller, D Kim; Palmer, Susan E; Kaye, Celia I

    2002-09-13

    The use of folic acid is a critical component in preventing birth defects. Health-care providers should take advantage of all health-care visits to counsel not only women at high risk (i.e., those with a history of having an infant with a neural tube defect [NTD]) but all women regarding the importance of folic acid use. A study conducted in Texas confirmed that white and Hispanic mothers were equally likely to recall receiving postpartum advice to use folic acid; however, Hispanic women were much less likely to use folic acid, compared with white women. This report covers data from May 2000 through November 2001. A study was conducted in Texas to determine whether women at high risk recall and follow recommendations to use folic acid. The study included 195 women at high risk and 223 control mothers who gave birth to infants without birth defects. These women participated in a telephone interview for a population-based case-control study of NTDs. Approximately 56.4% (110 of 195) of mothers who had infants affected by an NTD recalled receiving postpartum advice to use folic acid, compared with 25.6% (57 of 223) of control mothers (p < 0.01). Among nonpregnant case mothers, 54 (32.7%) of 165 reported regular use of supplements containing folic acid, and 53 (25.2%) of 210 nonpregnant control mothers reported this behavior (p = 0.11). Among case mothers, use of folic acid was significantly higher for whites (64.7%) versus Hispanics (16.5%) (p < 0.001); for women with some college education (57.1%) versus no college education (20.2%; p < 0.001); for women who were trying to get pregnant (66.7%) versus those using birth control (38.3%) or reporting using no contraceptive method (18.8%) (p = 0.001); and for women who reported receiving advice to use folic acid (40.9%) versus those who did not (22.2%; p = 0.01). Findings from this study support the need to implement NTD recurrence prevention activities in Texas. Data also identify a need for educational strategies in

  5. Feeding Tubes

    MedlinePlus

    ... Feeding Tubes Health Information Sheet Q & A with Experts Patient Stories Social Security Disability Application Process For Kids ... Feeding Tubes Health Information Sheet Q & A with Experts Patient Stories Social Security Disability Application Process For Kids ...

  6. Tracheostomy tubes.

    PubMed

    Hess, Dean R; Altobelli, Neila P

    2014-06-01

    Tracheostomy tubes are used to administer positive-pressure ventilation, to provide a patent airway, and to provide access to the lower respiratory tract for airway clearance. They are available in a variety of sizes and styles from several manufacturers. The dimensions of tracheostomy tubes are given by their inner diameter, outer diameter, length, and curvature. Differences in dimensions between tubes with the same inner diameter from different manufacturers are not commonly appreciated but may have important clinical implications. Tracheostomy tubes can be cuffed or uncuffed and may be fenestrated. Some tracheostomy tubes are designed with an inner cannula. It is important for clinicians caring for patients with a tracheostomy tube to appreciate the nuances of various tracheostomy tube designs and to select a tube that appropriately fits the patient. The optimal frequency of changing a chronic tracheostomy tube is controversial. Specialized teams may be useful in managing patients with a tracheostomy. Speech can be facilitated with a speaking valve in patients with a tracheostomy tube who are breathing spontaneously. In mechanically ventilated patients with a tracheostomy, a talking tracheostomy tube, a deflated cuff technique with a speaking valve, or a deflated cuff technique without a speaking valve can be used to facilitate speech.

  7. apo B gene knockout in mice results in embryonic lethality in homozygotes and neural tube defects, male infertility, and reduced HDL cholesterol ester and apo A-I transport rates in heterozygotes.

    PubMed Central

    Huang, L S; Voyiaziakis, E; Markenson, D F; Sokol, K A; Hayek, T; Breslow, J L

    1995-01-01

    apo B is a structural constituent of several classes of lipoprotein particles, including chylomicrons, VLDL, and LDL. To better understand the role of apo B in the body, we have used gene targeting in embryonic stem cells to create a null apo B allele in the mouse. Homozygous apo B deficiency led to embryonic lethality, with resorption of all embryos by gestational day 9. Heterozygotes showed an increased tendency to intrauterine death with some fetuses having incomplete neural tube closure and some live-born heterozygotes developing hydrocephalus. The majority of male heterozygotes were sterile, although the genitourinary system and sperm were grossly normal. Viable heterozygotes had normal triglycerides, but total, LDL, and HDL cholesterol levels were decreased by 37, 37, and 39%, respectively. Hepatic and intestinal apo B mRNA levels were decreased in heterozygotes, presumably contributing to the decreased LDL levels through decreased synthesis of apo B-containing lipoproteins. Kinetic studies indicated that heterozygotes had decreased transport rates of HDL cholesterol ester and apo A-I. As liver and intestinal apo A-I mRNA levels were unchanged, the mechanism for decreased apo A-I transport must be posttranscriptional. Heterozygotes also had normal cholesterol absorption and a normal response of the plasma lipoprotein pattern to chronic consumption of a high fat, high cholesterol, Western-type diet. In summary, we report a mouse model for apo B deficiency with several phenotypic features that were unexpected based on clinical studies of apo B-deficient humans, such as embryonic lethality in homozygotes and neural tube closure defects, male infertility, and a major defect in HDL production in heterozygotes. This model presents an opportunity to study the mechanisms underlying these phenotypic changes. Images PMID:7593600

  8. Feeding tube insertion - gastrostomy

    MedlinePlus

    ... tube insertion; G-tube insertion; PEG tube insertion; Stomach tube insertion; Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube insertion ... and down the esophagus, which leads to the stomach. After the endoscopy tube is inserted, the skin ...

  9. A human YAC transgene rescues craniofacial and neural tube development in PDGFRalpha knockout mice and uncovers a role for PDGFRalpha in prenatal lung growth.

    PubMed

    Sun, T; Jayatilake, D; Afink, G B; Ataliotis, P; Nistér, M; Richardson, W D; Smith, H K

    2000-11-01

    The platelet-derived growth factor alpha-receptor (PDGFRalpha) plays a vital role in the development of vertebrate embryos, since mice lacking PDGFRalpha die in mid-gestation. PDGFRalpha is expressed in several types of migratory progenitor cells in the embryo including cranial neural crest cells, lung smooth muscle progenitors and oligodendrocyte progenitors. To study PDGFRalpha gene regulation and function during development, we generated transgenic mice by pronuclear injection of a 380 kb yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) containing the human PDGFRalpha gene. The YAC transgene was expressed in neural crest cells, rescued the profound craniofacial abnormalities and spina bifida observed in PDGFRalpha knockout mice and prolonged survival until birth. The ultimate cause of death was respiratory failure due to a defect in lung growth, stemming from failure of the transgene to be expressed correctly in lung smooth muscle progenitors. However, the YAC transgene was expressed faithfully in oligodendrocyte progenitors, which was not previously observed with plasmid-based transgenes containing only upstream PDGFRalpha control sequences. Our data illustrate the complexity of PDGFRalpha genetic control, provide clues to the location of critical regulatory elements and reveal a requirement for PDGF signalling in prenatal lung growth, which is distinct from the known requirement in postnatal alveogenesis. In addition, we found that the YAC transgene did not prolong survival of Patch mutant mice, indicating that genetic defects outside the PDGFRalpha locus contribute to the early embryonic lethality of Patch mice.

  10. Gastrostomy Tube (G-Tube)

    MedlinePlus

    ... warmth at the tube site; discharge that's yellow, green, or foul-smelling; fever) excessive bleeding or drainage from the tube site severe abdominal pain persistent vomiting or diarrhea trouble passing gas or having a bowel movement pink-red tissue (called granulation tissue) coming out ...

  11. Protective tubes for sodium heated water tubes

    DOEpatents

    Essebaggers, Jan

    1979-01-01

    A heat exchanger in which water tubes are heated by liquid sodium which minimizes the results of accidental contact between the water and the sodium caused by failure of one or more of the water tubes. A cylindrical protective tube envelopes each water tube and the sodium flows axially in the annular spaces between the protective tubes and the water tubes.

  12. Smad6 promotes neuronal differentiation in the intermediate zone of the dorsal neural tube by inhibition of the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhihui; Chen, Yongfeng; Li, Zhenfei; Bai, Ge; Zhu, Yue; Yan, Rui; Tan, Fangzhi; Chen, Ye-Guang; Guillemot, Francois; Li, Lin; Jing, Naihe

    2011-07-19

    Proliferation of the neural/neuronal progenitor cells (NPCs) at the ventricular zone of the dorsal spinal cord requires the stimuli of Wnt and bone morphogenic protein (BMP). However, how these two signaling pathways are regulated to initiate differentiation in the NPCs as they enter the intermediate zone is not known. Here, we show that Smad6, a negative regulator of BMP signaling, is expressed in the intermediate zone of the chick dorsal spinal cord. Knockdown experiments show that Smad6 is required for promoting NPCs to exit the cell cycle and differentiate into neurons. Although we find that Smad6 inhibits BMP signaling, as expected, we also find that Smad6 unexpectedly inhibits the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. The inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway by Smad6 is independent of its effect on the BMP pathway. Rather, Smad6 through its N-terminal domain and link region enhances the interaction of C-terminal binding protein with the β-catenin/T cell factor (TCF) complex and the TCF-binding element to inhibit β-catenin-mediated transcriptional activation. Our study provides evidence that transition of NPCs from a proliferative state to a differentiating state is controlled by the dual inhibitory role of Smad6 to both BMP and Wnt signaling at the level of transcription.

  13. Homocysteine-induced changes in cell proliferation and differentiation in the chick embryo spinal cord: implications for mechanisms of neural tube defects (NTD).

    PubMed

    Kobus-Bianchini, Karoline; Bourckhardt, Gilian Fernando; Ammar, Dib; Nazari, Evelise Maria; Müller, Yara Maria Rauh

    2017-02-24

    Maternal hyperhomocysteinemia during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of NTD in the offspring. Our study investigated the effects of homocysteine (Hcy) on proliferation and neuronal differentiation of the spinal cord cells in a chick embryo model. Embryos were treated with 20μmol D-L Hcy/50μL saline solution at embryonic day 2 (E2) and analyzed at embryonic days 4 (E4) and 6 (E6). Control embryos received exclusively 50μL saline solution. We performed immunolocalization and flow cytometry analyses using antibodies anti-phosphohistone H3 (pH3), anti-proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), anti-β-tubulin III and anti-p53. Our results revealed that Hcy interferes in the proliferation of the neural cells, and that this effect is age-dependent and differed between Hcy-treated embryos with and without NTD. Also, Hcy induced a decrease of neuronal differentiation in the spinal cord at both embryonic ages. These findings contribute to clarifying the cellular bases of NTD genesis, under experimental hiperhomocysteinemia.

  14. Food labeling: health claims and labeling statements; dietary fiber and cancer; antioxidant vitamins and cancer; omega-3 fatty acids and coronary heart disease; folate and neural tube defects; revocation. Food and Drug Administration, HHS. Final rule.

    PubMed

    2000-10-03

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is revoking its regulations codifying the agency's decision not to authorize the use of health claims for four substance-disease relationships in the labeling of foods, including dietary supplements: Dietary fiber and cancer, antioxidant vitamins and cancer, omega-3 fatty acids and coronary heart disease, and the claim that 0.8 milligram (mg) of folate in dietary supplement form is more effective in reducing the risk of neural tube defects than a lower amount in conventional food. This action is being taken in response to a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidating these regulations and directing FDA to reconsider whether to authorize the four health claims. This action will result in the removal of the regulations but does not constitute FDA authorization of the four claims. FDA is completing its reconsideration of the claims and expects to issue decisions on all four claims by October 10, 2000.

  15. Multiple tube premixing device

    DOEpatents

    Uhm, Jong Ho; Varatharajan, Balachandar; Ziminsky, Willy Steve; Kraemer, Gilbert Otto; Yilmaz, Ertan; Lacy, Benjamin; Stevenson, Christian; Felling, David

    2012-12-11

    The present application provides a premixer for a combustor. The premixer may include a fuel plenum with a number of fuel tubes and a burner tube with a number of air tubes. The fuel tubes extend about the air tubes.

  16. Multiple tube premixing device

    DOEpatents

    Uhm, Jong Ho; Naidu, Balachandar; Ziminksy, Willy Steve; Kraemer, Gilbert Otto; Yilmaz, Ertan; Lacy, Benjamin; Stevenson, Christian; Felling, David

    2013-08-13

    The present application provides a premixer for a combustor. The premixer may include a fuel plenum with a number of fuel tubes and a burner tube with a number of air tubes. The fuel tubes extend about the air tubes.

  17. Tube Feedings.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Nancy

    This module on tube feedings is intended for use in inservice or continuing education programs for persons who work in long-term care. Instructor information, including teaching suggestions and a listing of recommended audiovisual materials and their sources appear first. The module goal and objectives are then provided. A brief discussion follows…

  18. Folate status of reproductive age women and neural tube defect risk: the effect of long-term folic acid supplementation at doses of 140 µg and 400 µg per day.

    PubMed

    Hursthouse, Nicola A; Gray, Andrew R; Miller, Jody C; Rose, Meredith C; Houghton, Lisa A

    2011-01-01

    Primary prevention of most folate-responsive neural tube defects (NTDs) may not require 400 μg folic acid/day but may be achieved by attaining a high maternal folate status. Using RBC folate ≥906 nmol/L as a marker for NTD risk reduction, the study aimed to determine the change in blood folate concentrations in reproductive age women in response to long-term folic acid supplementation at 400 µg/day and 140 µg/day (dose designed to mimic the average daily folic acid intake received from New Zealand's proposed mandatory bread fortification program). Participants were randomly assigned to a daily folic acid supplement of 140 µg (n = 49), 400 µg (n = 48) or placebo (n = 47) for 40 weeks. RBC folate concentrations were measured at baseline, and after 6, 12, 29 and 40 weeks. At 40 weeks, the overall prevalence of having a RBC folate <906 nmol/L decreased to 18% and 35% in the 400 µg and 140 µg groups, respectively, while remaining relatively unchanged at 58% in the placebo group. After 40 weeks, there was no evidence of a difference in RBC folate between the two treatment groups (P = 0.340), nor was there evidence of a difference in the odds of a RBC folate <906 nmol/L (P = 0.078). In conclusion, the average daily intake of folic acid received from the proposed fortification program would increase RBC folate concentrations in reproductive age women to levels associated with a low risk of NTDs.

  19. Neutron tubes

    DOEpatents

    Leung, Ka-Ngo; Lou, Tak Pui; Reijonen, Jani

    2008-03-11

    A neutron tube or generator is based on a RF driven plasma ion source having a quartz or other chamber surrounded by an external RF antenna. A deuterium or mixed deuterium/tritium (or even just a tritium) plasma is generated in the chamber and D or D/T (or T) ions are extracted from the plasma. A neutron generating target is positioned so that the ion beam is incident thereon and loads the target. Incident ions cause D-D or D-T (or T-T) reactions which generate neutrons. Various embodiments differ primarily in size of the chamber and position and shape of the neutron generating target. Some neutron generators are small enough for implantation in the body. The target may be at the end of a catheter-like drift tube. The target may have a tapered or conical surface to increase target surface area.

  20. QUANTIZING TUBE

    DOEpatents

    Jensen, A.S.; Gray, G.W.

    1958-07-01

    Beam deflection tubes are described for use in switching or pulse amplitude analysis. The salient features of the invention reside in the target arrangement whereby outputs are obtained from a plurality of collector electrodes each correspondlng with a non-overlapping range of amplitudes of the input sigmal. The tube is provded with mcans for deflecting the electron beam a1ong a line in accordance with the amplitude of an input signal. The target structure consists of a first dymode positioned in the path of the beam wlth slots spaced a1ong thc deflection line, and a second dymode posltioned behind the first dainode. When the beam strikes the solid portions along the length of the first dymode the excited electrons are multiplied and collected in separate collector electrodes spaced along the beam line. Similarly, the electrons excited when the beam strikes the second dynode are multiplied and collected in separate electrodes spaced along the length of the second dyode.

  1. Electron tube

    DOEpatents

    Suyama, Motohiro [Hamamatsu, JP; Fukasawa, Atsuhito [Hamamatsu, JP; Arisaka, Katsushi [Los Angeles, CA; Wang, Hanguo [North Hills, CA

    2011-12-20

    An electron tube of the present invention includes: a vacuum vessel including a face plate portion made of synthetic silica and having a surface on which a photoelectric surface is provided, a stem portion arranged facing the photoelectric surface and made of synthetic silica, and a side tube portion having one end connected to the face plate portion and the other end connected to the stem portion and made of synthetic silica; a projection portion arranged in the vacuum vessel, extending from the stem portion toward the photoelectric surface, and made of synthetic silica; and an electron detector arranged on the projection portion, for detecting electrons from the photoelectric surface, and made of silicon.

  2. Chest tube insertion

    MedlinePlus

    Chest drainage tube insertion; Insertion of tube into chest; Tube thoracostomy; Pericardial drain ... When your chest tube is inserted, you will lie on your side or sit partly upright, with one arm over your head. Sometimes, ...

  3. Nasogastric feeding tube

    MedlinePlus

    Feeding - nasogastric tube; NG tube; Bolus feeding; Continuous pump feeding; Gavage tube ... If your child has an NG tube, try to keep your child from touching or pulling on the tube. After your nurse teaches you how to flush the tube ...

  4. Tube furnace

    DOEpatents

    Foster, Kenneth G.; Frohwein, Eugene J.; Taylor, Robert W.; Bowen, David W.

    1991-01-01

    A vermiculite insulated tube furnace is heated by a helically-wound resistance wire positioned within a helical groove on the surface of a ceramic cylinder, that in turn is surroundingly disposed about a doubly slotted stainless steel cylindrical liner. For uniform heating, the pitch of the helix is of shorter length over the two end portions of the ceramic cylinder. The furnace is of large volume, provides uniform temperature, offers an extremely precise programmed heating capability, features very rapid cool-down, and has a modest electrical power requirement.

  5. Tube furnace

    SciTech Connect

    Foster, K.G.; Frohwein, E.J.; Taylor, R.W.; Bowen, D.W.

    1990-12-31

    A vermiculite insulated tube furnace is heated by a helically-wound resistance wire positioned within a helical groove on the surface of a ceramic cylinder, that in turn is surroundingly disposed about a doubly slotted stainless steel cylindrical liner. For uniform heating, the pitch of the helix is of shorter length over the two end portions of the ceramic cylinder. The furnace is of large volume, provides uniform temperature, offers an extremely precise programmed heating capability, features very rapid cool-down, and has a modest electrical power requirement.

  6. Tube furnace

    SciTech Connect

    Foster, K.G.; Frohwein, E.J.; Taylor, R.W.; Bowen, D.W.

    1990-01-01

    A vermiculite insulated tube furnace is heated by a helically-wound resistance wire positioned within a helical groove on the surface of a ceramic cylinder, that in turn is surroundingly disposed about a doubly slotted stainless steel cylindrical liner. For uniform heating, the pitch of the helix is of shorter length over the two end portions of the ceramic cylinder. The furnace is of large volume, provides uniform temperature, offers an extremely precise programmed heating capability, features very rapid cool-down, and has a modest electrical power requirement.

  7. Tapered pulse tube for pulse tube refrigerators

    DOEpatents

    Swift, Gregory W.; Olson, Jeffrey R.

    1999-01-01

    Thermal insulation of the pulse tube in a pulse-tube refrigerator is maintained by optimally varying the radius of the pulse tube to suppress convective heat loss from mass flux streaming in the pulse tube. A simple cone with an optimum taper angle will often provide sufficient improvement. Alternatively, the pulse tube radius r as a function of axial position x can be shaped with r(x) such that streaming is optimally suppressed at each x.

  8. Fetal surgery for neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Sutton, Leslie N.

    2008-01-01

    Open spina bifida remains a major source of disability despite an overall decrease in incidence. It is frequently diagnosed prenatally and can thus -- potentially -- be treated by fetal surgery. Animal studies and preliminary human studies strongly suggest that at least a portion of the neurological abnormalities seen in these patients are secondary, and occur in mid-gestation. It is estimated that approximately 400 fetal operations have now been performed for myelomeningocele world wide. Despite this large experience, the technique remains of unproven benefit. Preliminary results suggest that fetal surgery results in reversal of hindbrain herniation (the Chiari II malformation), a decrease in shunt-dependent hydrocephalus, and possibly improvement in leg function, but these findings might be explained by selection bias and changing management indications. A randomized prospective trial (the MOMS trial) is currently being conducted by three centers in the United States, and is estimated to be completed in 2009. PMID:17714997

  9. Opioid Use and Neural Tube Defects

    MedlinePlus

    ... Evaluate Pregnancy exposureS (to start in 2014). These studies work to identify risk factors for birth defects and ... some medications taken during pregnancy. Technical expertise : CDC works ... to help conduct studies on the effects of medication use during pregnancy ...

  10. Developmental time rather than local environment regulates the schedule of epithelial polarization in the zebrafish neural rod

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Morphogenesis requires developmental processes to occur both at the right time and in the right place. During neural tube formation in the zebrafish embryo, the generation of the apical specializations of the lumen must occur in the center of the neural rod after the neural cells have undergone convergence, invagination and interdigitation across the midline. How this coordination is achieved is uncertain. One possibility is that environmental signaling at the midline of the neural rod controls the schedule of apical polarization. Alternatively, polarization could be regulated by a timing mechanism and then independent morphogenetic processes ensure the cells are in the correct spatial location. Results Ectopic transplantation demonstrates the local environment of the neural midline is not required for neural cell polarization. Neural cells can self-organize into epithelial cysts in ectopic locations in the embryo and also in three-dimensional gel cultures. Heterochronic transplants demonstrate that the schedule of polarization and the specialized cell divisions characteristic of the neural rod are more strongly regulated by time than local environmental signals. The cells’ schedule for polarization is set prior to gastrulation, is stable through several rounds of cell division and appears independent of the morphogenetic movements of gastrulation and neurulation. Conclusions Time rather than local environment regulates the schedule of epithelial polarization in zebrafish neural rod. PMID:23521850

  11. Tube-in-tube thermophotovoltaic generator

    DOEpatents

    Ashcroft, J.; Campbell, B.; DePoy, D.

    1998-06-30

    A thermophotovoltaic device includes at least one thermal radiator tube, a cooling tube concentrically disposed within each thermal radiator tube and an array of thermophotovoltaic cells disposed on the exterior surface of the cooling tube. A shell having a first end and a second end surrounds the thermal radiator tube. Inner and outer tubesheets, each having an aperture corresponding to each cooling tube, are located at each end of the shell. The thermal radiator tube extends within the shell between the inner tubesheets. The cooling tube extends within the shell through the corresponding apertures of the two inner tubesheets to the corresponding apertures of the two outer tubesheets. A plurality of the thermal radiator tubes can be arranged in a staggered or an in-line configuration within the shell. 8 figs.

  12. Tube-in-tube thermophotovoltaic generator

    SciTech Connect

    Ashcroft, John; Campbell, Brian; DePoy, David

    1998-01-01

    A thermophotovoltaic device includes at least one thermal radiator tube, a cooling tube concentrically disposed within each thermal radiator tube and an array of thermophotovoltaic cells disposed on the exterior surface of the cooling tube. A shell having a first end and a second end surrounds the thermal radiator tube. Inner and outer tubesheets, each having an aperture corresponding to each cooling tube, are located at each end of the shell. The thermal radiator tube extends within the shell between the inner tubesheets. The cooling tube extends within the shell through the corresponding apertures of the two inner tubesheets to the corresponding apertures of the two outer tubesheets. A plurality of the thermal radiator tubes can be arranged in a staggered or an in-line configuration within the shell.

  13. Gastrostomy feeding tube - bolus

    MedlinePlus

    Feeding - gastrostomy tube - bolus; G-tube - bolus; Gastrostomy button - bolus; Bard Button - bolus; MIC-KEY - bolus ... Your child's gastrostomy tube (G-tube) is a special tube in your child's stomach that will help deliver food and medicines until your ...

  14. Feeding tube - infants

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007235.htm Feeding tube - infants To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. A feeding tube is a small, soft, plastic tube placed ...

  15. Tracheostomy tube - eating

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000464.htm Tracheostomy tube - eating To use the sharing features on this ... you swallow foods or liquids. Eating and Tracheostomy Tubes When you get your tracheostomy tube, or trach, ...

  16. Eustachian tube patency

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001630.htm Eustachian tube patency To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Eustachian tube patency refers to how much the eustachian tube ...

  17. Heat exchanger tube mounts

    DOEpatents

    Wolowodiuk, W.; Anelli, J.; Dawson, B.E.

    1974-01-01

    A heat exchanger in which tubes are secured to a tube sheet by internal bore welding is described. The tubes may be moved into place in preparation for welding with comparatively little trouble. A number of segmented tube support plates are provided which allow a considerable portion of each of the tubes to be moved laterally after the end thereof has been positioned in preparation for internal bore welding to the tube sheet. (auth)

  18. Dynamic transcriptional signature and cell fate analysis reveals plasticity of individual neural plate border cells.

    PubMed

    Roellig, Daniela; Tan-Cabugao, Johanna; Esaian, Sevan; Bronner, Marianne E

    2017-03-29

    The 'neural plate border' of vertebrate embryos contains precursors of neural crest and placode cells, both defining vertebrate characteristics. How these lineages segregate from neural and epidermal fates has been a matter of debate. We address this by performing a fine-scale quantitative temporal analysis of transcription factor expression in the neural plate border of chick embryos. The results reveal significant overlap of transcription factors characteristic of multiple lineages in individual border cells from gastrula through neurula stages. Cell fate analysis using a Sox2 (neural) enhancer reveals that cells that are initially Sox2+ cells can contribute not only to neural tube but also to neural crest and epidermis. Moreover, modulating levels of Sox2 or Pax7 alters the apportionment of neural tube versus neural crest fates. Our results resolve a long-standing question and suggest that many individual border cells maintain ability to contribute to multiple ectodermal lineages until or beyond neural tube closure.

  19. Bender/Coiler for Tubing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoltzfus, J. M.

    1983-01-01

    Easy-to-use tool makes coils of tubing. Tubing to be bend clamped with stop post. Die positioned snugly against tubing. Operator turns handle to slide die along tubing, pushing tubing into spiral groove on mandrel.

  20. Thermal neutron background measurement in CJPL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, Z. M.; Gong, H.; Yue, Q.; Li, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    This paper describes the measurement of thermal neutron flux in the CJPL underground laboratory in the proximity of the CDEX experiment. A low background thermal neutron detection system is designed which applies a combination of a 3He proportional tube and a 4He proportional tube as the detector. Thermal neutrons can be captured by the 3He proportional tube while the 4He proportional tube is for the purpose of background measurement. The tube wall is made up of oxygen-free copper to reduce the background due to radioactivity of the wall material. The electronics readout system has been developed to store triggered events' waveforms so as to get the amplitude spectrum and monitor the data quality. We observed an average thermal neutron flux of Φ = 4.00 ± 0.08 ×10-6 /cm2 s in the CJPL experiment hall in the proximity of CDEX experiment and the neutron and background events both distribute uniformly along the tube.

  1. Phase Detection Using Neural Networks.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1997-03-10

    A likelihood of detecting a reflected signal characterized by phase discontinuities and background noise is enhanced by utilizing neural networks to...identify coherency intervals. The received signal is processed into a predetermined format such as a digital time series. Neural networks perform

  2. PEG tube insertion -- discharge

    MedlinePlus

    ... shower or bathe. Keeping the PEG-tube in Place If the feeding tube comes out, the stoma ... eds. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care . 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2011:chap 100. ...

  3. Glass tube splitting tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, J. A.; Murray, C. D.; Stein, J. A.

    1971-01-01

    Tool accurately splits glass tubing so cuts are aligned 180 deg apart and reassembled tube forms low pressure, gastight enclosure. Device should interest industries using cylindrical closed glass containers.

  4. Eustachian tube (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... are more common in children because their eustachian tubes are shorter, narrower, and more horizontal than in ... become trapped when the tissue of the eustachian tube becomes swollen from colds or allergies. Bacteria trapped ...

  5. Guide tube flow diffuser

    SciTech Connect

    Berringer, R.T.; Myron, D.L.

    1980-11-04

    A nuclear reactor upper internal guide tube has a flow diffuser integral with its bottom end. The guide tube provides guidance for control rods during their ascent or descent from the reactor core. The flow diffuser serves to divert the upward flow of reactor coolant around the outside of the guide tube thereby limiting the amount of coolant flow and turbulence within the guide tube, thus enhancing the ease of movement of the control rods.

  6. Microhole Tubing Bending Report

    DOE Data Explorer

    Oglesby, Ken

    2012-01-01

    A downhole tubing bending study was made and is reported herein. IT contains a report and 2 excel spreadsheets to calculate tubing bending and to estimate contact points of the tubing to the drilled hole wall (creating a new support point).

  7. 1992 tubing tables

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    This paper is helpful to those designing oil well completions or purchasing tubing with proprietary or premium connections. Tables contain specifications and application data for over 100 different tubing joints, including those used with fiberglass pipe. The tables this year contain dimensional and performance data for coiled tubing.

  8. Working session 1: Tubing degradation

    SciTech Connect

    Kharshafdjian, G.; Turluer, G.

    1997-02-01

    A general introductory overview of the purpose of the group and the general subject area of SG tubing degradation was given by the facilitator. The purpose of the session was described as to {open_quotes}develop conclusions and proposals on regulatory and technical needs required to deal with the issues of SG tubing degradation.{close_quotes} Types, locations and characteristics of tubing degradation in steam generators were briefly reviewed. The well-known synergistic effects of materials, environment, and stress and strain/strain rate, subsequently referred to by the acronym {open_quotes}MESS{close_quotes} by some of the group members, were noted. The element of time (i.e., evolution of these variables with time) was emphasized. It was also suggested that the group might want to consider the related topics of inspection capabilities, operational variables, degradation remedies, and validity of test data, and some background information in these areas was provided. The presentation given by Peter Millet during the Plenary Session was reviewed; Specifically, the chemical aspects and the degradation from the secondary side of the steam generator were noted. The main issues discussed during the October 1995 EPRI meeting on secondary side corrosion were reported, and a listing of the potential SG tube degradations was provided and discussed.

  9. 21 CFR 868.5800 - Tracheostomy tube and tube cuff.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2013-04-01 2013-04-01 false Tracheostomy tube and tube cuff. 868.5800 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES ANESTHESIOLOGY DEVICES Therapeutic Devices § 868.5800 Tracheostomy tube and tube cuff. (a) Identification. A tracheostomy tube and tube cuff is a device intended to be placed into...

  10. 21 CFR 868.5800 - Tracheostomy tube and tube cuff.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Tracheostomy tube and tube cuff. 868.5800 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES ANESTHESIOLOGY DEVICES Therapeutic Devices § 868.5800 Tracheostomy tube and tube cuff. (a) Identification. A tracheostomy tube and tube cuff is a device intended to be placed into...

  11. 21 CFR 868.5800 - Tracheostomy tube and tube cuff.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2012-04-01 2012-04-01 false Tracheostomy tube and tube cuff. 868.5800 Section... (CONTINUED) MEDICAL DEVICES ANESTHESIOLOGY DEVICES Therapeutic Devices § 868.5800 Tracheostomy tube and tube cuff. (a) Identification. A tracheostomy tube and tube cuff is a device intended to be placed into...

  12. Pollen tube development.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Mark A; Kost, Benedikt

    2010-01-01

    Pollen tubes grow rapidly in a strictly polarized manner as they transport male reproductive cells through female flower tissues to bring about fertilization. Vegetative pollen tube cells are an excellent model system to investigate processes underlying directional cell expansion. In this chapter, we describe materials and methods required for (1) the identification of novel factors essential for polarized cell growth through the isolation and analysis of Arabidopsis mutants with defects in pollen tube growth and (2) the detailed functional characterization of pollen tube proteins based on transient transformation and microscopic analysis of cultured tobacco pollen tubes.

  13. REACTOR COOLANT TUBE SEAL

    DOEpatents

    Morris, W.J.

    1958-12-01

    A plle-flattenlng control element and a fluid seal therefore to permit movement of the element into a liquld contnining region of a neutronlc reactor are described. The device consists of flattened, thin-walled aluminum tubing contalnlng a uniform mixture of thermal neutron absorbing material, and a number of soft rubber closures for the process tubes, having silts capable of passing the flattened elements therethrough, but effectively sealing the process tubes against fluld leaknge by compression of the rubber. The flattened tubing is sufficiently flexible to enable it to conform to the configuratlon of the annular spacing surrounding the fuel elements ln the process tubes.

  14. Heat tube device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khattar, Mukesh K. (Inventor)

    1990-01-01

    The present invention discloses a heat tube device through which a working fluid can be circulated to transfer heat to air in a conventional air conditioning system. The heat tube device is disposable about a conventional cooling coil of the air conditionin