Int. J. Dev. Biol. 41: 267 - 273 (1997)
© UPV/EHU Press

The use of whole rat embryo cultures to identify and characterize causes of reproductive failure.

N W Klein

Center for Environmental Health U-39, University of Connecticut, Storrs 06269, USA.

ABSTRACT The most important problem facing human teratology today is to identify the actual causes of this health problem. We have used cultures of whole rat embryos to address this problem using blood sera from individuals at risk as embryo culture media for this purpose. Through serum fractionations and nutrient supplementations to the serum we have studied drugs (dilantin, valproic acid), nutrient deficiencies (methionine) and an embryotoxic autoantibody to the protein laminin. In addition to identifying these factors it has been possible to address their mechanisms of action and to provide recommendations for treatment.