Somatomedin inhibitors from human serum produce abnormalities in mouse embryos in culture

Wayne Balkan, Raoul P. Rooman, Amy Hurst‐Evans, Lawrence S. Phillips, Steven Goldstein, Marc V.L. Du Caju, T. W. Sadler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Two human serum fractions, one from normal individuals (Mr 1,150–1,310 daltons) and the other (Mr 800–1,100 daltons) from patients suffering with uremia (renal failure, azotemia), were added to the medium used to grow embryos in whole‐embryo culture (WEC) begining at the 3–5 (day 9) or 18–21 (day 10) somite stage. Both of these fractions possessed somatomedin (insulin‐like growth factor) inhibitory activity. Day 9 embryos exposed to either of the serum fractions for 24 hr exhibited incomplete rotation and neural tube closure defects and were smaller than control embryos (decreased total protein content). Developmental abnormalities induced in day 10 embryos following 24 hr in culture included a marked decrease in expansion of the brain regions, hypoplasia of the first two branchial arches, and decreased amounts of total protein compared to controls. The visceral yolk sacs (VYSs) of somatomedin inhibitor (SI)‐exposed conceptuses were opaque, and those from day 10 conceptuses contained significantly more protein than controls. Morphologically, the VYS endoderm cells from SI‐exposed embryos contained a much higher density of “vacuoles” than controls. These results mimic those produced by exposure of conceptuses to an SI of Mr 800–1,100 obtained from the serum of diabetic rats and suggest that similar substances and mechanisms are involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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