Synchronization of the factors critical for diabetic teratogenesis: An in vitro model

E. A. Reece*, A. Wiznitzer, C. J. Homko, Z. Hagay, King Wu Ying King Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to determine the relationship between critical factors and conditions such as gestational age and exposure time to elevated glucose levels in diabetic embryopathy. STUDY DESIGN: A postimplantation rat embryo culture was used as a model for investigation. The effect of various factors on embryonic development was studied. Experiments were conducted with increasing glucose concentrations (150 to 905 mg/dl, n = 186), at various gestational ages (10 to 12 days, n = 169), and for varying durations of exposure (30 to 180 minutes, n = 169). Gross morphologic characteristics of the yolk sac and embryo were assessed. RESULTS: Embryopathy was induced by hyperglycemia in a dose-related fashion: a 20% rate at two times control glucose concentration, almost a 50% rate at four times control, and approximately a 100% abnormality rate at more than six times control. A critical window in gestational age, days 10 to 11, and a minimum exposure time to hyperglycemia of 2 hours were necessary to induce teratogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: Diabetic teratogenesis occurs in a dose-related fashion and requires a minimum exposure time and critical gestational age. Only synchronization of these critical conditions induces embryonic maldevelopment. Furthermore, nonsynchronized aberrant conditions may result in apparently normal embryonic development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1284-1288
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetic embryopathy
  • rat embryo culture


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