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Journal of Medical Sciences
  Year: 2004 | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Page No.: 146-157
DOI: 10.3923/jms.2004.146.157
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Effects of Maternal Diabetes on the Structure of the Thoracic Segments of the Spinal Cord in the Developing Fetus

A.G. Pillay

The present experimental investigation was aimed to observe structural changes in thoracic segments of the spinal cord in developing fetus of diabetic mouse mother. A total of 124 adult mice (100 females and 24 males) of ICR strain were used. Diabetes was induced in 55 female mice by two intraperitoneal injections of streptozotocin. Animals with blood glucose level > 200 mg dL-1 were considered diabetic and mated with adult male mice. The other 45 female mice served as controls without any diabetes induction. Successful mating in treated and control animals was indicated by the presence of vaginal plug and this day was considered as gestational day (GD) 0. Pregnancy was terminated on GD 14, 16, 18 and 20 (day of delivery). Foetuses and pups were fixed in 10% formaldehyde for light microscopy study. The light microscopic observation demonstrated asymmetry of the two-halves of the spinal cord at thoracic segments of the spinal cord. Shrunken or eroded dorsal funiculi and dorsal horn represented the most frequent defect in the foetus/pup of GD 16 (23 in number), GD 18 (21 in number) and GD 20 (26 in number). In addition, the white and grey matters on the lateral and dorsal sides are much reduced in size or disappeared. Imperfect growth and protrusion of spinal cord were also observed. In some cases, a portion of the spinal cord has protruded beyond the vertebral laminae showing a condition called meningomyelocele. Irregularity and dilatation of the central canal were also noticed. These changes were not present in the control samples. The findings in the present investigation implicated that the central nervous system is subjected to structural changes in the developing foetus when exposed to diabetic milieu. The results are supportive of the previous clinical studies that indicated neurobehavioural and habituation disturbances in the offspring of diabetic mothers.
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How to cite this article:

A.G. Pillay , 2004. Effects of Maternal Diabetes on the Structure of the Thoracic Segments of the Spinal Cord in the Developing Fetus. Journal of Medical Sciences, 4: 146-157.

DOI: 10.3923/jms.2004.146.157






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