Article Text

PDF

The cause of neural tube defects: some experiments and a hypothesis.
  1. M J Seller

    Abstract

    The mouse mutant curly-tail is an animal model for human neural tube defects (NTD). Around 60% spontaneously have NTD. It has been found that maternal administration of hydroxyurea, mitomycin C, or 5-fluorouracil on day 9 of pregnancy, that is, when the fetal neural tube is in the final stages of closure, leads to a significant reduction in the proportion of NTD (to 15 to 20%) in the offspring, while total litter size is unaffected. All these substances are inhibitors of DNA synthesis, yet are apparently beneficial to subjects predisposed to NTD. As a consequence, it is suggested that the underlying mechanism causing NTD in the mice, and also in man, is a basic metabolic defect in DNA synthesis which affects cell replication and results in abnormal morphogenesis of the neuraxis.

    Statistics from Altmetric.com

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.