Reduction in neural injury with earlier delivery in a mouse model of congenital myelomeningocele

Laboratory investigation

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Object

The authors undertook this study to assess the effect of preterm delivery with respect to neural protection in a congenital myelomeningocele (MMC) mouse model.

Methods

After confirmation of pregnancy in 15 female mice, a congenital MMC model was produced by administration of retinoic acid on the 7th day of gestation. The pregnant mice underwent cesarean sections on Days 15 (n = 5, Group E15), 17 (n = 5, Group E17), and 19 (n = 5, Group E19). Histological analyses were conducted on the lumbar defect and on the craniocervical junction in all fetuses with MMC.

Results

Fetuses in Group E19 showed the most significant injury to neural tissue of the spinal cord at the MMC area followed by those in Group E17, with Group E15 being the least affected. All groups exhibited a degree of Chiari malformation; Group E19 was the most affected, followed by Group E17, and Group E15 was the least affected.

Conclusions

Development of both Chiari malformation and exposed spinal cord injury are progressive during gestation. Preterm delivery in this mouse model of congenital MMC may minimize the degree of injury to the spinal cord neural tissue and the degree of Chiari malformation.

Abbreviations used in this paper:MMC = myelomeningocele; MOMS = Management of Myelomeningocele Study.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to: Saud Al-Shanafey, M.D., M.Sc., M.B.A., F.R.C.S.C., Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy Program, P.O. Box 3354, MBC 36, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia. email: saud132@hotmail.com.Please include this information when citing this paper: published online August 9, 2013; DOI: 10.3171/2013.7.PEDS1351.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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