Culture of whole rodent embryos in teratogen screening

Teratog Carcinog Mutagen. 1982;2(3-4):231-42. doi: 10.1002/1520-6866(1990)2:3/4<231::aid-tcm1770020305>;2-1.


Rodent embryos can be grown in vitro during a period of rapid organogenesis. During a 24-48 hour culture period, growth and development closely approximate the values of embryos in utero at the same gestational stage. Embryos can be exposed to carefully controlled concentrations of test substances in a system which is free of maternal variables such as nutritional status or stress effects. Developmental abnormalities are limited to those systems developing during the culture period, but those available may show heightened sensitivity relative to the embryo in utero. Recently several systems have been developed which permit incorporation of either metabolites or metabolic enzymes in embryo culture. These materials can be obtained from species other than that of the test embryos. Because studies have shown the importance of maternal metabolism in the activation and inactivation of teratogens, it is hoped that these systems will enable us to understand the biochemical basis of species variability in teratogenic sensitivity and construct a teratogen screen which can reliably identify compounds which pose teratogenic hazards to humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Culture Media
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical / methods
  • Embryo, Mammalian / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Teratogens / metabolism
  • Teratogens / toxicity*


  • Culture Media
  • Teratogens