Nitroxide radicals protect cultured rat embryos and yolk sacs from diabetic-induced damage

Seonghun Ryu, Roni Kohen, Amram Samuni, Asher Ornoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Diabetic teratogenicity relates, partly, to embryonic oxidative stress and the extent of the embryonic damage can apparently be reduced by antioxidants. We investigated the effects of superoxide dismutase-mimics nitroxides, 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl piperidine-N-oxyl (TPL) as an effective antioxidant, on diabetes-induced embryopathy. METHODS: Embryos (10.5 day old) and their yolk sacs from Sabra female rats were cultured for 28 h in the absence or in the presence of nitroxides at 0.05-0.4 mM in control, diabetic subteratogenic, or diabetic teratogenic media, and monitored for growth retardation and congenital anomalies. The oxidant/antioxidant status was examined by oxygen radical absorbance capacity and lipid peroxidation assays, whereas the yolk sac function was evaluated by endocytosis assay. RESULTS: Diabetic culture medium inhibited embryonic and yolk sac growth, induced a high rate of NTDs, reduced yolk sac endocytosis and embryonic antioxidant capacity, and increased lipid peroxidation. These effects were more prominent in the embryos with NTD compared to those without NTD. TPL added to diabetic teratogenic medium improved embryonic and yolk sac growth, reduced the rate of NTDs, and improved yolk sac function. The oxidant/antioxidant status of embryos was also improved. TPL at 1 mM did not damage the embryos cultured in control medium. CONCLUSIONS: In diabetic culture medium, oxidative damage is higher in the malformed rat embryos compared to those without anomalies; the nitroxide provides protection against diabetes-induced teratogenicity in a dose-dependent manner. The yolk sac damage, apparently caused by the same mechanism, might be an additional contributor to the embryonic damage observed in diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-611
Number of pages8
JournalBirth Defects Research Part A - Clinical and Molecular Teratology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Diabetic embryopathy
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Nitroxide stable radicals
  • Oxidative stress
  • Yolk sac


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