IMR Press / FBE / Volume 2 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/E75

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Ochratoxin A induces craniofacial malformation in mice acting on Dlx5 gene expression
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1 Institute of Genetics and Biophysics A. Buzzati Traverso C.N.R., Naples, Italy
2 Department of Experimental Medicine, Medical School, II University of Naples, Naples, Italy
3 Department of Food Science, University of Naples Federico II, Portici, Naples, Italy
4 Department of Odontostomatologic Science, II University of Naples, Naples, Italy
5 Department of Molecular Biology and Biotherapy, National Cancer Institute G. Pascale, Naples, Italy

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2010, 2(1), 133–142;
Published: 1 January 2010

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin produced by fungal of Aspergillus species absorbed in human through contaminate food in gastrointestinal tract. OTA has been demonstrated to be teratogenic in a number of species including mice and potentially human. Mice exposed in uterus to OTA develop craniofacial abnormalities such as exencephaly, microencephaly, microphthalmia and facial clefts. An important role in differentiation of maxillofacial are exerted by the Hox related genes Dlx and Msx. In the present investigation we have confirmed that 2.75 mg/kg body weight OTA, given at gestational day 7.5, induces significant developmental craniofacial anomalies in mice and we have demonstrated the down expression of Dlx5, a member of Dlx gene family, that seems to be responsible of the observed deformities. These results support the hypothesis that Dlx5 is a target for ochratoxin and the inhibition of its function, directly or indirectly, could be at origin of the observed differentiation defects.

Ochratoxin A
mouse teratogenicity
craniofacial abnormalities
maxillary differentiation
Homeotic gene
Dlx5 gene
Msx1 gene
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