If meningomyelocele is indeed a progressive intrauterine process, then early delivery or possibly intrauterine repair of meningomyelocele becomes an issue. Utilizing the delayed splotch (Spd) mouse, a genetically transmitted neural tube defect model, we looked for evidence of abnormalities of neural tissue exposed to amniotic fluid. Affected embryonic and fetal mice were examined with the light microscope, and also with the transmission and scanning electron microscope. Neuronal development and programmed cell death paralleled normal fetal development. No evidence of inflammation on or within the exposed neural tissue was observed. Because the vascular supply to the alar and basilar plate are different, vascular development was also examined and no difference could be found. In conclusion, we found no evidence of deterioration of the exposed neural tube during the gestational period of a mouse, which suggests that exposure of unneurulated spinal cord to amniotic fluid is not a risk factor to the fetus with a neural tube defect.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology