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J Craniofac Genet Dev Biol. 1989;9(4):381-96.

Effects of cyclophosphamide on the secondary palate development in golden Syrian hamster: teratology, morphology, and morphometry.

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Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.


Cyclophosphamide (CP), when injected in hamster mother between days 9 and 11 of pregnancy, was teratogenic in fetuses. On the basis of a morphological study it was deduced that CP delayed the reorientation of hamster palatal shelves by 16-20 h. In a subsequent experiment, in both control and CP-treated palatal shelves, the numbers of epithelial and mesenchymal cells were counted and cross-sectional area was measured. DNA synthesis, measured by 3H-thymidine incorporation, was used as an index of growth by cell proliferation. The results showed that during the vertical development of palatal shelves, the mesenchymal cells reached their peak number during the initial 24 hours, i.e., at the end of the second peak in DNA synthesis, and remained unchanged thereafter throughout reorientation. The shelf area also showed rapid increase during the initial 24 h followed by a spurt 2 h prior to reorientation. Cyclophosphamide prolonged the acquisition of these features by affecting the mesenchymal cells and consequently delayed the reorientation of the vertical shelves until such time that the number of healthy mesenchymal cells and shelf area were restored to the control values. The data lend further support to the hypothesis that the acquisition of a specific number of cells and shelf volume, during vertical palatal development, may be essential for palatal shelf reorientation.

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