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J Nutr. 1993 Dec;123(12):2101-8.

Dietary biotin deficiency affects reproductive function and prenatal development in hamsters.

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Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Japan.


The effects of maternal dietary biotin deficiency on hamster embryos were examined by adding different amounts of avidin (0, 10, 50, 100 or 1000 mg/kg diet) to a semipurified commercial diet during the entire period of gestation. On d 10 of gestation, reduced dietary biotin resulted in a high incidence of resorbed and dead embryos. In addition, both the crown-rump length and head length of dietary biotin-deficient embryos were lower, and their digit development was retarded. These embryos were characterized by pericardial cavity enlargement (40%) and zig-zag closure line of the neural tube (44%). Some embryos exhibited abnormalities of the craniofacial region and tail. On d 14 of gestation, embryonic growth retardation, morphological abnormalities and skeletal defects were seen in the dietary biotin-deficient group (fed 100 mg avidin/kg diet). The striking abnormalities were cleft palate, micromelia, micrognathia and rib deformities in approximately 10% of the fetuses. Histological examination of the placentae revealed some differences in the spongiotrophoblast and labyrinth layers between the control and dietary biotin-deficient groups. The teratogenic effect of dietary biotin deficiency previously observed in mice was confirmed in hamsters.

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