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Arch Oral Biol. 1997 May;42(5):355-63.

Glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis during 5-fluoro-2-deoxyuridine-induced palatal clefts in the rat.

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Department of Dental Surgery and Periodontology, Dundee Dental Hospital and School, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK.


The biosynthesis and hydration of glycosaminoglycans (GAG) has been implicated in the generation of palatal shelf-elevating force(s) in mammals, although the nature of the palatal shelf extracellular matrices during cleft palate formation remains poorly understood. This study quantifies the GAG composition in the palatal shelves of Wistar rat fetuses at various periods of palatogenesis where clefts were induced experimentally using 5-fluoro-2-deoxyuridine (FUDR). For both normal and cleft palatal shelves, hyaluronan, heparan sulphate and chondroitin-4-sulphate were detected but not dermatan sulphate or chondroitin-6-sulphate. Throughout the period of cleft development studied, the total amount of GAG was significantly decreased (by approx. 30%) compared with normal development, this decrease being particularly marked at a time equivalent to post-elevation during normal development (approx. 75%). Furthermore, and unlike normal palatogenesis, no significant differences were recorded between the anterior and posterior parts of the palatal shelves during cleft formation. As for normal palatogenesis, however, the percentages of each GAG were not altered at any stage. The findings are consistent with the view that suppression of GAG biosynthesis is related to the development of cleft palate in FUDR-treated rat fetuses and can therefore be interpreted as providing evidence of a role for the mesenchymal glycoconjugates in shelf elevation during normal palatogenesis.

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