The Use of Optical Imaging to Assess the Potential for Embryo-Fetal Exposure to an Exogenous Material After Intravaginal Administration

  • Publication Date :
  • Publication Type : Journal Article
  • Author(s) : Cao J, Ying X, Beyer BK, DeLise AM
  • Journal Name : Reproductive Toxicology

Reproductive Toxicology. 2014;48:138-147

Abstract: A β-actin-luc transgenic mouse model was used to evaluate whether embryo-fetal exposure could occur after intravaginal administration of a compound. A bioluminescent substrate, d-luciferin, was delivered intravaginally to mimic compound exposure to the female reproductive track and the embryo-fetus. Bioluminescence was observed throughout the reproductive tract during diestrus, but not during estrus, 2-5min after intravaginal d-luciferin administration to female β-actin-luc mice. Intravaginal administration of d-luciferin to wild-type females mated with male β-actin-luc mice indicated that the substrate reached the developing embryo-fetus, with bioluminescence corresponding to transgene expression in the embryo-fetus. d-Luciferin substrate rapidly reached the embryo-fetus regardless of the administration route (intravaginal, intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, or intravenous). Vaginal ligation appeared to block at least some direct exposure to the embryo-fetus, but did not prevent d-luciferin from eventually reaching the embryo-fetus. Additional work will be necessary to form the basis for a reliable assessment of the human risk for male-mediated teratogenicity.

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