Open Access
Ochratoxin A induces craniofacial malformation in mice acting on Dlx5 gene expression
Margherita Napoletano1,Davide Pennino1,Gaia Izzo1,Salvatore de Maria1,Raffaele Ottaviano1,Maddalena Ricciardi1,Roberto Mancini1,Antonella Schiattarella1,Ernesto Farina1,Salvatore Metafora1,Maria Cartenì1,Alberto Ritieni1,Sergio Minucci1,Franco Morelli1
Institute of Genetics and Biophysics A Buzzati Traverso CNR, Naples, Italy
DOI: 10.2741/E75 Volume 2 Issue 1, pp.133-142
Published: 01 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical and biochemical markers and fetal-neonatal development)

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin produced by fungal of Aspergillus species absorbed in human through contaminate food in gastrointestinal tract. OTA has been demonstrated to be teratogenic in a number of species including mice and potentially human. Mice exposed in uterus to OTA develop craniofacial abnormalities such as exencephaly, microencephaly, microphthalmia and facial clefts. An important role in differentiation of maxillofacial are exerted by the Hox related genes Dlx and Msx. In the present investigation we have confirmed that 2.75 mg/kg body weight OTA, given at gestational day 7.5, induces significant developmental craniofacial anomalies in mice and we have demonstrated the down expression of Dlx5, a member of Dlx gene family, that seems to be responsible of the observed deformities. These results support the hypothesis that Dlx5 is a target for ochratoxin and the inhibition of its function, directly or indirectly, could be at origin of the observed differentiation defects.

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Margherita Napoletano, Davide Pennino, Gaia Izzo, Salvatore de Maria, Raffaele Ottaviano, Maddalena Ricciardi, Roberto Mancini, Antonella Schiattarella, Ernesto Farina, Salvatore Metafora, Maria Cartenì, Alberto Ritieni, Sergio Minucci, Franco Morelli. Ochratoxin A induces craniofacial malformation in mice acting on Dlx5 gene expression. Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite. 2010. 2(1); 133-142.