Identification of sensitivity genes involved in teratogen-induced neural tube defects
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Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common human congenital anomalies affecting 1 per 1000 live-born infants in the United States. NTDs are medical conditions that result from improper formation of the brain and spinal cord. There is evidence to suggest that NTDs have a strong genetic component to their development. My project is designed to examine differential expression patterns of genes within the neural tube cells of inbred LM/Bc mouse fetuses following exposure to the known teratogenic agent, Valproic acid (VPA). In this project I am comparing gene expression patterns in both control and treated mice and attempting to identify those genes whose expression patterns have been significantly altered. My experimental methods include isolating total RNA from Lm/Bc mouse neural tissue, reverse transcribing the RNA into cDNA and PCR amplifying the cDNA using a radioactively end labeled primer in order to visualize the amplified fragment. The labeled cDNA fragment is then loaded onto a denaturing gel and separated by electrophoresis. The gel is then exposed to film and examined. Differentially expressed cDNAs are then isolated from the gel and sequenced. The results of this project show the identification of differentially expressed genes that may regulate the occurrence of NTDs.
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Includes bibliographical references.
Hayes, Blaine G (1999). Identification of sensitivity genes involved in teratogen-induced neural tube defects. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from