Rat Embryo Development on Human Sera Is Related to Numbers of Previous Spontaneous Abortions and Nutritional Factors

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The objectives were to determine (1) if sera from women with histories of spontaneous abortions were teratogenic to cultured embryos more often than were sera of nonaborters, (2) if the teratogenicity could be corrected by adding nutrients to the sera, and (3) if these findings were relevant to reproductive outcomes.


Rat embryos were cultured for 48 hours on sera from 102 subjects who had experienced spontaneous abortions. Samples from 48 were retested with nutrients added and 10 took dietary supplements, were again tested with embryo cultures, and reported on their pregnancy outcomes.


The frequencies of teratogenic sera increased with numbers of spontaneous abortions (0 to >=5) in a manner that did not deviate from linearity (27% to 89%) (chi squared (chi2) p > 0.957). Nutrient supplements were added to 48 samples, and 40 were corrected and 10 subjects were given dietary supplement. Sera from six showed improved embryo cultures, and these women completed their pregnancies.


Rat embryo cultures may provide unique insights into the causes and treatment of spontaneous abortions. (AM J OBSTET GYNECOL 1994;170:228-36.)

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