Maternal health-related causes of cranial neural crest cell migration dysregulation, and their common clinical effects
MetadataShow full item record
Neural crest cells arise during neurulation, a process that occurs during the third week of embryogenesis. These diverse cells then divide into various subtypes including cranial neural crest cells and cardiac neural crest cells. Each of these subtypes gives rise to a wide range of features throughout the fetus. While these cells are extremely diverse, they are also incredibly sensitive to their surrounding environment. Many maternal conditions affect neural crest cell division and migration, but maternal alcohol consumption and hyperglycemia due to gestational diabetes will be discussed in detail, with special attention paid to tissues that derive from cranial neural crest cells. While the initial mechanisms of the pathology vary for both of these conditions, what is remarkable is that they ultimately cause effects in similar ways. Both mechanisms lead to the creation of reactive oxygen species, which in turn trigger apoptotic pathways. Neural crest cell death causes a variety of congenital anomalies in fetuses, including craniofacial defects and cardiac outflow tract defects. Treatment options that have been researched in both conditions also vary, but are based on similar principles. Antioxidant therapies reduce the production of reactive oxygen species, thus reducing the severity of the anomalies affecting the fetus during development. Both maternal alcohol consumption and gestational diabetes are important public health concerns, and their management is of utmost priority in society. By decreasing the rates of women who consume alcohol during pregnancy, and managing gestational diabetes in those at highest risk, the rates of fetal congenital defects could be decreased.
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International