The potential teratogenic effects of interferon beta-1a and interferon beta-1b on in vitro embryonic development
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Background: Interferon beta (IFN beta) was the first proven drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The diagnosis of MS frequently occurs in women at child-bearing age (especially in twenties and thirties). Therefore, the pregnancy process is major concern for many women with MS. Data on women exposed to IFN beta during pregnancy are limited. The aim of our study was to investigate the teratogenic potential of IFN beta on embryonic development via embryo culture technique. Recently, this technique has been often used for determining teratogenic effect of pharmacologic drugs and potential teratogens on embryonic development. Materials and methods: In this study, IFN beta was applied to the culture medium and after 48 h of culture effects of IFN beta s (1000 IU/IFN beta-1a and 1000 IU/IFN beta-1b) on embryonic development were morphologically investigated. Results: According to morphologic scoring system, total morphologic score, somite number and protein contents were similar between control group and two experimental groups (p > 0.05). On the other hand, yolk sac diameter, crown- rump length and head length were significantly decreased in two experimental groups compared with control group (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Consequently, IFN beta-1a and IFN beta-1b, applied to the culture medium, have no macroscopic teratogenic effect on embryonic development. However, in respect of morphometric measurements, IFN beta-1a and IFN beta-1b have caused growth retardation in embryo. This research related to interferon was the first study using vitro embryo culture technique; thus, in our point of view, future studies which will be performed by using different doses of IFN will contribute to the literature.