Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can cleft palate be healed before birth?

Date:
December 2, 2009
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
Scientists have discovered how to non-surgically reverse the onset of cleft palate in fetal mice -- potentially one step in the journey to a better understanding of similar defects in humans.

In a study newly published in the journal Development, investigators at the USC School of Dentistry describe how to non-surgically reverse the onset of cleft palate in fetal mice -- potentially one step in the journey to a better understanding of similar defects in humans.

Related Articles


Yang Chai, the study's principal investigator and director of the School of Dentistry's Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, said that cleft palate is one of the most common congenital birth defects in humans and that current surgical treatment for the craniofacial abnormality is often complex and invasive, sometimes stretching over a period of years before the treatment is considered complete.

Cleft palate can cause serious complications, including difficulty eating and learning to speak. However, close regulation of important signaling molecules during palate formation may one day allow doctors to reverse a cleft palate before the baby is even born, Chai said.

For example, the protein Shh must remain within a certain level in a developing fetus in order for a proper palate to form. If too little or too much of the protein is expressed, a cleft palate can occur.

Two genes are responsible for the regulation of Shh levels. Signaling from the Msx1 gene encourages Shh production, while Dlx5 discourages Shh, creating a healthy balance. Both genes are critical for the healthy development of the palate, teeth and other skull and facial structures.

The fetal mice were strategically bred to have a defect in the Msx1 gene, resulting in lack of expression of the Shh protein and the formation of cleft palates. However, when the impact of the Dlx5 gene was suppressed, more Shh was successfully expressed and the palate began to regrow.

When the mice were born, their palates were intact. While some of the oral structures had minor differences as compared to the palates in completely healthy mice, the function of the rescued palates were healthy, allowing the newborn mice to feed normally.

With more research into the genetic processes behind cleft palate in humans, the breakthrough could someday make a big difference in how we prevent or treat cleft palate in humans, Chai said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Can cleft palate be healed before birth?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201145851.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2009, December 2). Can cleft palate be healed before birth?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201145851.htm
University of Southern California. "Can cleft palate be healed before birth?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091201145851.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins