Cataract formation can be induced by glucocorticoid treatment of developing chick embryos. We show here that this response can be blocked very effectively by use of the antiglucocorticoid RU486. When dexamethasone (0.02 μmol/egg) was administered from day 13 to 16 chick embryos, their lenses (over 80%) became cataract (GC-induced cataract; stage IV-V) within 48 hrs. These GC-induced cataract formations were prevented by administration of RU486 (0.2 μmol/egg) on day 9. However, RU486 also inhibited hatching even though the embryos showed normal growth and appearance. In control embryos, more than 90% live chicks (39/42 chicks) were hatched on day 22. Chick embryos treated with RU486 on day 9 appeared to grow normally until 21, but could not hatch. When chick embryos were treated with RU486 (0.2 μmol/egg) on day 15, more than 80% live embryos (34/42 chicks) were hatched on day 23 with normal appearance, which was one day delay comparing to the control. These observations indicate that endogenous glucocorticoids are involved in the ability to hatch and that RU486 is able to block the actions of endogenous glucocorticoids. Thus, RU486 should be a very useful tool for studies on other biochemical and physiological aspects of chick embryo development that are under glucocorticoid control.
- Delayed hatch
- Developing chick embryo
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)