Evaluation of Enamel Matrix Derivative (EMD) Teratogenicity on the Rat Embryo Neural Crest Culture

Document Type : Research article


1 Department of Biology, School of Sciences, Tehran University of Payame Noor, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Biology, School of sciences, Islamic Azad University, Ashtian Branch, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran.


Enamel matrix derivative Emdogain (EMD) is widely used in periodontal treatment in spite of the fact that its effect on the developing embryo has not been elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the teratogenic effect of EMD on the rat embryo neural crest cells. The neural crest is a unique population of cells that migrates from the dorsal neural tube along defined pathways and produces various cell types including the melanocytes, neuronal and glial cells of the sensory, autonomic and enteric nervous system as well as the chromaffin cells of the adrenal gland. These cells have been used extensively for in-vitro studies of neurogenesis. Cultured cells by micromass culture method derived from midbrain of six embryos (13 day postcoitum; 34-36 smites) and exposed to various concentrations of EMD for 5 days at 37°C and differentiated foci were counted. Retinoic Acid (20 µg/mL) was used as standard positive control. These cells were stained using Mayer’s hematoxylin which is specific for staining differentiated cell nucleus. Neutral red staining determines cell viability rather than related cell differentiation but is used for normalization of Mayer’s hematoxylin results. At the concentration as low as 8 µg/mL of EMD, no toxic effect on fetal cells was observed and it is suggested that EMD has no teratogenic effect at studied concentrations.