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Scientific reports

Nitric oxide rescues thalidomide mediated teratogenicity.


PMID 22997553

Abstract

Thalidomide, a sedative drug given to pregnant women, unfortunately caused limb deformities in thousands of babies. Recently the drug was revived because of its therapeutic potential; however the search is still ongoing for an antidote against thalidomide induced limb deformities. In the current study we found that nitric oxide (NO) rescues thalidomide affected chick (Gallus gallus) and zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos. This study confirms that NO reduced the number of thalidomide mediated limb deformities by 94% and 80% in chick and zebrafish embryos respectively. NO prevents limb deformities by promoting angiogenesis, reducing oxidative stress and inactivating caspase-3 dependent apoptosis. We conclude that NO secures angiogenesis in the thalidomide treated embryos to protect them from deformities.