Author(s): Gogu SR, Beckman BS, Agrawal KC, Gogu SR, Beckman BS, Agrawal KC
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Abstract The effects of zidovudine (AZT) on the fetus were investigated in pregnant mice by using parameters such as the number of fetuses, fetal size, and the fetal hepatic cell clonogenic assay. AZT caused dose-dependent toxicity to the fetus upon administration via drinking water to pregnant mice from days 1 to 13 of gestation. At the 0.5-mg/ml dose level, AZT caused a decrease in the number of fetuses to 12 from an average of 16.5 in control animals, and the fetal size (crown-rump length) was reduced from 10.5 to 8.5 mm. The CFU of the erythroid progenitor cell colonies derived from the fetal hepatic cells were decreased to 38\% of that of the control, and the hematocrit dropped to 33.5 +/- 1.7 from a control value of 42.6 +/- 2.5. Concomitant administration of erythropoietin, vitamin E, or interleukin-3 to the AZT-treated pregnant mice caused a significant reversal in the AZT-induced toxicity to the fetus and to the mother's bone marrow. The success of therapeutic intervention was demonstrated by (i) restoration of the number of fetuses to the level of untreated controls, (ii) an increase in the size of fetuses to normal values, and (iii) an increase in hematocrit to > 40. The results suggest that AZT is toxic to the fetus in a dose-dependent manner and that treatment with erythropoietin, vitamin E, or interleukin-3 can ameliorate the AZT-induced fetal toxicity.
This article was published in Antimicrob Agents Chemother
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research