Dioxin exposure disrupts the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into cardiomyocytes.
This study demonstrates the long-term effects of very early embryonic exposure to a single dose of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) (0, 10 and 20 ng/egg), administered before the beginning of embryonic development, on growth and reproductive performance in laying hens. Hatchability and body weight gain from 11 weeks onwards were significantly depressed in 20 ng treated hens. All hens started laying egg at around the same age and the laying performance of TCDD-treated hens was normal. No disturbances in the age-related pattern and concentrations of oestradiol, LH or FSH in plasma could be found but mean progesterone concentrations were significantly lower in 20 ng treated hens. Moreover, follicular distribution was changed with less small white follicles and smaller yellow follicles, which probably resulted in the lower egg weight of the 20 ng treated hens. At 43 weeks of age, hens treated in ovo with TCDD showed a retained right oviduct, mostly filled with clear fluid. From these results, it seems that in ovo exposure to TCDD interferes in the right oviduct regression during embryonic development and induces some changes in follicular distribution but without impairment of reproductive performance in the adult laying hen.