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Postnatal day 7 ethanol treatment causes persistent reductions in adult mouse brain volume and cortical neurons with sex specific effects on neurogenesis.

Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill CB# 7178, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7178, USA.
Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) (Impact Factor: 2.04). 05/2012; 46(6):603-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2012.01.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ethanol treatment on postnatal day seven (P7) causes robust brain cell death and is a model of late gestational alcohol exposure (Ikonomidou et al., 2000). To investigate the long-term effects of P7 ethanol treatment on adult brain, mice received either two doses of saline or ethanol on P7 (2.5 g/kg, s.c., 2 h apart) and were assessed as adults (P82) for brain volume (using postmortem MRI) and cellular architecture (using immunohistochemistry). Adult mice that received P7 ethanol had reduced MRI total brain volume (4%) with multiple brain regions being reduced in both males and females. Immunohistochemistry indicated reduced frontal cortical parvalbumin immunoreactive (PV + IR) interneurons (18-33%) and reduced Cux1+IR layer II pyramidal neurons (15%) in both sexes. Interestingly, markers of adult hippocampal neurogenesis differed between sexes, with only ethanol treated males showing increased doublecortin and Ki67 expression (52 and 57% respectively) in the dentate gyrus, consistent with increased neurogenesis compared to controls. These findings suggest that P7 ethanol treatment causes persistent reductions in adult brain volume and frontal cortical neurons in both males and females. Increased adult neurogenesis in males, but not females, is consistent with differential adaptive responses to P7 ethanol toxicity between the sexes. One day of ethanol exposure, e.g. P7, causes persistent adult brain dysmorphology.

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