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.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Maternal drinking during pregnancy can result in a wide spectrum of cognitive and behavioral abnormalities termed fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The heterogeneity observed in FASD-related phenotypes can be attributed to a number of environmental and genetic factors; however, ethanol dose and timing of exposure may have significant influences. Here, we report the behavioral effects of acute, binge-like ethanol exposure at three neurodevelopmental times corresponding to the first, second, and third trimester of human development in C57BL/6J mice. Results show that developmental ethanol exposure consistently delays the development of basic motor skill reflexes and coordination as well as impairs spatial learning and memory. Observed changes in activity and anxiety-related behaviors, however, appear to be dependent on timing of alcohol exposure. The variability in behaviors between different treatment models suggests that these may be useful in evaluating the mechanisms disrupted by ethanol at specific neurodevelopmental times. The results provide further evidence that, regardless of developmental stage, the developing brain is acutely sen-sitive to alcohol exposure.
    Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science 02/2013; 3:85-99. DOI:10.4236/jbbs.2013.31009
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Fetal alcohol exposure is the most common known cause of preventable mental retardation, yet we know little about how microglia respond to, or are affected by, alcohol in the developing brain in vivo. Using an acute (single day) model of moderate (3 g/kg) to severe (5 g/kg) alcohol exposure in postnatal day (P) 7 or P8 mice, we found that alcohol-induced neuroapoptosis in the neocortex is closely correlated in space and time with the appearance of activated microglia near dead cells. The timing and molecular pattern of microglial activation varied with the level of cell death. Although microglia rapidly mobilized to contact and engulf late-stage apoptotic neurons, apoptotic bodies temporarily accumulated in neocortex, suggesting that in severe cases of alcohol toxicity the neurodegeneration rate exceeds the clearance capacity of endogenous microglia. Nevertheless, most dead cells were cleared and microglia began to deactivate within 1-2 days of the initial insult. Coincident with microglial activation and deactivation, there was a transient increase in expression of pro-inflammatory factors, TNFα and IL-1β, after severe (5 g/kg) but not moderate (3 g/kg) EtOH levels. Alcohol-induced microglial activation and pro-inflammatory factor expression were largely abolished in BAX null mice lacking neuroapoptosis, indicating that microglial activation is primarily triggered by apoptosis rather than the alcohol. Therefore, acute alcohol exposure in the developing neocortex causes transient microglial activation and mobilization, promoting clearance of dead cells and tissue recovery. Moreover, cortical microglia show a remarkable capacity to rapidly deactivate following even severe neurodegenerative insults in the developing brain. GLIA 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Glia 04/2015; DOI:10.1002/glia.22835 · 5.47 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Children exposed to substantial amounts of alcohol in utero display a broad range of morphological and behavioral outcomes, which are collectively referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Common to all children on the spectrum are cognitive and behavioral problems that reflect central nervous system dysfunction. Little is known, however, about the potential effects of variables such as sex on alcohol-induced brain damage. The goal of the current research was to utilize magnetoencephalography (MEG) to examine the effect of sex on brain dynamics in adolescents and young adults with FASD during the performance of an auditory oddball task. The stimuli were short trains of 1 kHz “standard” tone bursts (80%) randomly interleaved with 1.5 kHz “target” tone bursts (10%) and “novel” digital sounds (10%). Participants made motor responses to the target tones. Results are reported for 44 individuals (18 males and 26 females) ages 12 through 22 years. Nine males and 13 females had a diagnosis of FASD and the remainder were typically-developing age- and sex-matched controls. The main finding was widespread sex-specific differential activation of the frontal, medial and temporal cortex in adolescents with FASD compared to typically developing controls. Significant differences in evoked-response and time–frequency measures of brain dynamics were observed for all stimulus types in the auditory cortex, inferior frontal sulcus and hippocampus. These results underscore the importance of considering the influence of sex when analyzing neurophysiological data in children with FASD.
    12/2014; 2. DOI:10.1016/j.nicl.2014.12.007


Available from
May 22, 2014