Prevention of alcohol-induced developmental delays and learning abnormalities in a model of fetal alcohol syndrome

M. Endres, L. Toso, R. Roberson, J. Park, D. Abebe, S. Poggi, C. Y. Spong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Prenatal alcohol exposure results in fetal death and neurobehavioral complications including learning impairment. Previously synthetic peptides derived from activity-dependent neurotrophic factor have been shown to prevent aspects of alcohol-induced damage in pregnancy. The objective of this work was to evaluate whether activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12 could prevent alcohol-induced damage in a model of fetal alcohol syndrome. Study design: Using a well-characterized model, C57Bl6/J mice on gestational day 8 were treated with placebo, alcohol (30% volume/volume alcohol 0.03 mL/kg), alcohol plus activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12 30 minutes prior to alcohol, or activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12 alone. Fetal death was assessed on gestational day 18 (25 litters were evaluated: alcohol, n = 5; placebo, n = 9; alcohol plus activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12, n = 11). Neonatal behavior tests were performed on postnatal days 1 through 21 with the offspring of 12 dams (alcohol, n = 16; placebo, n = 46; alcohol plus activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12, n = 23; and activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12, n = 35). Adult males were tested in the Morris water maze for learning assessment and with the hole punch activity test for exploratory activity. Statistical analysis included Kruskal-Wallis and analysis of variance. Results: Fetal death was greater in alcohol (67% ± 13%) vs placebo (8.4% ± 3%, P<.001). Pretreatment with activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12 prevented the alcohol-induced fetal death (2.2% ± 8.1%) with levels similar to control (P = .12). Alcohol exposure caused a delay in achieving developmental milestones, with alcohol achieving milestones later than all other groups (all P<.001). Pretreatment with activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12 prevented the alcohol-induced milestone delays. In the Morris water maze, the placebo learned, decreasing their latency to find the hidden platform over 70% (P<.01). Alcohol plus activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12 also significantly learned, with a learning curve not different from placebo (all P>.5) and significantly better than alcohol on days 4, 6, and 7 (all P<.05). Alcohol exposure resulted in significantly less time in hole punch activity (P<.02) than control. Activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12 pretreatment prevented the alcohol-induced decline, with levels the same as control (P = .1). Conclusion: The novel peptide activity-dependent neurotrophic factor-12 prevents alcohol-induced fetal death and developmental and learning abnormalities in a model of fetal alcohol syndrome. This demonstrates that a single treatment with a peptide is efficacious and may be of value in the prevention of alcohol-induced damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1028-1034
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Volume193
Issue number3 SUPPL.
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Mental retardation
  • Neuroprotection
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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