Treatment with neuropeptides attenuates c-fos expression in a mouse model of fetal alcohol syndrome

Maddalena Incerti, Joy Vink, Robin Roberson, Daniel Abebe, Catherine Y. Spong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most common nongenetic cause of mental retardation and is characterized by neurodevelopmental anomalies. C-fos is a cellular marker of transcriptional activity in the stress-signal pathway. Previously, we showed the treatment with NAP (NAPVSIPQ)+SAL (SALLRSIPA) reversed the learning deficit after prenatal alcohol exposure in FAS. Our objective was to evaluate if the mechanism of actions of NAP+SAL involves the stress-signal pathway differentiating c-fos expression in mouse brains after prenatal alcohol exposure. C57Bl6/J mice were treated with alcohol (0.03 mL/g) or placebo on gestational day 8. On postnatal day 40, in utero alcohol-exposed males were treated via gavage with 40 μg D-NAP and 40 μg D-SAL (n=6) or placebo (n=4); controls were gavaged with placebo daily (n=12). After learning evaluation, hippocampus, cerebellum, and cortex were isolated. Calibrator-normalized relative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis were performed. Statistics included analysis of variance and post hoc Fisher analysis. Adult treatment with NAP+SAL restored the down-regulation of c-fos in the hippocampus after prenatal alcohol exposure (p<0.05), but not in the cerebellum. There was no difference in c-fos expression in the cortex. Adult treatment with NAP+SAL restored the down-regulation of c-fos expression in hippocampus attenuating the alcohol-induced alteration of the stress-signal pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-748
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 24 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • c-fos
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)
  • oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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