Ethanol exposure during pregnancy is one of the major causes of mental retardation in western countries by inducing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). It has also been shown that neurotrophic factors as nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are severely affected by ethanol during prenatal and postnatal life and they may have a major role in FASD onset. The aim of the current study in a FASD mouse model was to investigate brain alterations in NGF and BDNF due to chronic early exposure to ethanol solution (11% vol) or to red wine at the same alcohol concentration starting from 60 days before pregnancy up to pups weaning. Data revealed no differences between groups of dams in pregnancy duration, neither in pups delivery, pups mortality and sex ratio. Data also showed that stress due to early ethanol exposure in adult animals disrupted the levels of both NGF and BDNF in the hippocampus and other brain areas. This profile was associated with impaired ChAT immunopositivity in the septum and Nuclei Basalis and with altered cognition and emotional behavior. Quite interestingly mice exposed to red wine had no change in the behavior or in ChAT immunopositivity but a decrease in hippocampal BDNF and a mild NGF decrease in the cortex. Also NGF-induced neuritic outgrowth in PC-12 cells was still present when exposed to red wine but not when exposed to ethanol solution only. Data suggest differences in ethanol-induced neurotoxicity between red wine and ethanol solution only.
Behavioral and brain neurotrophin alterations in a FASD mouse model / Fiore, M.; Romeo, Marina; Aloe, L.; Ceccanti, Mauro; Calza, A.; Mancinelli, R.; Ceccanti, M.. - In: ALCOHOL. - ISSN 0741-8329. - STAMPA. - 45:(2011), pp. 289-289. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Conference on Alcoholism and Stress - A Framework for Future Treatment StrategiesInternational Congress on Alcoholism and Stress tenutosi a Volterra, ITALYVolterra, ITALY nel MAY 06-08, 2008MAY 03-06, 2011.