PMID: 14604765Nov 8, 2003

Ethanol effects on neonatal rat cortex: comparative analyses of neurotrophic factors, apoptosis-related proteins, and oxidative processes during vulnerable and resistant periods

Brain Research. Developmental Brain Research
Marieta Barrow HeatonGerry Shaw


The developing central nervous system (CNS) is highly susceptible to ethanol, with acute or chronic exposure producing an array of anomalies and cell loss. Certain periods of vulnerability have been defined for various CNS regions, and are often followed by periods of relative ethanol resistance. In the present study, neonatal rats were acutely exposed to ethanol during a time when peak cell death is found in developing cerebral cortex (postnatal day 7; P7), and during a later neonatal period of ethanol resistance (P21). Comparisons at the two ages were made of basal levels of neurotrophic factors (NTFs), and in addition, ethanol-mediated changes in NTFs, apoptosis-related proteins, antioxidant activities, and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were quantified at 0, 2, and 12 h following termination of exposure. It was found that at P21, basal levels of NTF nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were considerably higher than at P7, possibly affording protection against ethanol neurotoxicity at this age. Following ethanol treatment at P7, approximately equal numbers of pro-apoptotic and pro-survival changes were produced, although most of the pro-apoptotic alterations occurred rapidly fol...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Cortex Bone Disorders
Adrenal Cortex Diseases
Ethanol Measurement
Apoptosis, Intrinsic Pathway
Nerve Growth Factor
Recombinant Brain-Derived Growth Factors
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Measurement
Transcription Initiation

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Apoptosis is a specific process that leads to programmed cell death through the activation of an evolutionary conserved intracellular pathway leading to pathognomic cellular changes distinct from cellular necrosis