Navigation Links
Frogs reveal clues about the effects of alcohol during development
Date:4/5/2009

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) cause malformations in babies, including facial defects, short stature, and mental and behavioral abnormalities. The African frog, Xenopus, is a valuable tool for understanding early vertebrate development since these embryos are large, easy to work with and very responsive to environmental cues. New research uses this system to address the mechanism underlying the characteristics associated with maternal consumption of alcohol in early pregnancy.

Alcohol consumption prevents normal development by inhibiting the production of retinoic acid. Under normal conditions, the levels of retinoic acid made in different areas of the embryo provide cells with necessary information about their proper location and fate. Researchers now show that alcohol steals away the molecules that make retinoic acid and use them for its own process of detoxification, resulting in cellular disorientation during a critical period of development.

The new study, published in Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM), dmm.biologists.org, provides evidence that the characteristics associated with FASD and FAS come from competition of alcohol for key molecules in a pathway that produce retinoic acid from vitamin A. Retinoic acid is needed for correct positioning of cells in developing embryos and by preventing its normal production, alcohol keeps cells from migrating to their correct positions and maturing properly. The researchers, at the Hebrew University in Israel, found that shutting down a molecule needed to produce retinoic acid, called retinaldehyde dehydrogenase or RALDH2, increased sensitivity of developing embryos to low doses of alcohol. Conversely, more of the molecule RALDH2 protected embryos from the negative effects of alcohol. This provides evidence that alcohol 'hijacks' RALDH2 molecules for its own breakdown process and steals it away from its important role in synthesizing positional and maturation cues during development.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) cause malformations in babies, including facial defects, short stature, and mental and behavioral abnormalities. The African frog, Xenopus, is a valuable tool for understanding early vertebrate development since these embryos are large, easy to work with and very responsive to environmental cues. New research uses this system to address the mechanism underlying the characteristics associated with maternal consumption of alcohol in early pregnancy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kristy Kain
kristy.kain@vanderbilt.edu
615-383-1298
The Company of Biologists
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Sunbathing tree frogs future under a cloud
2. Indigenous water frogs under threat
3. Female concave-eared frogs draw mates with ultrasonic calls
4. When threatened, a few African frogs can morph toes into claws
5. Ultrasonic frogs can tune their ears to different frequencies
6. Dying frogs sign of a biodiversity crisis
7. Stanford researchers: Global warming is killing frogs and salamanders in Yellowstone Park
8. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
9. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
10. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
11. Structure of 450 million year old protein reveals evolutions steps
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/4/2017)... YORK , April 4, 2017   EyeLock ... today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark ... patent broadly covers the linking of an iris image ... same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal biometric ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, ... on developing health and wellness apps that provide a ... Genome is the first hackathon for personal genomics ... companies in the genomics, tech and health industries are ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities and forecast ... behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, ... others), by end use industry (government and law enforcement, ... and banking, and others), and by region ( ... Asia Pacific , and the Rest ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... nourishing a range of emerging technology-based businesses, recently earned a $77,518 grant from ... , Founded in 2004, FITCI is Frederick’s first incubator. A non-profit corporation, ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Husson ... clinical research community’s growing body of knowledge during its Eighth Annual Research ... and the adjacent Darling Atrium. During the event, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... ... unique intellectual property (IP) sharing and commercialization model. , The Center for Advancing ... main component of this effort is bringing the IP to the attention of ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... A number of new instruments have ... is part of the Protein and Cell Analysis Education Webinar Series , will ... technology fits in current and future applications. , Many flow cytometers have unique ...
Breaking Biology Technology: