Navigation Links
Specific genetic cause of fetal alcohol-related developmental disorders found
Date:6/10/2009

Alcohol consumption by pregnant women hinders brain development in their children by interfering with the genetic processes that control thyroid hormone levels in the fetal brain, a new animal study found. Results will be presented Wednesday at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Fetal alcohol exposureeven from moderate drinking during pregnancycan cause neurodevelopmental disorders, such as emotional behavioral disorders and deficits in learning, memory and speech. There is currently no treatment for these problems, said the author who will present the study results, Laura Sittig, a student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Past animal research shows that some of these lasting cognitive impairments occur because alcohol consumption during pregnancy decreases the level of maternal thyroid hormones and, therefore, fetal thyroid hormones.

"Specific concentrations of thyroid hormones must be available in the fetal brain to support normal neurological development," Sittig said.

One of the enzymes that control thyroid hormone levels in the fetal brain is the iodothyronine deiodinase type III, or Dio3, she explained.

Sittig and her colleagues hypothesized that alcohol exposure in the womb leads to cognitive impairments by inducing epigenetic alterationschanges to DNA that do not alter the actual DNA sequenceof developmental genes like Dio3 in the fetal brain. To investigate this hypothesis, they used rats to model moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, demonstrated that fetal alcohol exposure disrupts the epigenetic "imprinting" of Dio3. In this process, Dio3 normally originates from the father's gene, while the maternal gene is silenced by epigenetic control. But alcohol exposure changes the paternal-maternal dosage of Dio3, which increases the amount of the enzyme present in specific brain regions of the fetus, the authors found.

This increase, in turn, reduces the availability of vital thyroid hormones in the parts of the brain that control learning, memory and emotional behaviors.

"In light of our current finding, we can begin testing specific dietary supplements that could reverse the epigenetic alterations that disrupt the regulation of Dio3," Sittig said. "When given to the mother or newborn, this might correct the imprinting deficits induced by alcohol."

"This is a promising avenue to improve the prognosis of alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorders, for which we currently have no intervention strategy," she said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Aaron Lohr
alohr@endo-society.org
240-482-1380
The Endocrine Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Specific brain protein required for nerve cell connections to form and function
2. St. Jude identifies the specific cell that causes eye cancer, disproving long-held theory
3. Foods, not specific nutrients, may be key to good health
4. The key to unlocking the secret of highly specific DNAzyme catalysis
5. First-ever study to link increased mortality specifically to carbon dioxide emissions
6. Its a unisex brain with specific signals that trigger male behavior
7. Oocyte-specific gene mutations cause premature ovarian failure
8. New paradigm for cell-specific gene delivery
9. Carnegie Mellon MRI technology that non-invasively locates, quantifies specific cells in the body
10. Researchers seeking to identify Alzheimers risk focus on specific blood biomarker
11. Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2017)... 2017 Report Highlights The global ... $8.3 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth ... Report Includes - An overview of the global market ... data from 2015 and 2016, and projections of compound ... the market on the basis of product type, source, ...
(Date:2/6/2017)... Feb. 6, 2017 According to Acuity ... driving border authorities to continue to embrace biometric ... are 2143 Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates and ... at more than 163 ports of entry across ... 2016 achieving a combined CAGR of 37%. APC ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... , Feb. 2, 2017  EyeLock LLC, a ... a new white paper " What You Should Know ... problem of ensuring user authenticity is a growing concern. ... authentication of users. However, traditional authentication schemes such as ... Biometric authentication offers an elegant solution to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017  ArmaGen, Inc., ... groundbreaking therapies to treat severe neurological disorders, today ... treated with AGT-181, the company,s investigational therapy for ... known as mucopolysaccharidosis type I, or MPS I). ... proof-of-concept (POC) study, presented today at the 13 ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... , Feb. 16, 2017   Biostage, Inc. ... "Company"), a biotechnology company developing bioengineered organ implants to ... bronchus and trachea, announced today the closing on February ... 20,000,000 shares of common stock and warrants to purchase ... of $8.0 million. The offering was priced at $0.40 ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...  Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, a biotechnology company developing ... of dermatological diseases, today announced it has completed ... into a $5 million credit facility with Silicon ... capital for general corporate purposes to further Dermata,s ... of serious diseases treated by dermatologists.   ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 2017  Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... aerosolized KL4 surfactant therapies for respiratory diseases, announced ... showed that aerosolized KL4 surfactant reduced lung inflammation ... animal model. The Company believes that these preclinical ... that supports the role of KL4 surfactant as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: