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:6/30/2017)... June 30, 2017 Today, American Trucking ... supplier of face and eye tracking software, became ... provider program. "Artificial intelligence and ... to monitor a driver,s attentiveness levels while on ... able to detect fatigue and prevent potential accidents, ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is ... tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups and global ... June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will showcase the ... in various industries. France ... international market, with a 30 percent increase in the number ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( ... online age and identity verification solutions, announced today they ... Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... and International Trade Center. Identity impacts ... and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... findings of a study examining the effects of exoskeleton-assisted walking on gait ... injury (SCI). The article, "Neuromechanical adaptations during a robotic powered exoskeleton assisted ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... , ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... focused on molecular manufacturing and other transformative technologies, announced the winners for the ... and the other for Theory in nanotechnology/molecular manufacturing. , Established in 1993 and ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... The latest generation ... step of sample prep for metals digestion—the addition of acids and reagents. The ... price. The system is ideal for any laboratory performing their own unique metals ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... A best-selling author ... tech companies. “Grit” author Angela Duckworth and her team at Character Lab have ... Cooley, an international law firm with decades of experience supporting high-growth companies in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: