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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2017 May;61:66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ntt.2017.01.006. Epub 2017 Feb 20.

Long-term behavioral change as a result of acute ethanol exposure in zebrafish: Evidence for a role for sonic hedgehog but not retinoic acid signaling.

Author information

1
Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, United States; Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, United States.
2
Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, United States.
3
Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, United States; Integrated Biosciences Program, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC 27707, United States.
4
Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, United States; Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, United States. Electronic address: gcole@nccu.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Developmental exposure to ethanol is recognized to produce long-term neurobehavioral impairment in multiple animal models. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these deficits remain poorly understood. The present study was undertaken to ascertain whether two well-characterized targets of prenatal alcohol exposure, sonic hedgehog (Shh) and retinoic acid (RA), that induce the hallmark morphological phenotypes of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), are involved in the generation of behavioral alterations as a result of alcohol exposure.

METHODS:

Zebrafish embryos were exposed to ethanol (0%, 1%, 3%) at either 8-10 or 24-27h post-fertilization (hpf) and then evaluated during adolescence in the novel tank dive test to assess anxiety and risk-taking behavior. Overt signs of dysmorphogenesis were also scored and behavioral and morphological changes were compared for embryos treated with alcohol alone or in combination with subthreshold doses of shh or alhh1a3 morpholinos (MOs).

RESULTS:

Ethanol treated fish displayed altered tank diving behavior that was not exacerbated by combined MO treatment. While treatment of embryos with either shha mRNA or RA prior to ethanol exposure only ameliorated the altered tank diving response in the case of shha mRNA overexpression, dysmorphogenesis was rescued by both treatments.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that the effects of ethanol exposure on changes in anxiety and risk-taking behavior in adolescent zebrafish is manifested by a blunting of Shh, but not RA, signaling during early development.

KEYWORDS:

Ethanol; FASD; Retinoic acid; Sonic hedgehog; Zebrafish

PMID:
28223149
PMCID:
PMC5453814
DOI:
10.1016/j.ntt.2017.01.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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