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Focus on: neurotransmitter systems.

Valenzuela CF, Puglia MP, Zucca S - Alcohol Res Health (2011)

Bottom Line: Researchers have detected ethanol effects after exposure during developmental periods equivalent to the first, second, and third trimesters of human pregnancy.Results support the recommendation that pregnant women should abstain from drinking-even small quantities-as effects of ethanol on neurotransmitter systems have been detected at low levels of exposure.However, future research is needed to conclusively establish a causal relationship between these conditions and developmental dysfunctions in neurotransmitter systems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

ABSTRACT
Neurotransmitter systems have been long recognized as important targets of the developmental actions of alcohol (i.e., ethanol). Short- and long-term effects of ethanol on amino acid (e.g., γ-aminobutyric acid and glutamate) and biogenic amine (e.g., serotonin and dopamine) neurotransmitters have been demonstrated in animal models of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Researchers have detected ethanol effects after exposure during developmental periods equivalent to the first, second, and third trimesters of human pregnancy. Results support the recommendation that pregnant women should abstain from drinking-even small quantities-as effects of ethanol on neurotransmitter systems have been detected at low levels of exposure. Recent studies have elucidated new mechanisms and/or consequences of the actions of ethanol on amino acid and biogenic amine neuro-transmitter systems. Alterations in these neurotransmitter systems could, in part, be responsible for many of the conditions associated with FASD, including (1) learning, memory, and attention deficits; (2) motor coordination impairments; (3) abnormal responsiveness to stress; and (4) increased susceptibility to neuropsychiatric disorders, such as substance abuse and depression, and also neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and sudden infant death syndrome. However, future research is needed to conclusively establish a causal relationship between these conditions and developmental dysfunctions in neurotransmitter systems.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Examples of brain regions where chemical neurotransmitter system alterations have been demonstrated in models of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Shown is a schematic representation of the mature human brain. The potential FASD-linked conditions that could be explained by neurotransmitter system alterations are given under the label for each region. Anxiety and abnormal stress responses (serotonin) apply both to hypothalamus and pituitary. Examples of neurotransmitters that could potentially be involved in these deficits are given in parenthesis.
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f3-arh-34-1-106: Examples of brain regions where chemical neurotransmitter system alterations have been demonstrated in models of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Shown is a schematic representation of the mature human brain. The potential FASD-linked conditions that could be explained by neurotransmitter system alterations are given under the label for each region. Anxiety and abnormal stress responses (serotonin) apply both to hypothalamus and pituitary. Examples of neurotransmitters that could potentially be involved in these deficits are given in parenthesis.

Mentions: A study of adolescent monkeys exposed to ethanol in utero found reduced numbers of GABA neurons in the cerebral cortex (see table 1) (Miller 2006). Persistent dysfunction and/or loss of GABA neurons could, in part, be responsible for the increased susceptibility to epilepsy that has been linked to FASD (Bell et al. 2010; Bonthius et al. 2001). In addition, alterations in the function of a subtype of GABA neuron (i.e., the Purkinje neuron) in the cerebellum, a brain region important for motor coordination (see figure 3), could contribute to motor deficits observed in FASD patients (Green 2004; Hsiao et al. 1999; Servais et al. 2007). Collectively, these studies indicate that the GABA neurotransmitter system is an important target of developmental ethanol exposure and that further investigation of the mechanisms of action of ethanol on this system is warranted.


Focus on: neurotransmitter systems.

Valenzuela CF, Puglia MP, Zucca S - Alcohol Res Health (2011)

Examples of brain regions where chemical neurotransmitter system alterations have been demonstrated in models of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Shown is a schematic representation of the mature human brain. The potential FASD-linked conditions that could be explained by neurotransmitter system alterations are given under the label for each region. Anxiety and abnormal stress responses (serotonin) apply both to hypothalamus and pituitary. Examples of neurotransmitters that could potentially be involved in these deficits are given in parenthesis.
© Copyright Policy - public-domain
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3860557&req=5

f3-arh-34-1-106: Examples of brain regions where chemical neurotransmitter system alterations have been demonstrated in models of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Shown is a schematic representation of the mature human brain. The potential FASD-linked conditions that could be explained by neurotransmitter system alterations are given under the label for each region. Anxiety and abnormal stress responses (serotonin) apply both to hypothalamus and pituitary. Examples of neurotransmitters that could potentially be involved in these deficits are given in parenthesis.
Mentions: A study of adolescent monkeys exposed to ethanol in utero found reduced numbers of GABA neurons in the cerebral cortex (see table 1) (Miller 2006). Persistent dysfunction and/or loss of GABA neurons could, in part, be responsible for the increased susceptibility to epilepsy that has been linked to FASD (Bell et al. 2010; Bonthius et al. 2001). In addition, alterations in the function of a subtype of GABA neuron (i.e., the Purkinje neuron) in the cerebellum, a brain region important for motor coordination (see figure 3), could contribute to motor deficits observed in FASD patients (Green 2004; Hsiao et al. 1999; Servais et al. 2007). Collectively, these studies indicate that the GABA neurotransmitter system is an important target of developmental ethanol exposure and that further investigation of the mechanisms of action of ethanol on this system is warranted.

Bottom Line: Researchers have detected ethanol effects after exposure during developmental periods equivalent to the first, second, and third trimesters of human pregnancy.Results support the recommendation that pregnant women should abstain from drinking-even small quantities-as effects of ethanol on neurotransmitter systems have been detected at low levels of exposure.However, future research is needed to conclusively establish a causal relationship between these conditions and developmental dysfunctions in neurotransmitter systems.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Neurosciences, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

ABSTRACT
Neurotransmitter systems have been long recognized as important targets of the developmental actions of alcohol (i.e., ethanol). Short- and long-term effects of ethanol on amino acid (e.g., γ-aminobutyric acid and glutamate) and biogenic amine (e.g., serotonin and dopamine) neurotransmitters have been demonstrated in animal models of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Researchers have detected ethanol effects after exposure during developmental periods equivalent to the first, second, and third trimesters of human pregnancy. Results support the recommendation that pregnant women should abstain from drinking-even small quantities-as effects of ethanol on neurotransmitter systems have been detected at low levels of exposure. Recent studies have elucidated new mechanisms and/or consequences of the actions of ethanol on amino acid and biogenic amine neuro-transmitter systems. Alterations in these neurotransmitter systems could, in part, be responsible for many of the conditions associated with FASD, including (1) learning, memory, and attention deficits; (2) motor coordination impairments; (3) abnormal responsiveness to stress; and (4) increased susceptibility to neuropsychiatric disorders, such as substance abuse and depression, and also neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and sudden infant death syndrome. However, future research is needed to conclusively establish a causal relationship between these conditions and developmental dysfunctions in neurotransmitter systems.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus