Child's Nervous System

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 467–474 | Cite as

The investigation of the prenatal and postnatal alcohol exposure-induced neurodegeneration in rat brain: protection by betaine and/or omega-3

  • Kevser Kusat Ol
  • Güngör Kanbak
  • Ayşegül Oğlakcı Ilhan
  • Dilek Burukoglu
  • Ferruh Yücel
Original Paper



We aim to study the effect of neurodegeneration on the brain of rat pups caused by prenatal and postnatal ethanol exposure with modified liquid diet to elucidate protective effects of betaine and omega-3 supplementation. When ethanol is consumed during prenatal and postnatal periods, it may result in fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in the offspring.


Rats were divided into control, ethanol, ethanol + betaine, ethanol + omega-3, ethanol + omega-3 + betaine groups. The effect of betaine and omega-3 in response to ethanol-induced changes on the brain, by biochemical analyses cytochrome c, caspase-3, calpain, cathepsin B and L, DNA fragmentation, histological and morfometric methods were evaluated.


Caspase-3, calpain, cathepsin B, and cytochrome c levels in ethanol group were significantly higher than control. Caspase-3, calpain levels were decreased in ethanol + betaine, ethanol + omega-3, and ethanol + omega-3 + betaine groups compared to ethanol group. Cathepsin B in ethanol + omega-3 + betaine group was decreased compared to ethanol, ethanol + betaine groups. Cathepsin L and DNA fragmentation were found not statistically significant. We found similar results in histological and morfometric parameters.


We found that pre- and postnatal ethanol exposure is capable of triggering necrotic cell death in rat brains, omega-3, and betaine reduce neurodegeneration. Omega-3 and betaine may prove beneficial for neurodegeneration, particularly in preventing FAS.


Betaine Caspase-3 Cytochrome c Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) Omega-3 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevser Kusat Ol
    • 1
  • Güngör Kanbak
    • 1
  • Ayşegül Oğlakcı Ilhan
    • 1
  • Dilek Burukoglu
    • 2
  • Ferruh Yücel
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Eskisehir OsmangaziEskisehirTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Eskisehir OsmangaziEskisehirTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Histology and Embriology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Eskisehir OsmangaziEskisehirTurkey

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