Long-term alterations of striatal parvalbumin interneurons in a rat model of early exposure to alcohol

  • Andrea De Giorgio
  • Sara E Comparini
  • Francesca Sangiuliano Intra
  • Alberto Granato
Research

DOI: 10.1186/1866-1955-4-18

Cite this article as:
De Giorgio, A., Comparini, S.E., Intra, F.S. et al. J Neurodevelop Disord (2012) 4: 2. doi:10.1186/1866-1955-4-18

Abstract

Background

Exposure to alcohol in utero is a known cause of mental retardation. Although a certain degree of motor impairment is always associated with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, little is known about the neurobiological basis of the defective motor control. We have studied the striatal interneurons containing parvalbumin in a rat model of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Methods

Newborn rats received ethanol by inhalation from postnatal day two through six and parvalbumin striatal neurons were labeled by immunohistochemistry on postnatal day 60. The spatial distribution of parvalbumin interneurons was studied using Voronoi spatial tessellation and their dendritic trees were completely reconstructed.

Results

Parvalbumin interneurons of ethanol-treated animals showed a clustered spatial distribution similar to that observed in control animals. The dendritic tree of parvalbumin interneurons was significantly reduced in ethanol-treated animals, as compared with controls.

Conclusions

Striatal parvalbumin interneurons are crucial components of the brain network serving motor control. Therefore, the shrinkage of their dendrites could contribute to the motor and cognitive symptoms observed in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Keywords

Fetal alcohol GABA Interneuron Parvalbumin Striatum Voronoi tessellation 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

analysis of variance

C

control

Et

ethanol-treated

FASD

fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

GABA

gamma-aminobutyric acid

IR

immunoreactive

P

postnatal day

PV

parvalbumin.

Copyright information

© De Giorgio et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea De Giorgio
    • 1
  • Sara E Comparini
    • 1
  • Francesca Sangiuliano Intra
    • 1
  • Alberto Granato
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCatholic UniversityMilanItaly

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