The effects of intrauterine ethanol exposure on the levels of Iron and Copper in Cerebrum and Cerebellum of neonatal Wistar rats

  • Ibrahim Shehu El-ladan
  • Affan Usman
Keywords: ethanol, intrauterine, neurobehaviour, neurochemistry

Abstract

Neurodevelopmental disorders have been reported to be associated with infants exposed to ethanol in utero. The study was aimed at evaluating the effects of intrauterine ethanol exposure on neurobehaviour and the amount of iron and copper in the cerebrum and cerebellum of neonatal Wistar rats at different periods of development. Fourteen (14) female Wistar rats were mated with matured males in ratio 2:1 overnight following determination of oestrous phase. Pregnant dams were divided into 7 groups. Group A served as the control that received distilled water. Groups B, C and D were administered 0.5ml of 20% ethanol equivalent to 1st, 1st and 2nd trimesters and whole gestation period (i.e 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters) respectively. Groups E, F and G were given 0.5ml of 30% ethanol accordingly. Following parturition, neurobehavioural assessment on sensory and motor reflexes of the litters were tested on postnatal days 5, 6 and 7. Brain tissues were later excised, homogenised and analysed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry. SPSS V20 was used to compare the mean difference using analysis of variance (ANOVA). The ethanol treated neonates in Groups B, E, F and G showed a statistically significant (p˂0.05) increase in latency to respond to sensory and motor reflexes when compared with Control Group. Interrelated elevation of both iron and copper was observed in the cerebellum while both the amounts of iron and copper in the cerebrum were depleted. It is concluded that intrauterine ethanol exposure has effect on the development of vestibular, postural, sensory and motor coordination. The alterations in the amounts of iron and copper which are important cofactors for certain neurotransmitters and enzymes in the brain could play role in the neurobehavioural deficits observed. Intrauterine ethanol ingestion affects development of sensory and motor reflexes as well as the amounts of iron and copper in both cerebrum and cerebellum in a reciprocal manner.

Keywords: ethanol, intrauterine, neurobehaviour, neurochemistry

Published
2022-01-27
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 2635-3490
print ISSN: 2476-8316