“Effects of prenatal ethanol exposure on corridor cell development”
Carlita Favero, PhD, Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA 19426
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe the variety of birth defect syndromes resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure. Prenatal ethanol exposure affects all aspects of nervous system development, and its disruption of neuron ability to extend processes, specifically axons, likely underlies the sensory, motor, cognitive, and behavioral characteristics of FASDs. Critical to the process of axon formation are guidepost neurons which are required to chemically and physically aid growing axons by providing guidance cues and a physical scaffold for axons to follow. A growing number of studies indicate that prenatal ethanol exposure disrupts development of the thalamo-cortical system, which is essential to our ability to sense, perceive, and respond to the world around us. The aim of our study is to test the hypothesis that prenatal ethanol exposure affects corridor cells, a population of guidepost neurons within the ventral telencephalon, that are essential for proper thalamo-cortical axon guidance. We will analyze corridor cell number, position, production, and survival in a mouse model of FASD using immunostaining and BrdU birthdating techniques. These studies will contribute to our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of prenatal ethanol exposure on neural development.
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Collegeville, PA 19426
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