Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mouse study identifies protective mechanism against alcohol-induced embryo toxicity

10.06.2003


Researchers have identified a mechanism by which the eight amino acid peptide NAP, an active fragment of a neuroprotective brain protein, protects against alcohol-induced embryo toxicity and growth retardation in mice. Their findings bring alcohol researchers a critical step closer to developing pharmacologic agents to prevent alcohol-induced fetal damage. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the Medical Research Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, appears in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.*



The researchers produced NAP derivatives with specific substitutions and screened the compounds in cultured rat neurons for their protection against cell toxins and in whole mouse embryos for their protection against alcohol. By manipulating NAP’s structure and thereby altering its activity, the researchers were able to examine the ability of the different NAP derivatives to block alcohol inhibition of the L1 cell adhesion molecule. Their results indicate that NAP protects mouse embryos from alcohol toxicity by blocking alcohol effects on L1 rather than by its broad neuroprotective actions.

"This elegant study demonstrates that the protective effect of NAP against alcohol damage differs from that of NAP against neurotoxins, said Ting-Kai Li, M.D., Director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "Ethanol inhibition of L1 is now strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of fetal alcohol damage and a foremost target of medication development."


Michael Charness, M.D., of the Veterans Administration Boston Healthcare System and Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, headed up the study, with colleagues from the NICHD and the University of North Carolina Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies.

NAP, technically known as NAPVSIPQ, is known to be protective in minute concentrations against a wide array of neural insults and recently was shown to prevent alcohol-induced fetal wastage and growth deficits in mice. In September 2002, Dr. Charness with other colleagues reported that NAP also blocks alcohol’s inhibitory effects on cell-cell aggregation (the clustering of fetal cells destined to become the brain and nervous system) as mediated by the cell adhesion molecule known as L1. Whether NAP’s broader neuroprotective action or its specific effects on cell adhesion were responsible for preventing fetal damage remained to be determined.

The leading preventable cause of mental retardation in the United States, fetal alcohol syndrome affects about 1 in 1,000 U.S. infants and about 6 percent of children born to alcoholic women. Fetal alcohol syndrome imposes lifetime economic costs estimated at $1.8 million per child in health care and indirect costs such as lost productivity.

Ann Bradley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model
20.09.2017 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>