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/

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: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

X-ray scattering shines light on protein folding

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Looking at linkers helps to join the dots

10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences

Surprisingly many peculiar long introns found in brain genes

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>