Almeida-Toledano L, Andreu-Fernández V, Aras-López R, García-Algar Ó, Martínez L, Gómez-Roig MD. Epigallocatechin Gallate Ameliorates the Effects of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure in a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder-Like Mouse Model. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2021; 22(2):715. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020715
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is the main preventable cause of intellectual disability in the Western world. Although binge drinking is the most studied prenatal alcohol exposure pattern, other types of exposure, such as the Mediterranean, are common in specific geographic areas.
In this study, we analyze the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure in binge and Mediterranean human drinking patterns on placenta and brain development in C57BL/6J mice. We also assess the impact of prenatal treatment with the epigallocatechin-3-gallate antioxidant in both groups.
Study experimental groups for Mediterranean or binge patterns: (1) control; (2) ethanol; (3) ethanol + epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Brain and placental tissue were collected on gestational Day 19. The molecular pathways studied were fetal and placental growth, placental angiogenesis (VEGF-A, PLGF, VEGF-R), oxidative stress (Nrf2), and neurodevelopmental processes including maturation (NeuN, DCX), differentiation (GFAP) and neural plasticity (BDNF).
Prenatal alcohol exposure resulted in fetal growth restriction and produced imbalances of placental angiogenic factors. Moreover, prenatal alcohol exposure increased oxidative stress and caused significant alterations in neuronal maturation and astrocyte differentiation.
Epigallocatechin-3-gallate therapy ameliorated fetal growth restriction, attenuated alcohol-induced changes in placental angiogenic factors, and partially rescued neuronal nuclear antigen (NeuN), (doublecortin) DCX, and (glial fibrillary acidic protein) GFAP levels.
Any alcohol consumption (Mediterranean or binge) during pregnancy may generate a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder phenotype and the consequences may be partially attenuated by a prenatal treatment with epigallocatechin-3-gallate.
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