Choline: A Potential Neuroprotective Agent for Microglia Recovery from Prenatal Ethanol Exposure




Sahasrabudhe, Charuta

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Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) encompasses a range of cognitive, physical and neurobehavioral deficits arising from perinatal alcohol exposure. We investigated the effects of postnatal ethanol exposure (at a time period equivalent to 3rd trimester in humans) on microglia in the hippocampus of adolescent rats. Additionally, we explored whether choline could be used as a neuroprotective agent to attenuate ethanol-induced effects on microglia. 79 rat pups were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups; EtOH + Choline, EtOH + Saline, Sham + Choline, or Sham + Saline. From PD4-9 pups underwent ethanol or sham exposures, and then received choline or saline injections from PD10-30. On PD36, the rats were anesthetized and intracardial perfusions were performed using paraformaldehyde to fix the tissue. The tissue was sectioned into 50 µm slices which underwent a three-day IBA-1 immunohistochemical staining procedure, specific to microglia detection. The slides were then imaged at 10X using an Olympus brightfield BX51 microscope. IBA-1 cell density measures were quantified via an automated macro. Preliminary results showed non-significant differences in microglia density between conditions and across hippocampal regions of interest. However, expansion of the sample size and the addition of a morphology analysis is underway and will allow us to better understand the interactions of ethanol and choline on microglia.



prenatal ethanol exposure (PNEE), neuroinflammation, early intervention, choline, microglia, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)