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

Date

2023-03-17

Authors

Sahasrabudhe, Charuta

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Abstract

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.

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Keywords

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

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