Effects of short-term prenatal alcohol exposure on neuronal membrane order in rats

Charles V. Vorhees, Scott Rauch, Robert Hitzemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Long-Evans rat dams were treated with ethanol (4 g/kg, twice daily) by gavage on gestational days 10-14. This dosage schedule has been shown to produce significant behavioral and ponderal teratogenicity. Pair-fed dams were gavaged with isocaloric amounts of sucrose. All offspring were reared by untreated, surrogate dams. Pups were sacrificed on days 3 and 28, and whole brain neuronal plasma membranes were prepared for analysis by a fluorescence polarization technique using 1,6-diphenyl-1,3,5-hexatriene as the membrane probe. On day 3, steady-state anisotropy was significantly decreased in the ethanol-treated pups. Arrhenius plots revealed that this difference was associated with a change on both membrane entropy and enthalpy. By day 28, the differences between groups disappeared. These data would be consistent with the view that the brief gestational ethanol exposure delays neuronal maturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-166
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain membrane fluidity and development
  • Brain neuronal membrane order
  • Ethanol and brain neuronal membrane
  • Prenatal alcohol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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