Document Detail

Effect of duration of maternal alcohol consumption on calcium metabolism and bone in the fetal rat.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15084904     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Prenatal ethanol exposure can retard fetal growth and delay skeletal development. Ethanol also impairs maternal calcium (Ca) homeostasis and this impairment could mediate some of ethanol's effects on the fetal skeleton. Our previous studies suggest that the duration of maternal ethanol consumption may be an important factor for determining the severity of ethanol's effects on Ca homeostasis and fetal skeletal development. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to determine the effect of the duration of maternal ethanol consumption on fetal growth and skeletal development and to investigate the possibility that ethanol's effects may be related to perturbations in fetal/maternal Ca homeostasis. METHODS: Rats were fed ethanol (36% ethanol-derived calories) in liquid diets for 3 weeks (days 1-21 of gestation) or 6 weeks (for 3 weeks before and throughout gestation). Fetuses were collected on day 21 of gestation, and body weight and length were measured. Fetuses were stained to determine the degree of skeletal ossification, and fetal blood was analyzed for ethanol, Ca (total and ionic Ca), albumin, parathyroid hormone (PTH), and osteocalcin. RESULTS: Maternal ethanol consumption decreased fetal growth and delayed fetal skeletal development. Although there was a trend for fetal body length and serum osteocalcin levels to be more severely affected with an increased duration of maternal ethanol consumption, duration had no effect on fetal body weight or skeletal ossification. Fetal Ca homeostasis was also affected by ethanol exposure, with fetal hypocalcemia apparent after 6 weeks of maternal ethanol intake. A significant inverse relationship was found between fetal blood Ca levels and blood alcohol concentration (BAC), suggesting that the severity of the fetal hypocalcemia may have been related to differences in fetal BAC, rather than duration of maternal ethanol intake. Fetal serum PTH levels did not differ significantly among treatment groups indicating that the fetal hypocalcemia was not caused by a decrease in PTH levels. CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal ethanol exposure impaired Ca homeostasis and skeletal development in the fetal rat. The severity of ethanol's effects was only marginally dependent on the duration of maternal ethanol consumption per se and seemed to be more related to the relative exposure of the fetus to ethanol (fetal BAC). The relationship between the ethanol-induced fetal hypocalcemia and skeletal effects remains to be determined.
Kathy Keiver; Joanne Weinberg
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research     Volume:  28     ISSN:  0145-6008     ISO Abbreviation:  Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res.     Publication Date:  2004 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-04-15     Completed Date:  2004-05-10     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7707242     Medline TA:  Alcohol Clin Exp Res     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  456-67     Citation Subset:  IM    
Food, Nutrition and Health, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Alcohol Drinking / blood,  metabolism
Calcium / blood,  metabolism*
Ethanol / blood,  pharmacology*
Fetus / drug effects*,  metabolism
Osteogenesis / drug effects*,  physiology
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
64-17-5/Ethanol; 7440-70-2/Calcium

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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