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Developmental impact of alcohol

Project Full Title:

The impact of mouse alcohol intake during pregnancy on microglial activation and subsequent pup vocalizations and adult addiction-like behaviors.

Project Mentor(s):

Rivera,Phillip; Ronald,Kelly

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Project Description:

Alcohol during pregnancy is a well known disrupter of neonatal central nervous system (CSN) development. Within the CNS, resident immune cells (i.e., microglia) are primed by alcohol which leads to aberrant phagocytosis of neurons. Nevertheless, it is still unknown whether microglial activation leads to abnormal vocalization patterns. Therefore, pregnant dams were allowed to binge on 20% alcohol on embryonic day 15-20. After partition the vocal behaviors of pups born to addicted dams were assessed on postnatal days (PND) 4, 7, and 9. In addition, maternal care behavior was assessed by examining nest construction. Pups are allowed to mature and will be assessed in adulthood for addiction-like behaviors including drinking-in-the-dark and ethanol condition place preference. All behaviors will be assessed in both males and females to test for sex-effects. Likewise, the microglia response in the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus will be determined in a sex-dependent manner.

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