Morphometric analysis of the craniofacial development of the CD-1 mouse fetus exposed to alcohol on gestational day eight.
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) describes a pattern of dysmorphogenesis observed in some offspring of women who consumed alcohol during pregnancy; partial expression of this pattern are fetal alcohol effects (FAE). The purpose of this investigation was to measure selected craniofacial parameters in the CD-1 mouse fetus following exposure to alcohol on gestational day (D) 8. CD-1 mice were mated for 1 hr; D0.0 designated by the presence of a vaginal plug. On D8, 0 hr, and D8, 4 hr, 33 dams were injected intraperitoneally (IP) with 25% (v/v) alcohol in physiological saline solution (0.015 ml/gm maternal body weight). Appropriate controls were maintained. The animals were sacrificed every 12 hr from D12.0 through D17.0. Implantation sites were examined and recorded as live, dead, or resorbed fetuses. All live fetuses were weighed, examined for gross defects, and fixed in Bouin's solution. Twenty-three bilateral parameters were recorded for linear dimensions defining face and cranium. The fetal weights were statistically lower in treated as compared to control fetuses only on D16.0 through D17.0. Statistical analysis of the morphometrics identified five distinct growth patterns in treated mice as compared to controls. The anomalies induced in the CD-1 mouse fetus following exposure to alcohol on D8.0 resembled FAE rather than FAS. Morphometric analysis of the craniofacial region may be an important clinical tool for the quantitative identification of alcohol-related effects in the offspring of women who consumed alcohol while pregnant.
Epstein, DL; Sucheston, ME
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