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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neurotrophic factors BDNF and GDNF protect embryonic chick spinal cord motoneurons from ethanol neurotoxicity in vivo.

Maternal consumption of ethanol is widely recognized as a leading cause of mental and physical deficits. Many populations of the central nervous system are affected by the teratogenic effects of ethanol. Neurotrophic factors (NTFs) have been shown to protect against ethanol neurotoxicity in culture, although there have been no demonstrations of such protection in vivo, in specific neuronal populations. Previous studies have demonstrated that ethanol is toxic to developing chick embryo motoneurons when administered from embryonic day 10 (E10) to E15. NTFs such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) have been shown to support developing spinal cord motoneurons, and when exogenously applied, decrease naturally occurring cell death, and protect against axotomy. The concurrent delivery of BDNF or GDNF with ethanol to the embryonic chick from E10 to E15 was designed to examine the capacity of these NTFs to provide in vivo neuroprotection for this ethanol-sensitive motoneuron population. Analysis of motoneuron numbers indicated that both BDNF and GDNF provided protection to developing spinal cord motoneurons from ethanol toxicity, restoring motoneuron numbers to control levels. This study represents the first demonstration of in vivo neuroprotection from ethanol toxicity with respect to specific neuronal populations.[1]


  1. Neurotrophic factors BDNF and GDNF protect embryonic chick spinal cord motoneurons from ethanol neurotoxicity in vivo. Bradley, D.M., Beaman, F.D., Moore, D.B., Kidd, K., Heaton, M.B. Brain Res. Dev. Brain Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
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