Second trimester prenatal alcohol exposure alters development of rat corpus callosum

Mei Qiang, Ming Wei Wang, Andrea J. Elberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Prenatal alcohol exposure produces many developmental defects of the central nervous system (CNS), such as in the corpus callosum (CC). This study was designed to observe the effect of prenatal alcohol exposure during the second trimester equivalent on the development of dendritic arbors of CC projection neurons (CCpn) in rat visual cortex. In addition, the effect of second trimester equivalent prenatal alcohol exposure on brain weight was determined. Pregnant dams received 1.2-6.0 g/kg ethanol (EtOH) during gestational day (G) 11-20. Controls consisted of normal and nutritionally matched pairfed (PF) dams. Pups were sacrificed on the day of birth, G26, G29 and G33. DiI crystals were placed in the midsagittal CC bundle to retrogradely label CCpn. Images of visual cortex were obtained from tissue slices using a confocal laser scanning microscope. The number and length of apical and basilar dendrite branches were determined. The results show that prenatal alcohol exposure restricted to the second trimester equivalent alters the development of the CCpn dendritic arbor and the brain weight in a blood alcohol concentration (BAC)-dependent manner. The alteration in the EtOH CCpn is manifested as an increase in the number and length of CCpn apical and basilar dendrite branches, while brain weight is reduced compared with Controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-732
Number of pages14
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


  • Brain weight
  • Corpus callosum
  • Dendrite development
  • Fetal alcohol exposure
  • Rat
  • Visual cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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