Ethanol ingestion during pregnancy causes a pattern of fetal/neonatal dysfunction called the FAS. The effects of short- and long-term ethanol ingestion on the placental uptake and maternal-fetal transfer of valine were studied in rats. The in vivo placental uptake and fetal uptake were estimated after injection of 0.04 μmol of 14C-valine intravenously on day 20 of gestation in Sprague-Dawley rats. Short-term ethanol ingestion (4 gm/kg) caused a significant reduction in the placental uptake of 14C-valine by 33%, 60%, 30%, and 31% at 2.5, 5, 10, and 15 min after valine administration, respectively (p < 0.01), and a similar significant reduction occurred in the fetal uptake of 14C-valine (p < 0.01). Long-term ethanol ingestion prior to and throughout gestation resulted in a 47% reduction in placental valine uptake (p < 0.01) and a 46% reduction in fetal valine uptake (p < 0.01). Long-term ethanol feeding from day 4 to day 20 of gestation caused a 32% reduction in placental valine uptake (p < 0.01) and a 26% reduction in fetal valine uptake (p < 0.01). We conclude that both short- and long-term ingestion of ethanol inhibit the placental uptake and maternal-fetal transfer of an essential amino acid-valine. An alteration of placental function may contribute to the pathogenesis of the FAS.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine|
|State||Published - Aug 1981|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine