School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Identifying cellular level epigenetic markers for the prediction of cognitive and learning deficits in a fetal alcohol spectrum disorders model

Poster Number

120

Document Type

Poster

Status

Medical Student

Abstract Category

Basic Biomedical Sciences

Keywords

neuroscience, translational, RNA sequencing, gene association

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Background/Rationale: Although the physical manifestations of prenatal exposure to alcohol are often easy to identify, the more devastating effects on cognitive function and intellectual ability, however, are highly varied and thus difficult to predict. In order to aid physicians in early identification of potential deficits and the implementation of the appropriate therapies, we aim to identify biomarkers that are associated with infants who have an increased risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), and of developing cognitive and learning disabilities later on in life.

Methods: For FASD model, pregnant female mice received 4.0g/kg intraperitoneal EtOH or PBS injections at embryonic day (E) 12-14 with expected pup delivery at E18-20. Postnatal day 30 pups (n=10) subsequently underwent rotarod behavior tests over 2 days in order to quantify learning capabilities as measured by latency to fall over a period of 6 trials. One day following the completion of the rotarod test, cardiac puncture was performed for whole blood collection and buffy coat, containing peripheral mononuclear cells, was isolated using Ficoll-density gradient medium. T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and monocyte populations were collected via fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and underwent RNA sequencing to identify variations in gene expression between the EtOH exposed and PBS groups.

Results: Findings to date indicate that prenatal exposure to alcohol negatively impacts learning abilities where 44% of the EtOH-exposed group are classified as poor learners (learning index <10) compared to 28% in the PBS-control group. RNA sequencing analysis of collected cellular populations is currently underway with the goal of identifying specific biomarkers that may be correlated to results encountered in our behavioral model.

Conclusion:

- The identification of potential biomarkers associated with cognitive and learning disabilities in our FASD mouse model may be useful in the development of future investigations that target markers specific to human patients with FASD.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Identifying cellular level epigenetic markers for the prediction of cognitive and learning deficits in a fetal alcohol spectrum disorders model

Background/Rationale: Although the physical manifestations of prenatal exposure to alcohol are often easy to identify, the more devastating effects on cognitive function and intellectual ability, however, are highly varied and thus difficult to predict. In order to aid physicians in early identification of potential deficits and the implementation of the appropriate therapies, we aim to identify biomarkers that are associated with infants who have an increased risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), and of developing cognitive and learning disabilities later on in life.

Methods: For FASD model, pregnant female mice received 4.0g/kg intraperitoneal EtOH or PBS injections at embryonic day (E) 12-14 with expected pup delivery at E18-20. Postnatal day 30 pups (n=10) subsequently underwent rotarod behavior tests over 2 days in order to quantify learning capabilities as measured by latency to fall over a period of 6 trials. One day following the completion of the rotarod test, cardiac puncture was performed for whole blood collection and buffy coat, containing peripheral mononuclear cells, was isolated using Ficoll-density gradient medium. T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and monocyte populations were collected via fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and underwent RNA sequencing to identify variations in gene expression between the EtOH exposed and PBS groups.

Results: Findings to date indicate that prenatal exposure to alcohol negatively impacts learning abilities where 44% of the EtOH-exposed group are classified as poor learners (learning index <10) compared to 28% in the PBS-control group. RNA sequencing analysis of collected cellular populations is currently underway with the goal of identifying specific biomarkers that may be correlated to results encountered in our behavioral model.

Conclusion:

- The identification of potential biomarkers associated with cognitive and learning disabilities in our FASD mouse model may be useful in the development of future investigations that target markers specific to human patients with FASD.