Prenatal ethanol exposure impairs insulin and IGF signaling, which leads to cognitive/motor deficits. One main effect of developmental ethanol exposure is impaired neuronal migration. AAH is needed for neuronal migration, as it cross-talks with Notch and Wnt. Cerebellar AAH expression and function are impaired by alcohol exposure. We hypothesize that these effects are mediated by increased activation of GSK-3P, with attendant increased phosphorylation and degradation of AAH protein. We propose to: 1) characterize GSK-3P-mediated phosphorylation of AAH, and examine the effects in relation to AAH protein expression and catalytic activity, and neuronal migration;2) delineate mechanisms of ethanol-impaired AAH expression;and 3) assess the roles of ethanol and GSK-3P mediated phosphorylation of AAH in relation to Notch signaling. Validation studies will determine the degrees to which intracerebral delivery of wildtype or mutated AAH plasmids normalize cerebellar neuronal migration in ethanol-exposed rats. Measurements will include cerebellar morphometric, motor function, assays of AAH expression and catalytic activity, and analysis of insulin/IGF, Notch, and Wnt signaling networks. We also will determine if oxidative stress and anti-oxidant treatments alter AAH expression, function, and phosphorylation. For chronic prenatal ethanol exposures, we will feed pregnant Long Evans rats isocaloric control or ethanol-containing liquid diets. For binge exposures, we will bolus treat rat pups with ethanol by i.p. injection or gavage between postnatal days 1 and 10. Subsets in each group will be treated by intracerebral injection of recombinant AAH plasmid or empty vector (control). Cerebella will be used to generate precision-cut slice cultures for in vitro analysis of insulin responsiveness. Alternatively, we will measure long-term effects of the various treatments on motor coordination, cerebellar structure, insulin/IGF-1, Notch, and Wnt signaling, and AAH expression, and sacrifice the offspring on postnatal day 35 (early adolescence) or 65 (late adolescence). We expect that inhibition of GSK-SP and enhanced expression of AAH in the developing brain will prevent long-term structural and functional abnormalities caused by prenatal or early postnatal ethanol exposures.

Public Health Relevance

Prenatal alcohol exposure is the leading preventable cause of developmental cognitive-motor deficits in the USA. FASD is associated with CNS malformations, including neuronal migration disorders, which contribute to motor deficits. The proposed research will improve our understanding of how ethanol impairs neuronal migration during development and help future studies designed to prevent long-term effects of FASD.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
Program Officer
Radaeva, Svetlana
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Rhode Island Hospital
United States
Zip Code
Tong, Ming; Deochand, Chetram; Didsbury, John et al. (2016) T3D-959: A Multi-Faceted Disease Remedial Drug Candidate for the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. J Alzheimers Dis 51:123-38
Borgas, Diana; Chambers, Eboni; Newton, Julie et al. (2016) Cigarette Smoke Disrupted Lung Endothelial Barrier Integrity and Increased Susceptibility to Acute Lung Injury via Histone Deacetylase 6. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 54:683-96
Deochand, Chetram; Tong, Ming; Agarwal, Amit R et al. (2016) Tobacco Smoke Exposure Impairs Brain Insulin/IGF Signaling: Potential Co-Factor Role in Neurodegeneration. J Alzheimers Dis 50:373-86
Tong, Ming; Dominguez, Cesar; Didsbury, John et al. (2016) Targeting Alzheimer's Disease Neuro-Metabolic Dysfunction with a Small Molecule Nuclear Receptor Agonist (T3D-959) Reverses Disease Pathologies. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism 6:
Yalcin, Emine; de la Monte, Suzanne (2016) Tobacco nitrosamines as culprits in disease: mechanisms reviewed. J Physiol Biochem 72:107-20
Sturla, Lisa-Marie; Tong, Ming; Hebda, Nick et al. (2016) Aspartate-β-hydroxylase (ASPH): A potential therapeutic target in human malignant gliomas. Heliyon 2:e00203
Nunez, Kavin; Kay, Jared; Krotow, Alexander et al. (2016) Cigarette Smoke-Induced Alterations in Frontal White Matter Lipid Profiles Demonstrated by MALDI-Imaging Mass Spectrometry: Relevance to Alzheimer's Disease. J Alzheimers Dis 51:151-63
de la Monte, Suzanne M; Tong, M; Agarwal, A R et al. (2016) Tobacco Smoke-Induced Hepatic Injury with Steatosis, Inflammation, and Impairments in Insulin and Insulin-Like Growth Factor Signaling. J Clin Exp Pathol 6:
Yalcin, Emine B; de la Monte, Suzanne M (2015) Review of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-imaging mass spectrometry for lipid biochemical histopathology. J Histochem Cytochem 63:762-71
Borgas, Diana L; Gao, Jin-Song; Tong, Ming et al. (2015) Potential Role of Phosphorylation as a Regulator of Aspartyl-(asparaginyl)-β-hydroxylase: Relevance to Infiltrative Spread of Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Liver Cancer 4:139-53

Showing the most recent 10 out of 69 publications