Question of the Day – Wednesday August 15, 2018

Question – What are the likely mechanisms for ethanol’s action as a teratogen?

Answer – The cited reference notes “ [ethanol] can act as a teratogen through numerous methods including reactive oxygen species (generated as by products of CYP2E1), decreased antioxidant levels, mitochondrial damage, lipid peroxidation, disrupted neuronal cell-cell adhesion, placental vasoconstriction and inhibition of cofactors required for fetal growth and development. More recently, alcohol has also been shown to have epigenetic effects.” (Gupta KK et al. An update on fetal alcohol syndrome -Pathogenesis, risks and treatment. 2016 Alcohol Clin Exp Res 40(8): 1594-1602.)