Low-dose thyroxine attenuates autism-associated adverse effects of fetal alcohol in male offspring's social behavior and hippocampal gene expression

Elif Tunc-Ozcan, Timothy M. Ullmann, Pradeep Kumar Shukla, Eva E. Redei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is characterized by neurodevelopmental anomalies manifesting in cognitive and behavioral deficits in the offspring with diverse severities. Social behavior is affected in FASD, and these deficits overlap with those of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Identifying some of the molecular characteristics related to ASD in an animal model of FASD could ultimately provide details on the underlying molecular mechanisms of both disorders that could lead to novel treatments. Methods: Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats received the following diets: control (C; ad libitum standard laboratory chow), nutritional control pair-fed (PF), ethanol (EtOH), or an EtOH diet supplemented with 0.3, 1.5, or 7.5 mg thyroxine (T4)/l in the diet. Social behavior and memory were tested in the adult offspring. Plasma total T4, free T3 (fT3), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were measured. Hippocampal expression of Gabrb3, Ube3a, Nr2b, Rasgrf1, and Dio3 were measured by RT-qPCR and protein levels of Mecp2 and Slc25a12 by Western blotting. Results: Adult male offspring of EtOH dams showed elevated fT3 and low TSH levels. Adult male, but not female, offspring of EtOH dams exhibited social behavior and memory deficits. Expression of autism candidates, Gabrb3, Ube3a, Mecp2, and Slc25a12, was significantly increased in the hippocampus of male offspring of EtOH dams. Hippocampal Nr2b and Dio3 were also increased, while Rasgrf1 was decreased in the same population. Peripheral thyroid function, social behavioral deficits, and altered expression of the above genes were normalized by simultaneous administration of 0.3 mg/l T4 in the EtOH diet. Conclusions: Our data suggest that social interaction deficits of FASD share molecular mechanism with ASD by showing altered hippocampal expression of several ASD candidate genes. Social interaction deficits as well as the gene expression changes in the offspring of EtOH-consuming dams can be reversed by low dose of thyroid hormone supplementation to the mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1986-1995
Number of pages10
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume37
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Social Behavior
Nutrition
Autistic Disorder
Thyroxine
Gene expression
Dams
ras-GRF1
Alcohols
Diet
Gene Expression
Adult Children
Thyrotropin
Interpersonal Relations
Genes
Data storage equipment
Memory Disorders
Triiodothyronine
Thyroid Hormones
Sprague Dawley Rats

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Low-dose thyroxine attenuates autism-associated adverse effects of fetal alcohol in male offspring's social behavior and hippocampal gene expression. / Tunc-Ozcan, Elif; Ullmann, Timothy M.; Shukla, Pradeep Kumar; Redei, Eva E.

In: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Vol. 37, No. 11, 01.11.2013, p. 1986-1995.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is characterized by neurodevelopmental anomalies manifesting in cognitive and behavioral deficits in the offspring with diverse severities. Social behavior is affected in FASD, and these deficits overlap with those of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Identifying some of the molecular characteristics related to ASD in an animal model of FASD could ultimately provide details on the underlying molecular mechanisms of both disorders that could lead to novel treatments. Methods: Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats received the following diets: control (C; ad libitum standard laboratory chow), nutritional control pair-fed (PF), ethanol (EtOH), or an EtOH diet supplemented with 0.3, 1.5, or 7.5 mg thyroxine (T4)/l in the diet. Social behavior and memory were tested in the adult offspring. Plasma total T4, free T3 (fT3), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were measured. Hippocampal expression of Gabrb3, Ube3a, Nr2b, Rasgrf1, and Dio3 were measured by RT-qPCR and protein levels of Mecp2 and Slc25a12 by Western blotting. Results: Adult male offspring of EtOH dams showed elevated fT3 and low TSH levels. Adult male, but not female, offspring of EtOH dams exhibited social behavior and memory deficits. Expression of autism candidates, Gabrb3, Ube3a, Mecp2, and Slc25a12, was significantly increased in the hippocampus of male offspring of EtOH dams. Hippocampal Nr2b and Dio3 were also increased, while Rasgrf1 was decreased in the same population. Peripheral thyroid function, social behavioral deficits, and altered expression of the above genes were normalized by simultaneous administration of 0.3 mg/l T4 in the EtOH diet. Conclusions: Our data suggest that social interaction deficits of FASD share molecular mechanism with ASD by showing altered hippocampal expression of several ASD candidate genes. Social interaction deficits as well as the gene expression changes in the offspring of EtOH-consuming dams can be reversed by low dose of thyroid hormone supplementation to the mothers.",
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T1 - Low-dose thyroxine attenuates autism-associated adverse effects of fetal alcohol in male offspring's social behavior and hippocampal gene expression

AU - Tunc-Ozcan, Elif

AU - Ullmann, Timothy M.

AU - Shukla, Pradeep Kumar

AU - Redei, Eva E.

PY - 2013/11/1

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N2 - Background: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is characterized by neurodevelopmental anomalies manifesting in cognitive and behavioral deficits in the offspring with diverse severities. Social behavior is affected in FASD, and these deficits overlap with those of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Identifying some of the molecular characteristics related to ASD in an animal model of FASD could ultimately provide details on the underlying molecular mechanisms of both disorders that could lead to novel treatments. Methods: Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats received the following diets: control (C; ad libitum standard laboratory chow), nutritional control pair-fed (PF), ethanol (EtOH), or an EtOH diet supplemented with 0.3, 1.5, or 7.5 mg thyroxine (T4)/l in the diet. Social behavior and memory were tested in the adult offspring. Plasma total T4, free T3 (fT3), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were measured. Hippocampal expression of Gabrb3, Ube3a, Nr2b, Rasgrf1, and Dio3 were measured by RT-qPCR and protein levels of Mecp2 and Slc25a12 by Western blotting. Results: Adult male offspring of EtOH dams showed elevated fT3 and low TSH levels. Adult male, but not female, offspring of EtOH dams exhibited social behavior and memory deficits. Expression of autism candidates, Gabrb3, Ube3a, Mecp2, and Slc25a12, was significantly increased in the hippocampus of male offspring of EtOH dams. Hippocampal Nr2b and Dio3 were also increased, while Rasgrf1 was decreased in the same population. Peripheral thyroid function, social behavioral deficits, and altered expression of the above genes were normalized by simultaneous administration of 0.3 mg/l T4 in the EtOH diet. Conclusions: Our data suggest that social interaction deficits of FASD share molecular mechanism with ASD by showing altered hippocampal expression of several ASD candidate genes. Social interaction deficits as well as the gene expression changes in the offspring of EtOH-consuming dams can be reversed by low dose of thyroid hormone supplementation to the mothers.

AB - Background: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is characterized by neurodevelopmental anomalies manifesting in cognitive and behavioral deficits in the offspring with diverse severities. Social behavior is affected in FASD, and these deficits overlap with those of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Identifying some of the molecular characteristics related to ASD in an animal model of FASD could ultimately provide details on the underlying molecular mechanisms of both disorders that could lead to novel treatments. Methods: Pregnant Sprague-Dawley rats received the following diets: control (C; ad libitum standard laboratory chow), nutritional control pair-fed (PF), ethanol (EtOH), or an EtOH diet supplemented with 0.3, 1.5, or 7.5 mg thyroxine (T4)/l in the diet. Social behavior and memory were tested in the adult offspring. Plasma total T4, free T3 (fT3), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were measured. Hippocampal expression of Gabrb3, Ube3a, Nr2b, Rasgrf1, and Dio3 were measured by RT-qPCR and protein levels of Mecp2 and Slc25a12 by Western blotting. Results: Adult male offspring of EtOH dams showed elevated fT3 and low TSH levels. Adult male, but not female, offspring of EtOH dams exhibited social behavior and memory deficits. Expression of autism candidates, Gabrb3, Ube3a, Mecp2, and Slc25a12, was significantly increased in the hippocampus of male offspring of EtOH dams. Hippocampal Nr2b and Dio3 were also increased, while Rasgrf1 was decreased in the same population. Peripheral thyroid function, social behavioral deficits, and altered expression of the above genes were normalized by simultaneous administration of 0.3 mg/l T4 in the EtOH diet. Conclusions: Our data suggest that social interaction deficits of FASD share molecular mechanism with ASD by showing altered hippocampal expression of several ASD candidate genes. Social interaction deficits as well as the gene expression changes in the offspring of EtOH-consuming dams can be reversed by low dose of thyroid hormone supplementation to the mothers.

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