Fetal alcohol syndrome: embryogenesis in a mouse model

Science  20 Nov 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4523, pp. 936-938
DOI: 10.1126/science.6795717


When two small doses of ethanol were administered to pregnant mice during the gastrulation stage of embryogenesis, the embryos developed craniofacial malformations closely resembling those seen in the human fetal alcohol syndrome. Striking histological changes appeared in the developing brain (neuroectoderm) within 24 hours of exposure. Decreased development of the neural plate and its derivatives apparently accounts for the craniofacial malformations. The critical exposure period is equivalent to the third week in human pregnancy.

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