Ethanol neurotoxicity: effects on neurite formation and neurotrophic factor production in vitro

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Science  03 May 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4699, pp. 591-593
DOI: 10.1126/science.3983644


The effects of ethanol on chick embryo sensory and spinal cord neurons growing on one of several biological substrates (poly-D-lysine, laminin, or neuron-produced neurite-promoting materials) were examined. Ethanol inhibited process formation by the neurons in a dose-dependent manner and inhibited the production of neurotrophic factors. Neuronal attachment to the substrates, survival of attached neurons, and receptor interactions of sensory neurons with nerve growth factor were not influenced by ethanol. It appears that ethanol alters certain metabolic characteristics of developing neurons.