Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access




Carlita Favero

Committee Member

Jennifer Round

Committee Member

Beth Bailey

Department Chair

Jennifer Round

Project Description

This project investigates the impact of prenatal alcohol exposure on dopaminergic axon development. Using both a wildtype mouse and fractalkine receptor knockout mouse, we also consider the role of fractalkine signaling in a vapor alcohol exposure paradigm. We look at dopaminergic axons in brain tissue of these two mouse genotypes at two time points (E14.5 and E18.5) and two orientations (coronal and sagittal). This allows us to get a more complete picture of the behavior of developing axons and whether alcohol effects persist throughout development. To visualize the axons, we stain the tissue using a tyrosine-hydroxylase antibody which is specific to dopaminergic neurons. Once stained, we analyze the axons using the Axon Tracer plug-in on ImageJ and compare groups. This research is important given its connection to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), which describes the variety of cognitive, behavioral, and physical abnormalities that result from maternal alcohol intake. Understanding alcohol exposure’s impact on dopaminergic neurons can help to explain some of the cognitive and behavioral differences prevalent in FASD.


This project was funded in part by the following grant: NIAAA R21 #AA025740-01A1.