Mechanisms of Ethanol-Induced Death of Cerebellar Granule Cells
- Jia Luo
- The Cerebellum
Retinoic acid(RA) is a potent teratogen to which the early CNS is known to be highly sensitive. However, very little is know about the postnatal effects of RA. The cerebellum is a candidate for postnatal RA toxicity, as it develops late and exhibits temporal patterns of RA synthesis that are synchronized with developmental stages. Northern blotting shows that the cerebellum expresses receptors for RA, predominantly of the RXR group activated by 9-cis RA. To determine whether development can be disrupted by RA excess, newborn rats were injected with RA at a time when endogenous RA levels are normally low. Histological examinations at postnatal day 14 revealed loss of a subpopulation of proliferating granule cells, and adult cerebella showed clusters of ectopic granule cells located in the molecular layer. Thus, although the granule cells may normally be regulated by endogenous RA, they are sensitive to abnormally high RA concentrations.