Combined pre- and postnatal ethanol exposure alters the development of Bergmann glia in rat cerebellum. Academic Article uri icon


  • The development and maturation of Bergmann glial cells in the rat cerebellum was evaluated on postnatal day 15 by glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunocytochemistry, following combined gestational and 10-day postnatal ethanol exposure (a full three trimester human equivalency). GFAP-positive Bergmann glial fibers of lobules I, III, VIb, VII and X of the cerebellar vermis were examined and counted in the molecular layer (ML), the external granular layer (EGL) and the external limiting membrane (ELM). Ethanol exposure reduced: (1) the number of GFAP-positive fibers (per unit length of folia surface) at all three levels; (2) the percentage of mature fibers; and (3) the cross-sectional area in all lobules examined. When data from the five lobules were pooled, there were 7% fewer GFAP-positive fibers in the ML, 15% fewer in the EGL and 20% fewer in the ELM; the percentage of mature fibers was reduced by 16%; and the cross-sectional areas of lobules were reduced by 16%. The altered development of Bergmann glia could be one of the factors causing delayed migration of granular neurons and reductions in the number of granule cells reported in other studies following developmental ethanol exposures and could help to explain some of the motor dysfunctions reported in FAS victims.

published proceedings

  • Int J Dev Neurosci

author list (cited authors)

  • Shetty, A. K., Burrows, R. C., Wall, K. A., & Phillips, D. E

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Shetty, AK||Burrows, RC||Wall, KA||Phillips, DE

publication date

  • November 1994