Overexpression of NGF ameliorates ethanol neurotoxicity in the developing cerebellum. Academic Article uri icon


  • Transgenic mice overexpressing NGF in the central nervous system under the control of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter were exposed to ethanol via vapor inhalation on postnatal days 4 and 5 (P4-5), the period of maximal cerebellar Purkinje cell sensitivity to ethanol. Wild-type controls were exposed in a similar manner. There were no differences in body weight or size following these procedures, but the transgenic brain weights at this age were significantly greater than wild-type controls. In the wild-type animals, a significant 33.3% ethanol-mediated loss of Purkinje cells in lobule I was detected via unbiased three-dimensional stereological counting on P5. In the GFAP-NGF transgenic animals, however, the 17.6% difference in Purkinje cell number in control and ethanol-exposed animals was not significant. There was a similar difference in Purkinje cell density in both groups, which did reach statistical significance (-32.7% in wild-type ethanol-treated animals, -17% in transgenic ethanol-exposed animals). These results suggest that endogenous overexpression of neurotrophic factors, which have previously been shown to protect against ethanol neurotoxicity in culture, can serve a similar protective function in the intact animal.

published proceedings

  • J Neurobiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Heaton, M. B., Mitchell, J. J., & Paiva, M.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Heaton, MB||Mitchell, JJ||Paiva, M

publication date

  • November 2000