Title of Presentation

Effects of Alcohol on the Skeletal Development of the Chicken Embryo

Type of Submission

Pre-recorded Research Talk

Research Field

Biochemistry, Biology

Faculty Advisor

Tyler Schwend

Graduation Year

2022

Start Date

10-4-2021 8:00 AM

End Date

11-4-2021 5:00 PM

Abstract

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which is specifically characterized by growth and mental retardation, craniofacial malformations, and heart and neural defects, is caused by exposure to alcohol during embryonic or fetal development. Through experimentation, it has been demonstrated that the effects of FAS in mouse and chick models are comparable to those in humans, making these developing animals valuable models to study the effects of alcohol on tissue development.

Skeletal development is particularly sensitive to embryonic alcohol exposure with the cranial skeleton being the most prone to showing defects. This indicates that different skeletal elements may be more sensitive to alcohol exposure than others. With this in mind, it is currently unclear how alcohol exposure affects the development of the ocular skeleton, which is comprised of a ring of bones called the scleral ossicles which surround the cornea.

To test whether ocular skeleton development is sensitive to embryonic exposure to alcohol, we exposed developing chick embryos to alcohol (ethanol) and examined the formation of the scleral ossicles. In the presence of alcohol, the number of ossicles were reduced, indicating that the ocular skeleton is sensitive to alcohol exposure. To investigate whether effects are dependent on the time of treatment, we carried out our alcohol exposure at two different time points and found varying results. We are currently investigating whether the effects on ocular skeleton development elicited by alcohol are dose dependent. Future studies will examine at which specific cellular and molecular steps alcohol acts on to perturb ocular skeletal development.

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Apr 10th, 8:00 AM Apr 11th, 5:00 PM

Effects of Alcohol on the Skeletal Development of the Chicken Embryo

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), which is specifically characterized by growth and mental retardation, craniofacial malformations, and heart and neural defects, is caused by exposure to alcohol during embryonic or fetal development. Through experimentation, it has been demonstrated that the effects of FAS in mouse and chick models are comparable to those in humans, making these developing animals valuable models to study the effects of alcohol on tissue development.

Skeletal development is particularly sensitive to embryonic alcohol exposure with the cranial skeleton being the most prone to showing defects. This indicates that different skeletal elements may be more sensitive to alcohol exposure than others. With this in mind, it is currently unclear how alcohol exposure affects the development of the ocular skeleton, which is comprised of a ring of bones called the scleral ossicles which surround the cornea.

To test whether ocular skeleton development is sensitive to embryonic exposure to alcohol, we exposed developing chick embryos to alcohol (ethanol) and examined the formation of the scleral ossicles. In the presence of alcohol, the number of ossicles were reduced, indicating that the ocular skeleton is sensitive to alcohol exposure. To investigate whether effects are dependent on the time of treatment, we carried out our alcohol exposure at two different time points and found varying results. We are currently investigating whether the effects on ocular skeleton development elicited by alcohol are dose dependent. Future studies will examine at which specific cellular and molecular steps alcohol acts on to perturb ocular skeletal development.