Differences in neural crest sensitivity to ethanol account for the infrequency of anterior segment defects in the eye compared with craniofacial anomalies in a zebrafish model of fetal alcohol syndrome

Jessica Eason, Antionette L. Williams, Bahaar Chawla, Christian Apsey, Brenda L. Bohnsack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Ethanol (ETOH) exposure during pregnancy is associated with craniofacial and neurologic abnormalities, but infrequently disrupts the anterior segment of the eye. In these studies, we used zebrafish to investigate differences in the teratogenic effect of ETOH on craniofacial, periocular, and ocular neural crest. Methods: Zebrafish eye and neural crest development was analyzed by means of live imaging, TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling) assay, immunostaining, detection of reactive oxygen species, and in situ hybridization. Results: Our studies demonstrated that foxd3-positive neural crest cells in the periocular mesenchyme and developing eye were less sensitive to ETOH than sox10-positive craniofacial neural crest cells that form the pharyngeal arches and jaw. ETOH increased apoptosis in the retina, but did not affect survival of periocular and ocular neural crest cells. ETOH also did not increase reactive oxygen species within the eye. In contrast, ETOH increased ventral neural crest apoptosis and reactive oxygen species production in the facial mesenchyme. In the eye and craniofacial region, sod2 showed high levels of expression in the anterior segment and in the setting of Sod2 knockdown, low levels of ETOH decreased migration of foxd3-positive neural crest cells into the developing eye. However, ETOH had minimal effect on the periocular and ocular expression of transcription factors (pitx2 and foxc1) that regulate anterior segment development. Conclusion: Neural crest cells contributing to the anterior segment of the eye exhibit increased ability to withstand ETOH-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis. These studies explain the rarity of anterior segment dysgenesis despite the frequent craniofacial abnormalities in fetal alcohol syndrome. Birth Defects Research 109:1212–1227, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1212-1227
Number of pages16
JournalBirth Defects Research
Volume109
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anterior segment
  • congenital eye disease
  • ethanol
  • eye development
  • fetal alcohol syndrome
  • neural crest
  • superoxide dismutase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Embryology
  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Differences in neural crest sensitivity to ethanol account for the infrequency of anterior segment defects in the eye compared with craniofacial anomalies in a zebrafish model of fetal alcohol syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this