Thyroxine administration prevents matrilineal intergenerational consequences of in utero ethanol exposure in rats

Elif Tunc-Ozcan, Kathryn M. Harper, Evan N. Graf, Eva E. Redei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The neurodevelopmental fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is characterized by cognitive and behavioral deficits in the offspring. Conferring the deficits to the next generation would increase overall FASD disease burden and prevention of this transmission could be highly significant. Prior studies showed the reversal of these behavioral deficits by low dose thyroxine (T4) supplementation to the ethanol-consuming mothers. Here we aim to identify whether prenatal ethanol (PE) exposure impairs hippocampus-dependent learning and memory in the second-generation (F2) progeny, and whether T4 administration to the ethanol-consuming dam can prevent it. Sprague-Dawley (S) dams received control diets (ad libitum and nutritional control) or ethanol containing liquid diet with and without simultaneous T4 (0.3 mg/L diet) administration. Their offspring (SS F1) were mated with naive Brown Norway (B) males and females generating the SB F2 and BS F2 progeny. Hippocampus-dependent contextual fear memory and hippocampal expression of the thyroid hormone-regulated type 3 deiodinase, (Dio3) and neurogranin (Nrgn) were assessed. SS F1 PE-exposed females and their SB F2 progeny exhibited fear memory deficits. T4 administration to the mothers of F1 females reversed these deficits. Although SS F1 PE-exposed males also experienced fear memory deficit, this was neither transmitted to their BS F2 offspring nor reversed by prenatal T4 treatment. Hippocampal Dio3 and Nrgn expression showed similar pattern of changes. Grandmaternal ethanol consumption during pregnancy affects fear memory of the matrilineal second-generation progeny. Low dose T4 supplementation prevents this process likely via altering allele-specific and total expression of Dio3 in the hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalHormones and Behavior
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Dio3
  • Fear conditioning
  • Free T3
  • Neurogranin
  • Prenatal ethanol
  • Thyroxine administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Thyroxine administration prevents matrilineal intergenerational consequences of in utero ethanol exposure in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this