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Ameliorating Effects of Lithium on the Perinatal Ethanol-Induced Behavioral and Cognitive Dysfunction and Brain Oxidative Stress in Postnatal Developing Mice Pups

[ Vol. 21 , Issue. 13 ]


Mohammad Ahmad and Gasem M. Abu Taweel*   Pages 1325 - 1332 ( 8 )


Background: Developmental ethanol (EtOH) exposure can cause lifelong behavioral hyperactivity, cognitive deficits, emotional dysregulation, and more. However, co-treatment with lithium (Li) on the day of EtOH exposure prevents many of the impairments.

Methods: Experimental groups of pregnant mice were exposed to EtOH (20% v/v solution at a dose of 2.5 g/kg) in their drinking water and the animals were treated with Li (15 and 30 mg/kg) through IP injection on gestational days14, 16, 18, and 20, and post-natal days (PD) 3, 5, 7, and 9. All treatments with EtOH and exposure to Li doses to pregnant mice started on gestational day 14 and continued until post-natal day 9 (PD9). The effects on some developing morphological indices, nerve reflexes during weaning age, and various cognitive dysfunctions at adolescent ages and biochemical changes in the brain tissue indices of below-mentioned neurotransmitters and oxidative stress in post-natal developing offspring at adolescent age, were studied.

Results: Perinatal exposure to EtOH in pregnant mice resulted in several postnatal developing and morphological indices in the developing male pups during their weaning period, like gain in their body weight, delay in appearance of their body hair fuzz and opening of their eyes, and disruptions in their developing motor reflexes.

Discussion: During adolescent age, a significant deficit in their learning capability and cognitive behavior, decline in the neurochemical DA and 5-HT in their brain and some indices of oxidative stress TBARS, GSH, GST, CAT, and SOD was observed.

Conclusion: These results indicate that Li ameliorates significantly and dose-dependently EtOH induced developmental toxicities like morphological developments and dysfunctions in cognitive retention and oxidative stress on a long-term basis in brain tissue. However, further detailed studies are required for the clinical use of as an ameliorating agent for perinatal EtOH induced dysfunctions.


Mice, perinatal, ethanol, lithium, cognitive dysfunctions, brain oxidative stress.


College of Nursing, King Saud University, Riyadh, Department of Biology, College of Sciences, Jazan University, P.O. Box 2079, Jazan 45142

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