1Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States; 2Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies,University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, United States; 3Center for In Vivo Microscopy, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States; 4Department of Radiology, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States
The primary effects of prenatal alcohol exposure are on the brain development and the cognitive and behavioral deficits that ensue. Magnetic susceptibility imaging was used to assess its impact to mouse brains. Two groups of mice (n=3, postnatal day 80) were characterized: an ethanol group and a control group. Two main white matter fiber bundles, anterior commissure and corpus callosum, were analyzed. The orientation dependence of magnetic susceptibility was found significantly decreased in ethanol exposed brains compared to their age-matched controls in both regions. This may be interpreted as a loss of myelination due to prenatal alcohol exposure.