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Prenatal exposure to alcohol: mechanisms of cerebral vascular damage and lifelong consequences

Affiliation
Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences ,Sanford School of Medicine ,University of South Dakota ,Vermillion ,SD ,United States
Saha, Partha S.;
Affiliation
Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences ,Sanford School of Medicine ,University of South Dakota ,Vermillion ,SD ,United States
Mayhan, William G.

Alcohol is a well-known teratogen, and prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) leads to a greater incidence of many cardiovascular-related pathologies. Alcohol negatively impacts vasculogenesis and angiogenesis in the developing fetal brain, resulting in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Ample preclinical evidence indicates that the normal reactivity of cerebral resistance arterioles, which regulate blood flow distribution in response to metabolic demand (neurovascular coupling), is impaired by PAE. This impairment of dilation of cerebral arteries may carry implications for the susceptibility of the brain to cerebral ischemic damage well into adulthood. The focus of this review is to consolidate findings from studies examining the influence of PAE on vascular development, give insights into relevant pathological mechanisms at the vascular level, evaluate the risks of ethanol-driven alterations of cerebrovascular reactivity, and revisit different preventive interventions that may have promise in reversing vascular changes in preclinical FASD models.

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License Holder: Copyright © 2022 Saha and Mayhan.

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