Differential expression of c-fos in a mouse model of fetal alcohol syndrome

Sarah H. Poggi, Katie M. Goodwin, Joanna M. Hill, Douglas E. Brenneman, Elisabetta Tendi, Sergio Schninelli, Catherine Y. Spong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) results in stillbirth, fetal growth restriction, and mental retardation with injury attributed to oxidative stress. Our objective was to identify signal transduction pathways expressed in a model of FAS and to quantify expression of c-fos, a gene in the stress signal pathway. STUDY DESIGN: Timed, pregnant C57BI6/J mice were injected on E8 with saline solution or alcohol. RNA was extracted from decidua and embryo 6 and 24 hours later. Microarray analysis was used to screen gene pathways. Differential gene expression was confirmed using real-time polymerase chain reaction with results presented as the ratio of c-fos concentration to that of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). RESULTS: Differential gene expression between alcohol and control was noted for stress signal pathway genes including c-fos. Real-time polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that c-fos messenger RNA expression was greater in the alcohol than control decidua at 6 hours after injection (P < .01). This effect persisted at 24 hours (P < .01). There was no difference in c-fos expression in embryos whose mothers received alcohol versus control after 6 hours (P = .12) or 24 hours (P = .89). CONCLUSION: Alcohol administration during pregnancy results in differential gene expression in the stress signal pathway, particularly in c-fos. C-fos expression in the decidua increases from 6 to 24 hours after alcohol injection, but does not change in the embryo, which may contribute to alcohol-induced damage in FAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-789
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Mouse
  • Oxidative stress
  • c-fos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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