Elise Wright

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Shiva Singh


The C57BL/6J inbred mouse strain has been used extensively to study human alcoholism because of its well-established tendency to preferentially consume alcohol-containing solutions over those of pure water. In the current study, this innate preference was exploited to examine the effects of self-administered ethanol by pregnant dams on the outcomes of offspring as a novel rodent model for the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) observed in human populations. Behavioural analyses determined that the acquisition of developmental milestones, spontaneous and nocturnal activity levels, anxiety, learning and memory were significantly altered in offspring of mothers who consumed ethanol during the periods of mouse pup neurodevelopment that correlate with the three trimesters of human pregnancy. Moreover, these behavioural and neuro­ developmental changes were associated with the altered expression of several genes considered important for learning, anxiety, and disorders of central nervous system dysfunction.



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