Spontaneous fetal behavior after maternal exposure to ethanol

William P. Smotherman, Karen S. Woodruff, Scott R. Robinson, Carmen Del Real, Susan Barron, Edward P. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Acute and chronic intubations of ethanol to pregnant rats produced changes in spontaneous fetal behavior four hours later. Fetuses from mothers in intermediate alcohol groups (4 and 6 g/kg) were substantially less active than controls (0 g/kg), but fetuses from low (2 g/kg) and high (8 g/kg) alcohol groups showed little indication of behavioral suppression. Circulating levels of alcohol in maternal blood, fetal homogenate and amniotic fluid at the time fetuses were observed confirmed that fetuses were exposed to alcohol in utero, but the measured concentrations of alcohol were not predictive of fetal activity. We suggest that some of the developmental consequences of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may be the consequence of fetal inactivity induced by alcohol in utero.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-170
Number of pages6
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1986

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
WPS IS supportedb y grant 16102-0f4r omthe NationalI nstltute of Chdd Healtha nd Human Developmen(Nt IH) and by grant3 0-262-0506fr om the ResearchC ouncilat OregonS tateUmverslty, NIH BiomedicaRl esearchS upportG rant RR07079 EPR is supported by grant 03249-07f rom the National Insmuteo f Alcohol Abuse and Alcohohsm We thank threea nonymourse viewersfo r provldmgh elpfuls uggestionms the preparatioonf this manuscript


  • Alcohol
  • Behavioral pathogenesis
  • Dysmorphogenesis
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Fetal behavior
  • Pregnancy
  • Teratogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Spontaneous fetal behavior after maternal exposure to ethanol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this