International Journal of Anatomical Sciences 2014, 5(1): 26-33

Research Article

Effect of Ethanol Exposure on Heart Development in Zebra Fish (Danio rerio) Embryos

Muhammed Ibrahim, Anandan Balakrishnan, Seppan Prakash, Hyun-Jeong Lee

Department of Anatomy, Dr ALM PG IBMS, University of Madras, Chennai, India.
Department of Genetics, Dr ALM PG IBMS, University of Madras, Chennai, India.
Division of Animal Genomics and Bioinformatics, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development, Administration, #564 Omockchun-dong, Suwon, 441-706, Republic of Korea.

Key words :Ethanol, zebrafish, Heart, Development, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Abstract:The objective of the present study is to evaluate the effect of ethanol on developing zebra fish heart. Male and female fishes are allowed to breed normally and the fertilized eggs were collected and it was exposed to 3 % of ethanol (EtOH) for one hour once in 24 hours for 96 hours. The embryos were subjected to various analyses related to heart development like external morphology, heart morphology, heart rate, heart looping formation, heart length and ventricular stand still. The data showed significant alteration in the length of whole embryo or larva, heart length and heart rate of EtOH exposed embryo when compared to control. The looping also altered like string-like or straight tube appearance, with the ventricle located distinctly anterior to the atrium. Further, the ventricle appeared smaller than normal, the atrium is elongated, and both chambers having a narrow width. The incidence of ventricular standstill and valvular regurgitation is occurring in EtOH treated embryo when compared to control. Taken together, the steady decrease in heart size coupled with the severe defects in ventricular function, failure of cardiac looping formation, heart rate, ventricular standstill and retrograde blood flow would be expected to have a substantial impact on the ability of zebra fish to circulate blood. From the present study it is concluded that EtOH exposure during development results in structural and functional impairment in heart that mimic malformations that occur in patients with fetal alcohol syndrome.