Fetal alcohol syndrome commonly results in neurological and craniofacial defects, additionally, as high as 54% of live-born children with this syndrome also possess cardiac abnormalities. We have previously shown that CNCC-ablated embryos exhibit similar structural and functional phenotypes as ethanol-exposed embryos. Here, we present progress on two fronts toward understanding the association between CNCC dysfunction and FAS-related CHDs. We have developed a technique for measuring the thickness of the cardiac cushions throughout the heart. These values were then mapped onto a surface mesh of the myocardial wall for 3-D visualization. The cushions were observed to be significantly reduced in the outflow tract of CNCC-ablated embryos. We also observed a correlation between abnormal pulsed Doppler waveforms and increased separation of the atrioventricular inferior and superior cushions. This correlation between function and structure will enable rapid phenotyping of perturbed embryos. Finally, we present our preliminary results using methyl donors to rescue ethanol-exposed embryonic CHDs. Betaine was administered along with the ethanol injection to embryos at 21 hours of development. The embryos were then analyzed at day 8 for survival and heart morphology. The administration of betaine resulted in a significant increase in survival and normalization of atrioventricular valve leaflet volume and interventricular septum thickness.
Shi Gu, Lindsy M. Peterson, Pei Ma, Ganga Karunamuni, Michiko Watanabe, Michael W. Jenkins, and Andrew M. Rollins, "Investigating alcohol-induced congenital heart defects using optical coherence tomography
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9697, Optical Coherence Tomography and Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedicine XX, 969719 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 16, 2016; Published: 26 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2214796.4848635697001.
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