Description: This study concerned the effect of ethanol on cardiac activity and brain respiration in chick embryos. Ethanol dosages tested ranged from 1.0 mg to 4.0 mg/g weight. Each experiment lasted at least 150 minutes. Cardiac activity in terms of total waveform energies was integrated and printed out for plotting and analysis. The embryonic heart rates were simultaneously determined from physical graph tracings. The embryonic brain respiration was measured using a differential microrespirometer. The effect of ethanol on cardiac activity was one of slight (10 to 13), but statistically significant (p<.05) rate depression. The brain slices exhibited a marked, immediate, and irreversible decrease (39 to 89%) in oxygen consumption at both ethanol dosages. The data indicated that chick embryonic brain tissues were more susceptible to alcohol effects than cardiac tissue. Therefore, the mental abnormalities seen in the offspring of alcoholic mothers may be more cerebral in nature than cardiovascular.
Date: August 1976
Creator: Newman, James J.