This article is part of the Research Topic Sensory processing disorder (SPD)

Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Integr. Neurosci., 10 November 2009 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/neuro.07.030.2009

Timing of moderate level prenatal alcohol exposure influences gene expression of sensory processing behavior in rhesus monkeys

1
Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
2
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
3
Harlow Center for Biological Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
4
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
5
Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
6
Department of Physics, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN, USA
Sensory processing disorder, characterized by over- or under-responsivity to non-noxious environmental stimuli, is a common but poorly understood disorder. We examined the role of prenatal alcohol exposure, serotonin transporter gene polymorphic region variation (rh5-HTTLPR), and striatal dopamine (DA) function on behavioral measures of sensory responsivity to repeated non-noxious sensory stimuli in macaque monkeys. Results indicated that early gestation alcohol exposure induced behavioral under-responsivity to environmental stimuli in monkeys carrying the short (s) rh5-HTTLPR allele compared to both early-exposed monkeys homozygous for the long (l) allele and monkeys from middle-to-late exposed pregnancies and controls, regardless of genotype. Moreover, prenatal timing of alcohol exposure altered the relationship between sensory scores and DA D2R availability. In early-exposed monkeys, a positive relationship was shown between sensory scores and DA D2R availability, with low or blunted DA function associated with under-responsive sensory function. The opposite pattern was found for the middle-to-late gestation alcohol-exposed group. These findings raise questions about how the timing of prenatal perturbation and genotype contributes to effects on neural processing and possibly alters neural connections.
Keywords:
environment by gene interaction, sensory processing disorder, sensory processing scale for monkeys, genotype, dopaminergic D2R binding, serotonin transporter gene polymorphism, timing of moderate prenatal alcohol exposure, early gestation alcohol exposure
Citation:
Schneider ML, Moore CF, Larson JA, Barr CS, DeJesus OT and Roberts AD (2009). Timing of moderate level prenatal alcohol exposure influences gene expression of sensory processing behavior in rhesus monkeys. Front. Integr. Neurosci. 3:30. doi: 10.3389/neuro.07.030.2009
Received:
10 April 2009;
 Paper pending published:
11 August 2009;
Accepted:
23 October 2009;
 Published online:
10 November 2009.

Edited by:

John J. Foxe, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, USA; City College of the City University of New York, USA

Reviewed by:

J. N. Reynolds, Queen’s University, Canada
Pierfi lippo De Sanctis, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, USA
Copyright:
© 2009 Schneider, Moore, Larson, Barr, DeJesus and Roberts. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and the Frontiers Research Foundation, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited.
*Correspondence:
Mary L. Schneider, Department of Kinesiology, Occupational Therapy Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2175 Medical Science Center, 1300 University Ave. Madison, WI 53706, USA. e-mail: schneider@education.wisc.edu