Constrictor responses of cerebral resistance arterioles in male and female rats exposed to prenatal alcohol

Partha S. Saha, Tiffany M. Knecht, Denise M. Arrick, Michael J. Watt, Jamie L. Scholl, William G. Mayhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


While it is known that dilation of cerebral arterioles to NOS-dependent agonists is impaired in rats exposed to prenatal alcohol, no studies have examined the influence of prenatal alcohol on constrictor response of cerebral arterioles. Our goal was to determine whether constrictor responses of cerebral resistance arterioles are altered by prenatal exposure to alcohol and if any changes differed as a function of age or sex. We fed Sprague-Dawley rat dams a liquid diet with or without alcohol (3% ethanol) for the duration of their pregnancy. We then examined reactivity of cerebral arterioles to thromboxane (U-46619; 0.01 and 0.1 µM), arginine vasopressin (0.1 and 1 nM), and angiotensin II (1 and 10 µM) in four groups of offspring: control male and female, and prenatal alcohol male and female at two different ages (adolescent: 4–6 weeks old and adult: 14–16 weeks old). Constriction of cerebral arterioles to U-46619 and AVP were similar in male and female rats regardless of exposure to prenatal alcohol and age. Similarly, adolescent male and female rats showed no difference to angiotensin II following prenatal exposure to alcohol. However, alcohol-exposed females exhibited an unexpected dilation to the high concentration of angiotensin II in adulthood, which was absent in males. We suggest that the findings from these studies may have implications regarding the susceptibility of the brain to cerebral ischemic damage. We speculate that impaired vasodilation, coupled with preserved vasoconstriction, can lead to a scenario favoring a decrease in cerebral blood flow during times of increased metabolic demand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15079
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • cerebral ischemia
  • fetal alcohol syndrome
  • stroke
  • vasoconstriction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Constrictor responses of cerebral resistance arterioles in male and female rats exposed to prenatal alcohol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this