Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Conway, Sonya

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Biological Sciences


This experiment examines the effect of feeding an ethanol diet to pregnant rats on their offspring. Ethanol has been found to retard fetal growth and alter the synthesis and release of a number of growth factors both in humans and laboratory animals. In this study, we evaluated the effect of ethanol exposure during gestation on the development of the growth hormone system in Sprague- Dawley rats. Pregnant rats were either fed an ethanol diet or were pair fed a diet equivalent in calories to that consumed by the ethanol mothers. A third group of animals was fed ad libitum. Offspring were tested at 1,10, 20, 30, 35, and 60 days of age to determine circulating levels of growth hormone. Pituitary Growth Hormone content was measured at 30 and 60 days of age. Determination of Growth Hormone values was by radioimmunoassay. Our findings indicate that during early postnatal development circulating Growth Hormone levels are depressed in ethanol exposed pups. Around the age of puberty (30-35 days) Growth HormoneO levels are either higher or lower than normal. By 60 days they are comparable to controls. A similar trend occurs in pituitary content of Growth Hormone except that by 60 days of age Growth Hormone content is higher than both pair fed and control animals.


Includes bibliographical references.


18 pages




Northern Illinois University

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