In the present study the system of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) – the GABA content, the activity of enzymes of its metabolism: glutamate decarboxylase - GAD, EC 18.104.22.168 and 4-aminobutyrate aminotransferase - GABA-T, EC 22.214.171.124, and free glutamate and aspartate in the mitochondria of brain structures (cerebral cortex, cerebellum, brainstem and hypothalamus) in 30-day-old male Chinchilla rabbit after intrauterine exposure to chronic ethanol intoxication (3.5 g / kg, 25% ethanol per day, intraperitoneally, for 10 days) were investigated.
It was revealed that the GABA was increased by 23-90% and free glutamate and aspartate was decreased by 15-21% and 22-34%, respectively, in the mitochondrial fraction of the CNS structures of 30-day-old (the completion of axon myelination) male rabbits exposed in utero to chronic ethanol intoxication. The GAD activity in these conditions in the mitochondria of the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, brain stem and hypothalamus was increased by 22, 19, 199 and 28% respectively compared to control. In this case, the GABA-T activity in contrast to the GAD activity was reduced by 17-21% compared to control.
Based on the results we conclude that chronic ethanol intoxication undergone in utero plays a significant role in the GABA metabolism in the mitochondrial fractions of CNS structures during the completion of axon myelination in postnatal development in male rabbit offspring.
GABA as an inhibitory neurotransmitter can be actively involved in the pathogenesis of in utero ethanol intoxication of organism and the CNS, via protecting nerve cells and the organism from its adverse effect and by involving in the mechanism of adaptation and protective-compensatory processes in the CNS in these conditions.