The teratogenic effects of ethanol have been widely studied in a variety of experimental models. In humans, ethanol teratogenicity results from both direct and indirect effects. This paper reviews the differences between direct and indirect effects of ethanol on the developing fetus. Experimental paradigms are discussed that attempt to differentiate between direct and indirect effects. For the purpose of this review, direct effects of ethanol are caused by ethanol interacting with the fetal cell. Indirect effects of ethanol teratogenicity are defined as any perturbation of the developing fetus resulting from ethanol exposure but not caused by ethanol's interacting with the fetal cell. Indirect effects of ethanol teratogenicity include: ethanol-induced maternal undernutrition; ethanol-induced placental dysfunction and acetaldehyde teratogenicity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health