The pharmacological and toxicological mechanisms of ethanol are considered to be related to the effects of ceramide. As an important signal transduction molecule, ceramide participates in a variety of cellular transduction pathways and can modulate cell cycle, cellular differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis.
A recent study, published in the Neural Regeneration Research
(Vol. 8, No. 23, 2013), verified that ceramide is involved in alcohol-induced neural proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of pups after prenatal ethanol exposure, and the mechanism may be associated with increased ex-pression of protein kinase C α activating the ceramide/ceramide-1-phosphate pathway.
Authors, Zhixin Wang and colleagues from Henan University, believe that this study preliminarily explains the mechanism underlying fetal alcohol syndrome caused byprenatal ethanol exposure.