Effects of chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal on the response of the male and female hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to acute immune stress
ABSTRACT The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays a central role in the response to stress, and its activity is sexually dimorphic and modulated by sex steroids. Recent work indicates that HPA axis functioning is disturbed by chronic alcohol consumption and subsequent withdrawal in rats of both sexes, but particularly in females. To examine the influence of sex steroid hormones in HPA axis response to acute stress after ingestion of a 20% ethanol solution over 6months and subsequent withdrawal (2months), intact males, and estradiol- and oil-injected ovariectomized females received a single intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Six hours after LPS administration, corticosterone concentrations were increased in all male groups; however, in ethanol-treated rats they remained below those of control and withdrawn rats. mRNA levels of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) increased, and were identical in all groups after LPS stimulation, whereas those of vasopressin, although increased, remained below control levels. LPS stimulation elevated corticosterone concentrations in all oil-injected female groups, but did not alter those of estradiol-injected females. In oil- and estradiol-injected ethanol-treated females, CRH mRNA levels did not change in response to LPS stimulation, whereas those of vasopressin increased, but stayed below control levels. In withdrawn oil- and estradiol-injected females, CRH and vasopressin gene expression increased, but did not reach control levels. These data show that prolonged alcohol consumption produces long-lasting, possibly irreversible, changes in the neuroendocrine system that regulates the production of corticosteroids, and that these consequences are more profound in females, particularly when estrogen levels are low.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of chronic alcohol consumption on periodontitis development in rats.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 06/2014; DOI:10.1111/acer.12436 · 3.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Depression is a commonly reported co-morbidity during rehabilitation from alcohol use disorders and its presence is associated with an increased likelihood of relapse. Interventions which impede the development of depression could be of potential benefit if incorporated into treatment programs. We previously demonstrated an ameliorative effect of physical exercise on depressive behaviors in a mouse model of alcohol abstinence. Here, we show that environmental enrichment (cognitive and social stimulation) has a similar beneficial effect. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a key physiological system regulating stress responses and its dysregulation has been separably implicated in the pathophysiology of depression and addiction disorders. We performed a series of dexamethasone challenges and found that mice undergoing 2 weeks of alcohol abstinence had significantly greater corticosterone and ACTH levels following a DEX-CRH challenge compared to water controls. Environmental enrichment during alcohol abstinence corrected the abnormal DEX-CRH corticosterone response despite a further elevation of ACTH levels. Examination of gene expression revealed abstinence-associated alterations in glucocorticoid receptor (Gr), corticotrophin releasing hormone (Crh) and pro-opiomelanocortin (Pomc1) mRNA levels which were differentially modulated by environmental enrichment. Overall, our study demonstrates a benefit of environmental enrichment on alcohol abstinence-associated depressive behaviors and HPA axis dysregulation.Frontiers in Pharmacology 07/2013; 4:93. DOI:10.3389/fphar.2013.00093
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ABSTRACT: Addiction and substance abuse are found ubiquitously throughout human society. In the United States, these disorders are responsible for amassing hundreds of billions of dollars in annual costs associated with healthcare, crime and lost productivity. Efficacious treatments remain few in number, the development of which will be facilitated by comprehension of environmental, genetic, pharmacological and neurobiological mechanisms implicated in the pathogenesis of addiction. Animal models such as the zebrafish (Danio rerio) have gained momentum within various domains of translational research, and as a model of complex brain disorders (e.g., drug abuse). Behavioral quantification within the conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm serves as a measure of the rewarding qualities of a given substance. If the animal develops an increase in preference for the drug paired environment, it is inferred that the drug has positive-reinforcing properties. This paper discusses the utility of the zebrafish model in conjunction with the CPP paradigm and reports CPP behavior following acute exposure to 0.0%, 0.25%, 0.50%, and 1.00% alcohol, and 0mg/L, 50mg/L, 100mg/L and 150mg/L caffeine.Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2014.05.014 · 4.03 Impact Factor