Article

Intermittent ethanol consumption depresses endocannabinoid-signaling in the dorsolateral striatum of rat.

Addiction Biology Unit, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, University of Gothenburg, Box 410, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden.
Neuropharmacology (Impact Factor: 4.82). 12/2011; 61(7):1160-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.01.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent research suggests that adaptations elicited by drugs of abuse share common features with traditional learning models, and that drugs of abuse cause long-term changes in behavior by altering synaptic function and plasticity. In this study, endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling in the dorsolateral striatum, a brain region vital for habit formation, was evaluated in acutely isolated brain slices from ethanol (EtOH)-consuming rats and control rats. EtOH-consuming rats had free access to a 20% EtOH solution for three 24 hour sessions a week during seven weeks and consumed an average of 3.4 g/kg per session. eCB-mediated long-lasting disinhibition (DLL) of population spike (PS) amplitude induced by moderate frequency stimulation was impaired in EtOH-consuming rats, and was not restored by the muscarinic receptor antagonist scopolamine (10 μM). The lack of DLL could be linked to a reduced GABA(A) receptor tone, since bicuculline-mediated disinhibition of striatal output was significantly reduced in slices from EtOH-consuming rats. However, eCB signaling induced by high frequency stimulation (HFS) was also impaired in slices from EtOH-consuming rats and isolated control rats. Activation of presynaptic cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1R) with WIN55,212-2 (250 nM, 1 μM) significantly modulated PS amplitude in slices from age-matched control rats while slices from EtOH-consuming rats remained unaffected, indicating that eCB signaling is inhibited at a level that is downstream from CB1R activation. Intermittent alcohol intake for seven weeks might thus be sufficient to modulate a presynaptic mechanism that needs to be synergized with CB1R activation for induction of long-term depression (LTD). In conclusion, alcohol consumption inhibits striatal eCB signaling in a way that could be of importance for understanding the neurological underpinnings of addictive behavior.

0 Followers
 · 
74 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: One of the major challenges in preclinical studies of alcohol abuse and dependence remains the development of paradigms that will elicit high ethanol intake and mimic the progressive transition from low or moderate social drinking to excessive alcohol consumption. Exposure of outbred rats to repeated cycles of free-choice ethanol intake and withdrawal with the use of intermittent access to 20% ethanol in a 2-bottle choice procedure (IA2BC) has been shown to induce a gradual escalation of voluntary ethanol intake and preference, eventually reaching ethanol consumption levels of 5–6 g/kg/24 h, and inducing pharmacologically relevant blood ethanol concentrations (BECs). This procedure has recently been gaining popularity due to its simplicity, high validity, and reliable outcomes. Here we review experimental and methodological data related to IA2BC, and discuss the usefulness and advantages of this procedure as a valuable pre-training method for initiating operant ethanol self-administration of high ethanol intake, as well as conditioned place preference (CPP). Despite some limitations, we provide evidence that IA2BC and related operant procedures provide the possibility to operationalize multiple aspects of alcohol abuse and addiction in a rat model, including transition from social-like drinking to excessive alcohol consumption, binge drinking, alcohol seeking, relapse, and neuroadaptations related to excessive alcohol intake. Hence, IA2BC appears to be a useful and relevant procedure for preclinical evaluation of potential therapeutic approaches against alcohol abuse disorders.
    Alcohol (Fayetteville, N.Y.) 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.alcohol.2014.01.006 · 2.04 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Some personality traits and comorbid psychiatric diseases are linked to a propensity for excessive alcohol drinking. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between individual differences in risk-related behaviors, voluntary alcohol intake and preference. Outbred male Wistar rats were tested in a novel open field, followed by assessment of behavioral profiles using the multivariate concentric square field (MCSF) test. Animals were classified into high risk taking and low risk taking on the basis of open-field behavior and into high risk-assessing (HRA) and low risk-assessing (LRA) on the basis of the MCSF profile. Finally, voluntary alcohol intake was investigated using intermittent access to 20% ethanol and water for 5 weeks. Only minor differences in voluntary alcohol intake were found between high risk taking and low risk taking. Differences between HRA and LRA rats were more evident, with higher intake and increased intake over time in HRA relative to LRA rats. Thus, individual differences in risk-assessment behavior showed greater differences in voluntary alcohol intake than risk taking. The findings may relate to human constructs of decision-making and risk taking associated with a predisposition to rewarding and addictive behaviors. Further studies are needed to clarify the relationship between risk-related behaviors, including risk-assessment behavior, and liability for excessive alcohol intake.
    Behavioural pharmacology 06/2014; 25(3):206-15. DOI:10.1097/FBP.0000000000000036 · 2.19 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adolescence is associated with high impulsivity and risk taking, making adolescent individuals more inclined to use drugs. Early drug use is correlated to increased risk for substance use disorders later in life but the neurobiological basis is unclear. The brain undergoes extensive development during adolescence and disturbances at this time are hypothesized to contribute to increased vulnerability. The transition from controlled to compulsive drug use and addiction involve long-lasting changes in neural networks including a shift from the nucleus accumbens, mediating acute reinforcing effects, to recruitment of the dorsal striatum and habit formation. This study aimed to test the hypothesis of increased dopamine release after a pharmacological challenge in adolescent rats. Potassium-evoked dopamine release and uptake was investigated using chronoamperometric dopamine recordings in combination with a challenge by amphetamine in early and late adolescent rats and in adult rats. In addition, the consequences of voluntary alcohol intake during adolescence on these effects were investigated. The data show a gradual increase of evoked dopamine release with age, supporting previous studies suggesting that the pool of releasable dopamine increases with age. In contrast, a gradual decrease in evoked release with age was seen in response to amphetamine, supporting a proportionally larger storage pool of dopamine in younger animals. Dopamine measures after voluntary alcohol intake resulted in lower release amplitudes in response to potassium-chloride, indicating that alcohol affects the releasable pool of dopamine and this may have implications for vulnerability to addiction and other psychiatric diagnoses involving dopamine in the dorsal striatum.
    PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e96337. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0096337 · 3.53 Impact Factor