Learned tolerance to ethanol-induced c-Fos expression in rats
ABSTRACT With c-Fos immunoreactivity as a marker for neural activity, we examined whether environmental cues associated with ethanol injection influence the expression of tolerance to ethanol-induced c-Fos activation. Over 24 training days, male Long-Evans rats received ethanol injection (2.5 g/kg) in one environment and saline injection in a different environment. Relative to rats that received ethanol for the first time, ethanol-induced c-Fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) and the locus coeruleus (LC) was significantly reduced in rats that had received multiple prior ethanol administrations. However, tolerance was partially reversed when ethanol was given in the saline-paired, rather than the ethanol-paired, environment. Results suggest that tolerance to ethanol, as indexed by c-Fos expression in the PVN and the LC, is mediated in part by Pavlovian conditioned responses to cues that predict ethanol administration.
SourceAvailable from: Todd E Thiele[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background: Previous studies have used c-Fos-like immunoreactivity (cFLI) to examine the neuroanatomical location of cells that are activated in response to ethanol administration. However, the use of cFLI alone fails to reveal the phenotypical identity of cells. In the present study we used double-labeling procedures to identify the neurochemical phenotype of neurons that showed ethanol-induced cFLI in the rat brainstem.Methods: Individual groups of rats received intraperitoneal injection of ethanol (1.5 g/kg or 3.5 g/kg) or isotonic saline (23 ml/kg). To assess the specificity of cFLI induced by ethanol, we injected other rats with the drug lithium chloride (LiCl; 76 mg/kg). Two hours after injection, rats were killed and their brains were processed for immunohistochemistry.Results: Both doses of ethanol promoted cFLI in several brainstem regions, including the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), the locus coeruleus (LC), and the ventrolateral medulla (VLM). Although LiCl caused significant cFLI in the NTS, this drug promoted only minimal cFLI in the VLM and no significant activation in the LC. We found that a significant proportion of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons coexpressed ethanol-induced cFLI in the VLM (∼75–85%), the NTS (∼65–75%), and the LC (∼30–65%). Additionally, a significant proportion of neuropeptide Y (NPY)-producing neurons in the VLM coexpressed ethanol-induced cFLI (∼60–75%). On the other hand, LiCl promoted activation of TH-positive neurons in the VLM and the NTS but failed to stimulate cFLI in TH-producing neurons in the LC or in NPY-producing neurons of the VLM.Conclusions: Neurons in the rat brainstem that show ethanol-induced c-Fos expression produce catecholamines and NPY. This research demonstrates the usefulness of double-labeling immunohistochemistry procedures for identifying the neurochemical identity of neurons that are activated after ethanol administration.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 05/2000; 24(6):802 - 809. DOI:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2000.tb02059.x · 3.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: We have shown that neurochemical functions of 5-HT3 receptors in regulating dopamine (DA) release in the nucleus accumbens (ACC) after alcohol exposure compensate for the dysfunction of serotonergic activity to restore the original properties in processing alcohol tolerance, and that the development of alcohol dependence may be mediated by ACC 5-HT3 receptors. In the present study, the effects of chronic alcohol consumption on the functions of the dopamine transporter (DAT) and the expression of c-Fos proteins were investigated using in vivo brain microdialysis and immunocytochemistry.Methods: Perfusion of cocaine and 1-(2-Bis-(4-fluorophenyl) methoxy) ethyl)-4-(3-phenylpropyl) piperizine (GBR 12909) through the microdialysis probe membrane increased the extracellular levels of DA in ACC of alcohol-treated rats that had developed alcohol tolerance by drinking 10% EtOH for 30 days.Results: The magnitudes of DA reuptake or DAT inhibitors, cocaine, and GBR 12909 that induced DA availability in the ACC were significantly higher in alcohol-treated rats than in controls. When compared with control rats, the alcohol-treated rats exhibited higher levels of DA and its metabolite, DOPAC, in the ACC. Increased expression of the c-Fos-like protein was found in the ACC of alcohol-treated rats. These results show that (1) chronic alcohol consumption desensitizes or decreases the DAT of DA terminals in the ACC and that (2) EtOH causes cellular hyperexcitability of ACC dopaminergic neurons with increased Fos expression during alcohol tolerance.Conclusion: The findings suggested that an abnormality of the dopaminergic neurons in the ACC that are involved with DAT dysfunction is associated with the development of alcohol tolerance.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 05/2006; 24(3):361 - 365. DOI:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2000.tb04623.x · 3.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alcohol activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis through its actions in both the periphery and the central nervous system (CNS). The studies presented here were designed to test the CNS-specific noradrenergic mechanisms by which alcohol stimulates HPA activity in the male rat. We used an experimental paradigm in which a small, nontoxic amount (5 μl) of alcohol was slowly microinfused intracerebroventricularly (icv). Alcohol was administered icv to animals with lesions of the locus coeruleus (LC) or in animals pretreated with α- or β-adrenergic receptor antagonists. Hormonal HPA activation was determined by measuring secretion of the pituitary stress hormone adrenocorticotropin (ACTH). Neuronal activation was determined by quantification of the expression of the transcription factor c-fos (Fos). As expected, icv alcohol stimulated ACTH secretion from the pituitary and Fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Bilateral electrolytic LC lesions blocked the ability of icv alcohol to stimulate ACTH secretion. Pretreatment with icv propranolol increased basal ACTH secretion levels, but icv alcohol did not increase this effect. Propranolol also blunted icv alcohol-induced PVN Fos expression. A low dose of phenoxybenzamine, an α-adrenergic receptor antagonist, did not affect the ability of icv alcohol to stimulate ACTH release. However, a higher dose of the drug was able to block the ACTH response to icv alcohol. Despite this, phenoxybenzamine did not inhibit alcohol-induced Fos expression. Icv pretreatment with corynanthine, a selective α-1 adrenergic receptor antagonist, modestly raised basal ACTH levels and blocked the icv alcohol-induced secretion of this hormone. These results indicate that the LC and norepinephrine play important roles in HPA activation caused by icv alcohol administration, but that the specific adrenergic receptor subtypes involved in this phenomenon still need to be identified.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 01/2012; 36(6):1084-90. DOI:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01707.x · 3.31 Impact Factor