Loss of Dopamine D2 Receptors Induces Atrophy in the Temporal and Parietal Cortices and the Caudal Thalamus of Ethanol-Consuming Mice
ABSTRACT The need of an animal model of alcoholism becomes apparent when we consider the genetic diversity of the human populations, an example being dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) expression levels. Research suggests that low DRD2 availability is associated with alcohol abuse, while higher DRD2 levels may be protective against alcoholism. This study aims to establish whether (i) the ethanol-consuming mouse is a suitable model of alcohol-induced brain atrophy and (ii) DRD2 protect the brain against alcohol toxicity.
Adult Drd2+/+ and Drd2-/- mice drank either water or 20% ethanol solution for 6 months. At the end of the treatment period, the mice underwent magnetic resonance (MR) imaging under anesthesia. MR images were registered to a common space, and regions of interest were manually segmented.
We found that chronic ethanol intake induced a decrease in the volume of the temporal and parietal cortices as well as the caudal thalamus in Drd2-/- mice.
The result suggests that (i) normal DRD2 expression has a protective role against alcohol-induced brain atrophy and (ii) in the absence of Drd2 expression, prolonged ethanol intake reproduces a distinct feature of human brain pathology in alcoholism, the atrophy of the temporal and parietal cortices.
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ABSTRACT: Ceramides (CER) are involved in alcohol-induced neuroinflammation. In a mouse model of chronic alcohol exposure, 16 CER and 18 sphingomyelin (SM) concentrations from whole brain lipid extracts were measured using electrospray mass spectrometry. All 18 CER concentrations in alcohol exposed adults increased significantly (range: 25-607%); in juveniles, 6 CER decreased (range: −9 to −37%). In contrast, only three SM decreased in adult and one increased significantly in juvenile. Next, regional identification at 50 μm spatial resolution from coronal sections was obtained with matrix implanted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MILDI-MSI) by implanting silver nanoparticulate matrices followed by focused laser desorption. Most of the CER and SM quantified in whole brain extracts were detected in MILDI images. Coronal sections from three brain levels show qualitative regional changes in CER-SM ion intensities, as a function of group and brain region, in cortex, striatum, accumbens, habenula, and hippocampus. Highly correlated changes in certain white matter CER-SM pairs occur in regions across all groups, including the hippocampus and the lateral (but not medial) cerebellar cortex of adult mice. Our data provide the first microscale MS evidence of regional lipid intensity variations induced by alcohol.Keywords: Ceramide; sphingomyelin; lipids; alcohol; mass spectrometry imaging; matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization; silver nanoparticles; matrix implanted laser desorption ionizationACS Chemical Neuroscience 11/2014; 6(2). DOI:10.1021/cn500174c · 4.21 Impact Factor