Upregulation of voluntary alcohol intake, behavioral sensitivity to stress, and amygdala crhr1 expression following a history of dependence.
ABSTRACT A history of alcohol dependence recruits increased voluntary alcohol intake and sensitivity to stress. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) has been implicated in this transition, but underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear.
A postdependent state was induced using intermittent alcohol exposure. Experiments were carried out following > or =3 weeks of recovery to eliminate contributions of acute withdrawal. Voluntary alcohol consumption was assessed in a two-bottle, free choice procedure. Behavioral sensitivity to stress was examined using fear suppression of behavior in a punished drinking (Vogel) conflict test. Effects of forced swim stress on voluntary alcohol intake were examined as a function of exposure history. Expression of Crh, Crhr1, and Crhr2 transcripts was analyzed by in situ hybridization histochemistry.
Alcohol drinking was upregulated long-term following a history of dependence. Fear suppression of behavior was selectively potentiated in postdependent animals. This persisted 3 months after alcohol exposure and was reversed by the selective CRH-R1 antagonist 3-(4-Chloro-2-morpholin-4-yl-thiazol-5-yl)-8-(1-ethylpropyl)-2,6-dimethyl-imidazo[1,2-b]pyridazine (MTIP) (10 mg/kg). Forced swim stress increased alcohol intake in postdependent animals but not in control animals. Behavioral changes were paralleled by an upregulation of Crhr1 transcript expression within basolateral (BLA) and medial (MeA) amygdala and Crh messenger RNA (mRNA) in central amygdala (CeA). In contrast, Crhr2 expression was down in the BLA.
Neuroadaptations encompassing amygdala CRH signaling contribute to the behavioral phenotype of postdependent animals.
SourceAvailable from: Miranda C. Staples[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Prolonged alcohol exposure has been previously shown to impair the structure and function of the hippocampus, although the underlying structural and biochemical alterations contributing to these deleterious effects are unclear. Also unclear is whether these changes persist into prolonged periods of abstinence. Previous work from our lab utilizing a clinically relevant rodent model of alcohol consumption demonstrated that alcohol dependence (induced by chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure or CIE) decreases proliferation and survival of neural stem cells in the hippocampal subgranular zone and hippocampal neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, implicating this region of the cortex as particularly sensitive to the toxic effects of prolonged ethanol exposure. For this study, we investigated seven weeks of CIE-induced morphological changes (dendritic complexity and dendritic spine density) of dentate gyrus (DG) granule cell neurons, CA3, and CA1 pyramidal neurons and the associated alterations in biochemical markers of synaptic plasticity and toxicity (NMDA receptors and PSD-95) in the hippocampus in ethanol-experienced Wistar rats 3h (CIE) and 21days (protracted abstinence) after the last ethanol vapor exposure. CIE reduced dendritic arborization of DG neurons and this effect persisted into protracted abstinence. CIE enhanced dendritic arborization of pyramidal neurons and this effect did not persist into protracted abstinence. The architectural changes in dendrites did not correlate with alterations in dendritic spine density, however, they were associated with increases in the expression of pNR2B, total NR2B, and total NR2A immediately following CIE with expression levels returning to control levels in prolonged abstinence. Overall, these data provide the evidence that CIE produces profound changes in hippocampal structural plasticity and in molecular tools that maintain hippocampal structural plasticity, and these alterations may underlie cognitive dysfunction associated with alcohol dependence. In addition, the compensatory state concurrent with reduced plasticity during protracted abstinence could leave the hippocampus vulnerable to subsequent insult following chronic ethanol exposure. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.mcn.2015.03.008 · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We hypothesized that the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) system is hyperresponsive in animals with high ethanol intake, which exhibits a reduction of ethanol intake when administered with a CRF1 receptor antagonist. Outbred Swiss mice were subjected to a long-term, three-bottle, free-choice paradigm (5 and 10 % [v/v] ethanol and water) that consisted of four phases: acquisition (AC; 10 weeks), withdrawal (W; 2 weeks), reexposure (RE; 2 weeks), and quinine-adulteration (AD; 2 weeks). Based on individual ethanol intake, the mice were classified into three groups: A group, preference for ethanol and persistently high consumption during AD phase; B group, preference for ethanol and a reduction of ethanol intake in the AD phase; and C group; preference for water during all phases. A control group only had access to water. CRF1 receptor messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in the amygdala and the effect of the CRF1 receptor antagonist CP-154,526 on ethanol and water intake in the subgroups were studied. CRF1 transcript levels were higher in the B group than in the control group. The highest dose of CP-154,526 reduced ethanol intake and preference, with no changes in water consumption, in the A group compared with vehicle. The B group exhibited a reduction of both ethanol and water intake, with no changes in preference. The C group exhibited no changes in response to the CRF1 antagonist. CRF1 receptors appear to be involved in ethanol consumption in mice with high ethanol consumption, and CRF system-mediated neuroadaptations depend on drinking profiles.Psychopharmacology 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00213-015-3909-y · 3.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Binge alcohol drinking is a tremendous public health problem because it leads to the development of numerous pathologies, including alcohol abuse and anxiety. It is thought to do so by hijacking brain systems that regulate stress and reward, including neuropeptide Y (NPY) and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). The central actions of NPY and CRF have opposing functions in the regulation of emotional and reward-seeking behaviors; thus, dysfunctional interactions between these peptidergic systems could be involved in the development of these pathologies. We used converging physiological, pharmacological and chemogenetic approaches to identify a precise neural mechanism in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), a limbic brain region involved in pathological reward and anxiety behaviors, underlying the interactions between NPY and CRF in the regulation of binge alcohol drinking in both mice and monkeys. We found that NPY Y1 receptor (Y1R) activation in the BNST suppressed binge alcohol drinking by enhancing inhibitory synaptic transmission specifically in CRF neurons via a previously unknown Gi-mediated, PKA-dependent postsynaptic mechanism. Furthermore, chronic alcohol drinking led to persistent alterations in Y1R function in the BNST of both mice and monkeys, highlighting the enduring, conserved nature of this effect across mammalian species. Together, these data provide both a cellular locus and signaling framework for the development of new therapeutics for treatment of neuropsychiatric diseases, including alcohol use disorders.Nature Neuroscience 03/2015; DOI:10.1038/nn.3972 · 14.98 Impact Factor