Upregulation of glutamate receptor subtypes during alcohol withdrawal in rats

Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Alcohol and Alcoholism (Impact Factor: 2.09). 01/2004; 40(2):89-95. DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agh117
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To investigate glutamate receptor subtypes during alcohol withdrawal.
Rats were exposed to severe alcohol intoxication for 84 h and then decapitated at 0, 12 and 36 h after the last alcohol dose (n = 7 per group). Alcohol was administered five times a day by intragastric intubation. The densities of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and 2-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors were studied in membranes from the forebrain by using the specific ligands [3H]MK-801 and [3H]AMPA, respectively.
Although no change in the maximal density (B(max)) of [3H]MK-801 binding sites was observed at the time of withdrawal, [3H]MK-801 binding was increased by 49% 12 h into the withdrawal reaction compared with the control group. At 36 h post alcohol the B(max) of the [3H]MK-801 binding was still increased by 24% compared with the control group; however, this difference was not statistically significant. When investigated at the time of withdrawal from chronic alcohol intoxication, no significant alterations in the B(max) of the [3H]AMPA binding was detected, but 12 h into the withdrawal reaction the [3H]AMPA binding was markedly increased by 94%. At 36 h post alcohol the [3H]AMPA binding had returned to control levels. No significant alterations in the dissociation constant (K(D)) of either [3H]MK-801 or [3H]AMPA binding was observed at any time point.
NMDA and AMPA receptors are involved in the cerebral hyperactivity of alcohol withdrawal.

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