Early Environment and Adolescent Ethanol Consumption : Effects on Endogenous Opioids and Behaviour in Rats
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Excessive and compulsive ethanol drinking is one of the most serious public health issues. Therefore, it is vital to increase the knowledge about risks and protection for alcohol use disorders (AUD) to optimize prevention and treatment strategies. Ethanol consumption commonly initiates during adolescence when extensive neuronal maturation and development also occurs. Early exposure to ethanol is a risk factor for AUD, but the effects of adolescent drinking and the basis for the individual susceptibility to AUD are not fully understood. The interactions between genotype and environmental factors determine the individual risk for AUD and this thesis aimed to examine the environmental impact. The specific aims were to investigate 1) how early-life conditions affect adolescent voluntary ethanol drinking, behavioural profiles, endogenous opioids and response to treatment with an opioid antagonist (naltrexone), and 2) whether alterations detected in the offspring may be mediated by variations in maternal behaviour. A rodent maternal separation (MS) model was used to mimic a protective and risk-inducing early-life environment, respectively, with the use of 15 min (MS15) or 360 min (MS360) of daily MS. The main findings were 1) the MS360, but not the MS15 rats, responded to naltrexone following adolescent ethanol drinking; all adolescent rats had a high voluntary ethanol intake independent of early environmental conditions whereas in the adult groups the MS360, but not the MS15 rats, increased their ethanol intake and preference over time; adolescent ethanol exposure resulted in higher dynorphin levels in hippocampus and higher Met-enkephalin-Arg6Phe7 in the amygdala, independently of rearing conditions, 2) behavioural profiling using the multivariate concentric square field™ test showed: the young MS360 rats had increased risk assessment and risk taking behaviour compared to the young MS15 rats; the young MS15 rats increased, whereas the young MS360 rats decreased, their risk assessment and risk taking behaviour over time; differences in pup-retrieval strategies where the MS360 dams retrieved some pups into a safe area but as compared to MS15 rats they left more pups in a risk area; increased risk assessment behaviour in the MS360 dams immediately after weaning. Taken together, early-life environmental conditions alter adult but not adolescent drinking, the response to naltrexone, and behaviour in dams and offspring. Adolescent rats consumed more ethanol independent of rearing conditions and displayed increased opioid levels in brain areas related to cognition and addiction.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. , 91 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Pharmacy, ISSN 1651-6192 ; 171
Alcohol, intermittent ethanol access, maternal separation, multivariate concentric square field™ test, maternal behavior, ultrasonic vocalization, adolescent, neonatal handling
Research subject Pharmaceutical Pharmacology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-198670ISBN: 978-91-554-8678-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-198670DiVA: diva2:618007
2013-06-14, B22, BMC, Husargatan, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Söderpalm, Bo, Professor
Nylander, Ingrid, ProfessorRoman, Erika
List of papers