Long-term effects of intermittent adolescent alcohol exposure in male and female rats



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Marco López, Eva María and Peñasco, Sara and Hernández, María Donina and Gil, Anabel and Borcel, Erika and Moya, Marta and Giné Domínguez, Elena and López Moreno, José Antonio and Guerri, Consuelo and López Gallardo, Meritxell and Rodríguez de Fonseca, Fernando (2017) Long-term effects of intermittent adolescent alcohol exposure in male and female rats. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 11 . ISSN 1662-5153

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Official URL: https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/behavioral-neuroscience


Alcohol is a serious public health concern that has a differential impact on individuals depending upon age and sex. Patterns of alcohol consumption have recently changed: heavy episodic drinking—known as binge-drinking—has become most popular among the youth. Herein, we aimed to investigate the consequences of intermittent adolescent alcohol consumption in male and female animals. Thus, Wistar rats were given free access to ethanol (20% in drinking water) or tap water for 2-h sessions during 3 days, and for an additional 4-h session on the 4th day; every week during adolescence, from postnatal day (pnd) 28–52. During this period, animals consumed a moderate amount of alcohol despite blood ethanol concentration (BEC) did not achieve binge-drinking levels. No withdrawal signs were observed: no changes were observed regarding anxiety-like responses in the elevated plus-maze or plasma corticosterone levels (pnd 53–54). In the novel object recognition (NOR) test (pnd 63), a significant deficit in recognition memory was observed in both male and female rats. Western Blot analyses resulted in an increase in the expression of synaptophysin in the frontal cortex (FC) of male and female animals, together with a decrease in the expression of the CB2R in the same brain region. In addition, adolescent alcohol induced, exclusively among females, a decrease in several markers of dopaminergic and serotonergic neurotransmission, in which epigenetic mechanisms, i.e., histone acetylation, might be involved. Taken together, further research is still needed to specifically correlate sex-specific brain and behavioral consequences of adolescent alcohol exposure.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:alcohol, adolescence, drinking-in-the-dark, sex differences, cognitive function, neural plasticity, hippocampal formation, frontal cortex
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology
Medical sciences > Biology > Animal physiology
Medical sciences > Biology > Mammals
ID Code:46805
Deposited On:09 Mar 2018 12:47
Last Modified:12 Mar 2018 08:56

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