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Influence of environmental enrichment on ethanol-induced behavioral and neurochemical effects

Grant number: 10/12968-1
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2011 - December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Neuropsychopharmacology
Principal Investigator:Rosana Camarini
Grantee:Rosana Camarini
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Elizabeth Teodorov


Environmental conditions exert a major influence on the behavioral and neurochemical effects induced by drugs of abuse. Enriched environment (EE) is a combination of complex of inanimate and social stimulation, and is constituted by bigger housing cages, with running wheel and toys with different colors and formats that are periodically changed to stimulate animal curiosity and exploration. It has been shown that EE reduces the rewarding effects of psychostimulants and prevents pathological conditions. Data from our laboratory have demonstrated that the EE prevented the development of ethanol behavioral sensitization, defined as a progressive increase of the locomotor stimulant effects induced by drugs of abuse and has been associated with drug craving. EE alters the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in models of cocaine dependence. BDNF is induced by CREB and is involved in several effects of drugs of abuse. Egr-1 is another gene regulated by CREB and we have demonstrated a desensitization of this transcription factors following repeated ethanol administration. There are many parallels between feeding behavior and addictions to alcohol and drugs. Evidences show a possible role of appetite regulating peptides in alcoholism. Besides, EE is capable of altering the expression of several of these peptides. The aim of this study is to verify the effects of EE on the ethanol behavioral sensitization; on the gene expression and protein levels of BDNF, TrkB and CREB; on protein expression of Egr-1 and on the gene expression of peptides involved in motivation for food and drug consumption in ethanol-treated mice. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CAMARINI, ROSANA; PAUTASSI, RICARDO MARCOS. Behavioral sensitization to ethanol: Neural basis and factors that influence its acquisition and expression. Brain Research Bulletin, v. 125, p. 53-78, . (10/12968-1, 07/07871-6, 12/10260-7)

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