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Changes on cortical and sub-cortical physiology in alcohol-dependent rats and their influence on trait anxiety, motivational aspects and context-induced tolerance


Alcoholism is a chronic disorder characterized by the appearance of a withdrawal syndrome consequent to abrupt cessation of prolonged consumption of alcohol, being anxiety, among all the symptoms, the most prevalent. As in humans, rats previously selected (genotypic or phenotypic) according to their levels of anxiety (low x high) differ significantly. This achieve importance in the field of drug abuse since, for individuals who have some anxiety disorder, ethyl alcohol is a strong reinforcer. Besides, it iswell-know that alcohol effects on inhibitory control of behavior can be modulated by the context or contextual cues. Among the neural processes underlying these changes are the serotonergic (5-HT) and dopaminergic (DA) neurotransmission. Among the structures involved in affective and behavioral dysregulation induced by alcohol intake and withdrawal studies point out the modulatory role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) mechanisms (top-down) on the role of subcortical regions known to be involved in the motivational and emotional aspects of behavior underlying ethyl alcohol use and abuse, as the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala. Furthermore, these changes appear to be greatly modulated by the emotional state of the individual, as well as by contextual cues present at the moment of the reinforcement. In this project we will evaluate the aversive effects of chronic treatment and withdrawal of alcohol on brain regions that are commonly linked to the reinforcing aspect as well as the emotionl and motivational control of behavior using three different experimental models: the fear potentiated startle test, the model of context-induced tolerance and the behavioral model of impulsivity go/no-go task. (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)
NOBRE, MANOEL JORGE. Environmental enrichment may protect against neural and behavioural damage caused by withdrawal from chronic alcohol intake. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE, v. 55, p. 15-27, . (10/15157-4, 13/10834-6)
FERREIRA, RENATA; BRANDAO, MARCUS LIRA; NOBRE, MANOEL JORGE. 5-HT1A receptors of the prelimbic cortex mediate the hormonal impact on learned fear expression in high-anxious female rats. Hormones and Behavior, v. 84, p. 84-96, . (13/10834-6)

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