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Environmental enrichment and behavioral sensitization to ethanol in mice: BDNF transcripts composition and protein levels

Grant number: 12/14539-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2012
Effective date (End): August 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Neuropsychopharmacology
Principal researcher:Rosana Camarini
Grantee:Rodolfo Ribeiro de Souza
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Behavioral sensitization is characterized by a gradual increase of a given behavioral response following repeated drug treatment. It is associated with a sentitization of neuronal circuits, which can last for extended periods of time. It is a phenomenon considered to permeate addiction and drug abuse, being related to relapse. Environmental enrichment allows the study of the environmental influence on treatment with drugs of abuse. Several studies indicate that environmental enrichment affects the brain in different ways and can lead to long-term neuroplastic changes in this organ. Studies from our laboratory showed that environmental enrichment inhibited the behavioral sentitization to ethanol and promoted its reversal. Environmental enrichment has also induced a decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling in the prefrontal cortex. This protein is encoded by a gene with a very complex and regulated transcription. The aim of this work is to study the protective effects of environmental enrichment on behavioral sensitization to ethanol in mice and to evaluate the transcripts composition and protein levels of BDNF in the nucleus accumbens and striatum of these animals. (AU)

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