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Functional changes on the reward system or alcohol-dependent rats ANS its influence on the contextual conditioned tolerance

Grant number: 13/19505-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Physiological Psychology
Principal researcher:Manoel Jorge Nobre Do Espirito Santo
Grantee:Juliana Rosa Tostes Penha
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The tolerance to the ataxic and hypothermic effects of ethyl alcohol is more pronounced in familiar than unfamiliar environments. In the last case, it is supposed that the new context should fail to induce the well-known compensatory conditioned response that normally raises as an unconditioned associative response in order to counterbalance the severe depressor effects of alcohol. Among the regions involved in the emotional and cognitive changes induced by alcohol chronic intake stands out the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), through its prelimbic and infralimbic subdivisions, and the nucleus accumbens, through its two functional nuclei named the core (NAcC) and shell (NAcSh). In laboratory animals, interruption of chronic alcohol ingestion often leads to expression of several symptoms among which anxiety is the most prevalent. This condition is maintained through a process of negative reinforcement and reflects the existence of neuroadaptative changes. In this project, we will assess the aversive effects of chronic treatment and withdrawal of alcohol on brain regions that are commonly linked to the reinforcing aspects of drug control and motivational behavior, taking into account the dopaminergic connections between PrL / NACC. (AU)

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