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Analysis of the neural pathways activated by exposure to a motivational test in low- or high-reactivity alcohol-withdrawn rats

Grant number: 14/01028-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2014
Effective date (End): June 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Physiological Psychology
Principal researcher:Manoel Jorge Nobre Do Espirito Santo
Grantee:Rafael Elisio Campos Elias
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


Alcoholism is a chronic disorder characterized by the appearance of a withdrawal syndrome consequent to the abrupt cessation of prolonged alcohol consumption, being anxiety, among all the symptoms, the most prevalent. For individuals who have some anxiety disorder, ethanol is a strong reinforcer and its effects on the inhibitory control of behavior suffer the influence of the context. Moreover, as in humans, rats selected according to their levels of anxiety (low x high) differ significantly (genotypic or phenotypic). Among the structures involved in the behavioral and affective dysregulation induced by alcohol intake and withdrawal, several studies point out the main role of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) mechanisms in the control of subcortical regions known to be involved in the motivational and emotional aspects of alcohol use and abuse, as the nucleus accumbens, amygdala and periaqueductal gray matter. In addition, alcohol effects seem to be greatly modulated by the emotional state of the individual and, as noted above, by the contextual cues present during drug reinforcement. In this project, we aim to analyze the neural areas activated by exposure of LA and HA rats to an active avoidance test, as well as afferent and efferent neural connections of PrL and IL areas. For this, the immunohistochemical Fos-protein staining, associated with the technique of anterograde and retrograde tracing with the organic compound BDA ( biotinylated dextran amine - 10 kDa), respectively, will be used.

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