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Chronic exposure to stress: behavioral and neurochemical alterations related to ethanol addiction

Grant number: 08/10892-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2009
Effective date (End): August 31, 2010
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Neuropsychopharmacology
Principal researcher:Cleopatra da Silva Planeta
Grantee:Marcelo Tadeu Marin
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCFAR). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araraquara. Araraquara , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Ethanol addiction is a chronically relapsing disorder that is characterized by compulsion to seek and take the drug, loss of control in limiting intake and emergence of a withdrawal syndrome when access to the drug is prevented. Animal's model of operant self-administration with progressive ratio schedule has been employed to study addiction related behaviors, such as the motivation to take drugs. Furthermore, some procedures of ethanol drinking in the home cage can induce the consumption of big amounts of the drug and withdrawal signs. Neuroadaptations, mainly in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala are correlated to ethanol consumption and anxiety related behaviors during withdrawal. These neuroadaptations include changes of CREB transcriptional factor and the type 1 of the receptor of corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF-R1). Stress exposure is an important factor in the development of drug addiction. However, little is known about stress-induced neuroadaptations and its relationship with ethanol addiction. Thus, the aim of the project is to study: a) whether chronic restraint stress exposure alters the motivation to take ethanol in an operant self-administration protocol, b) whether stress alters the withdrawal signs after long-term ethanol drinking and c) whether alterations of CREB and CRF-R1 in the accumbens and amygdala will be related to the stress-induced alterations of ethanol motivation and withdrawal. (AU)

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