Publications by authors named "Sarah E Holstein"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Caffeine increases alcohol self-administration, an effect that is independent of dopamine D receptor function.

Alcohol 2021 03 9;91:61-73. Epub 2021 Jan 9.

Department of Psychology, Lycoming College, One College Place, Williamsport, PA, 17701, United States.

The rising popularity of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmEDs) has become a significant public health concern, with AmED users reporting higher levels of alcohol intake than non-AmED users. One mechanism proposed to explain this heightened level of alcohol intake in AmED users is that the high levels of caffeine found in energy drinks may increase the positive reinforcing properties of alcohol, an effect that may be dependent on interactions between adenosine receptor signaling pathways and the dopamine D receptor. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to confirm whether caffeine does increase the positive reinforcing effects of alcohol using both fixed ratio (FR) and progressive ratio (PR) designs, and to investigate a potential role of the dopamine D receptor to caffeine-induced increases in alcohol self-administration. Male Long-Evans rats were trained to self-administer a sweetened alcohol solution (10% v/v alcohol + 2% w/v sucrose) on an FR2 schedule of reinforcement, and the effects of caffeine (0, 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg, i. p. [intraperitoneally]) on the maintenance of alcohol self-administration and alcohol break point were examined. Parallel experiments in rats trained to self-administer sucrose (0.8% w/v) were conducted to determine whether caffeine's reinforcement-enhancing effects extended to a non-drug reinforcer. Caffeine pretreatment (5-10 mg/kg) significantly increased sweetened alcohol self-administration and motivation for a sweetened alcohol reinforcer. However, similar increases in self-administration of a non-drug reinforcer were not observed. Contrary to our hypothesis, the D receptor antagonist eticlopride did not block a caffeine-induced increase in sweetened alcohol self-administration, nor did it alter caffeine-induced increases in motivation for a sweetened alcohol reinforcer. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that caffeine increases the positive reinforcing effects of alcohol, which may explain caffeine-induced increases in alcohol intake. However, the reinforcement-enhancing effects of caffeine appear to be independent of D receptor function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alcohol.2020.12.004DOI Listing
March 2021

Pharmacological inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3 increases operant alcohol self-administration in a manner associated with altered pGSK-3β, protein interacting with C kinase and GluA2 protein expression in the reward pathway of male C57BL/6J mice.

Behav Pharmacol 2020 02;31(1):15-26

Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies.

Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) is a constitutively active serine-threonine kinase that regulates numerous signaling pathways and has been implicated in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases. Alcohol exposure increases GSK-3β (ser9) phosphorylation (pGSK-3β); however, few studies have investigated whether GSK-3 regulates the positive reinforcing effects of alcohol, which drive repetitive drug use. To address this goal, male C57BL/6J mice were trained to lever press on a fixed-ratio 4 schedule of sweetened alcohol or sucrose-only reinforcement in operant conditioning chambers. The GSK-3 inhibitor CHIR 99021 (0-10 mg/kg, i.p.) was injected 45 minutes prior to self-administration sessions. After completion of the self-administration dose-effect curve, potential locomotor effects of the GSK-3 inhibitor were assessed. To determine molecular efficacy, CHIR 99021 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) was evaluated on pGSK-3β, GSK-3β, protein interacting with C kinase (PICK1), and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor GluA2 subunit protein expression in amygdala, nucleus accumbens (NAcb), and frontal cortex. Results showed that CHIR 99021 (10 mg/kg) dose-dependently increased alcohol reinforced responding with no effect on sucrose self-administration or locomotor activity. CHIR 99021 (10 mg/kg) significantly decreased pGSK-3β expression in all brain regions tested, reduced PICK1 and increased GluA2 total expression only in the NAcb. We conclude that GSK-3 inhibition increased the reinforcing effects of alcohol in mice. This was associated with reduced pGSK-3β and PICK1, and increased GluA2 expression. Given prior results showing that AMPA receptor activity regulates alcohol self-administration, we propose that signaling through the GSK-3/PICK1/GluA2 molecular pathway drives the positive reinforcing effects of the drug, which are required for abuse liability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/FBP.0000000000000501DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6954298PMC
February 2020

Selective stimulation of central GABAα2,3,5 receptors increases intake and motivation to consume sucrose solution in rats.

Neuroscience 2019 06 29;409:111-119. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

Department of Psychology, Wofford College, 429 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29303-3663, USA. Electronic address:

Benzodiazepines are one of the most commonly prescribed anxiolytic drugs in America, and between 2006 and 2015 prescription rates increased by an estimated 27.1%. Weight gain is a common side effect of these drugs and it may result from increased feeding caused by drug-enhanced food palatability. We investigated the role of specific GABA receptor subtypes involved with benzodiazepine-induced food consumption through third ventricle injections of L-838,417, a partial agonist of GABA α2, α3, and α5 subunits, and a full antagonist of the α1 receptor subunit. A microanalysis of the licking behavior of adult male rats to a sucrose solution was used to isolate drug effects on specific consummatory behaviors that include: hedonic taste evaluation, food approach behavior, and oromotor function. L-838,417 dose-dependently increased intake through increases in the motivation to approach the solution (shorter pause intervals between bouts of licking) and through enhancement of measures associated with hedonic taste evaluation. Oromotor depressant effects previously associated with broad-spectrum benzodiazepine receptor agonists were not observed. These results indicate that nuclei in proximity to the ventricles respond to GABA α2, α3, or α5 activation to induce motivation to feed, absent of α1 receptor subunit activation. Furthermore, activation of the α1 subunit is not necessary for benzodiazepine hyperphagia and may instead contribute to the oromotor depressant and sedative properties of classic benzodiazepine agonists. Hypothalamic nuclei such as the paraventricular nucleus may be involved in the benzodiazepine-increased motivation to feed, while the parabrachial nucleus of the hindbrain could contribute to benzodiazepine-induced enhancement of taste palatability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.04.040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6559853PMC
June 2019

Comparison of the adolescent and adult mouse prefrontal cortex proteome.

PLoS One 2017 1;12(6):e0178391. Epub 2017 Jun 1.

Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America.

Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by unique behavioral phenotypes (increased novelty seeking, risk taking, sociability and impulsivity) and increased risk for destructive behaviors, impaired decision making and psychiatric illness. Adaptive and maladaptive adolescent traits have been associated with development of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), a brain region that mediates regulatory control of behavior. However, the molecular changes that underlie brain development and behavioral vulnerability have not been fully characterized. Using high-throughput 2D DIGE spot profiling with identification by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, we identified 62 spots in the PFC that exhibited age-dependent differences in expression. Identified proteins were associated with diverse cellular functions, including intracellular signaling, synaptic plasticity, cellular organization and metabolism. Separate Western blot analyses confirmed age-related changes in DPYSL2, DNM1, STXBP1 and CFL1 in the mPFC and expanded these findings to the dorsal striatum, nucleus accumbens, motor cortex, amygdala and ventral tegmental area. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) identified functional interaction networks enriched with proteins identified in the proteomics screen, linking age-related alterations in protein expression to cellular assembly and development, cell signaling and behavior, and psychiatric illness. These results provide insight into potential molecular components of adolescent cortical development, implicating structural processes that begin during embryonic development as well as plastic adaptations in signaling that may work in concert to bring the cortex, and other brain regions, into maturity.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0178391PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5453624PMC
September 2017

Cannabinoid CB1 receptor inhibition blunts adolescent-typical increased binge alcohol and sucrose consumption in male C57BL/6J mice.

Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2016 Apr 19;143:11-7. Epub 2016 Jan 19.

Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States; Curriculum in Neurobiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States; Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States; Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States.

Increased binge alcohol consumption has been reported among adolescents as compared to adults in both humans and rodent models, and has been associated with serious long-term health consequences. However, the neurochemical mechanism for age differences in binge drinking between adolescents and adults has not been established. The present study was designed to evaluate the mechanistic role of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in adolescent and adult binge drinking. Binge consumption was established in adolescent and adult male C57BL/6J mice by providing access to 20% alcohol or 1% sucrose for 4h every other day. Pretreatment with the CB1 antagonist/inverse agonist AM-251 (0, 1, 3, and 10mg/kg) in a Latin square design dose-dependently reduced adolescent alcohol consumption to adult levels without altering adult intake. AM-251 (3mg/kg) also reduced adolescent but not adult sucrose consumption. Adolescent reductions in alcohol and sucrose were not associated with alterations in open-field locomotor activity or thigmotaxis. These findings point to age differences in CB1 receptor activity as a functional mediator of adolescent-typical increased binge drinking as compared to adults. Developmental alterations in endocannabinoid signaling in the adolescent brain may therefore be responsible for the drinking phenotype seen in this age group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2016.01.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4905821PMC
April 2016

CaMKIIα-GluA1 Activity Underlies Vulnerability to Adolescent Binge Alcohol Drinking.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2015 Sep 6;39(9):1680-90. Epub 2015 Aug 6.

Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Background: Binge drinking during adolescence is associated with increased risk for developing alcohol use disorders; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this liability are unclear. In this study, we sought to determine whether binge drinking alters expression or phosphorylation of 2 molecular mechanisms of neuroplasticity, calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα) and the GluA1 subunit of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in addiction-associated brain regions. We also asked whether activation of CaMKIIα-dependent AMPAR activity escalates binge-like drinking.

Methods: To address these questions, CaMKIIαT286 and GluA1S831 protein phosphorylation and expression were assessed in the amygdala and striatum of adolescent and adult male C57BL/6J mice immediately after voluntary binge-like alcohol drinking (blood alcohol >80 mg/dl). In separate mice, effects of the CaMKIIα-dependent GluA1S831 phosphorylation (pGluA1S831 )-enhancing drug tianeptine were tested on binge-like alcohol consumption in both age groups.

Results: Binge-like drinking decreased CaMKIIαT286 phosphorylation (pCaMKIIαT286 ) selectively in adolescent amygdala with no effect in adults. Alcohol also produced a trend for reduced pGluA1S831 expression in adolescent amygdala but differentially increased pGluA1S831 in adult amygdala. No effects were observed in the nucleus accumbens or dorsal striatum. Tianeptine increased binge-like alcohol consumption in adolescents but decreased alcohol consumption in adults. Sucrose consumption was similarly decreased by tianeptine pretreatment in both ages.

Conclusions: These data show that the adolescent and adult amygdalae are differentially sensitive to effects of binge-like alcohol drinking on plasticity-linked glutamate signaling molecules. Tianeptine-induced increases in binge-like drinking only in adolescents suggest that differential CaMKIIα-dependent AMPAR activation may underlie age-related escalation of binge drinking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acer.12819DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4558330PMC
September 2015

Teaching science writing in an introductory lab course.

J Undergrad Neurosci Educ 2015 15;13(2):A101-9. Epub 2015 Mar 15.

Department of English, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC 29303.

One challenge that many neuroscience instructors face is how to teach students to communicate within the field. The goal of this project was to improve students' scientific writing in an introductory psychology laboratory course that serves as a feeder course into the neuroscience curriculum. This course included a scaffolded approach - breaking assignments into different sections that build upon each other to allow for more direction and feedback on each section. Students were also provided with examples of scientific writing, given direction on finding and reading journal articles, and were taught how to effectively peer review a paper. Research papers were assessed before (Year 1) and after (Year 2) this scaffolded approach was instituted. The assessment included measures of "Genre Knowledge" for each section of a research paper (abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion) as well as measures of "Writing Elements" (grammar, formatting, clarity, transitions, building to the hypothesis, using evidence). The results indicated that there was an improvement for Genre Knowledge scores when comparing Year 1 to Year 2. However, there was no systematic improvement in Writing Elements. This suggests that this teaching technique was most effective in improving students' ability to write within the scientific genre. The logistics of implementing such an approach are discussed.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4380299PMC
April 2015

Alcohol alters the activation of ERK1/2, a functional regulator of binge alcohol drinking in adult C57BL/6J mice.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2015 Mar 19;39(3):463-75. Epub 2015 Feb 19.

Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Curriculum in Neurobiology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Background: Binge alcohol drinking is a particularly risky pattern of alcohol consumption that often precedes alcohol dependence and addiction. The transition from binge alcohol drinking to alcohol addiction likely involves mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and learning in the brain. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling cascades have been shown to be involved in learning and memory, as well as the response to drugs of abuse, but their role in binge alcohol drinking remains unclear. The present experiments were designed to determine the effects of acute alcohol on extracellular signaling-related kinases (ERK1/2) expression and activity and to determine whether ERK1/2 activity functionally regulates binge-like alcohol drinking.

Methods: Adult male C57BL/6J mice were injected with ethanol (EtOH) (3.0 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) 10, 30, or 90 minutes prior to brain tissue collection. Next, mice that were brought to freely consume unsweetened EtOH in a binge-like access procedure were pretreated with the MEK1/2 inhibitor SL327 or the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB239063.

Results: Acute EtOH increased pERK1/2 immunoreactivity relative to vehicle in brain regions known to be involved in drug reward and addiction, including the central amygdala and prefrontal cortex. However, EtOH decreased pERK1/2 immunoreactivity relative to vehicle in the nucleus accumbens core. SB239063 pretreatment significantly decreased EtOH consumption only at doses that also produced nonspecific locomotor effects. SL327 pretreatment significantly increased EtOH, but not sucrose, consumption without inducing generalized locomotor effects.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that ERK1/2 MAPK signaling regulates binge-like alcohol drinking. As alcohol increased pERK1/2 immunoreactivity relative to vehicle in brain regions known to regulate drug self-administration, SL327 may have blocked this direct pharmacological effect of alcohol and thereby inhibited the termination of binge-like drinking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acer.12645DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4348173PMC
March 2015

GABAB receptor activation attenuates the stimulant but not mesolimbic dopamine response to ethanol in FAST mice.

Behav Brain Res 2013 Jan 13;237:49-58. Epub 2012 Sep 13.

Dept of Behavioral Neuroscience and Portland Alcohol Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA.

Neural processes influenced by γ-aminobutyric acid B (GABA(B)) receptors appear to contribute to acute ethanol sensitivity, including the difference between lines of mice bred for extreme sensitivity (FAST) or insensitivity (SLOW) to the locomotor stimulant effect of ethanol. One goal of the current study was to determine whether selection of the FAST and SLOW lines resulted in changes in GABA(B) receptor function, since the lines differ in sensitivity to the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen and baclofen attenuates the stimulant response to ethanol in FAST mice. A second goal was to determine whether the baclofen-induced reduction in ethanol stimulation in FAST mice is associated with an attenuation of the mesolimbic dopamine response to ethanol. In Experiment 1, the FAST and SLOW lines were found to not differ in GABA(B) receptor function (measured by baclofen-stimulated [(35)S]GTPγS binding) in whole brain or in several regional preparations, except in the striatum in one of the two replicate sets of selected lines. In Experiment 2, baclofen-induced attenuation of the locomotor stimulant response to ethanol in FAST mice was not accompanied by a reduction in dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens, as measured by microdialysis. These data suggest that, overall, GABA(B) receptor function does not play an integral role in the genetic difference in ethanol sensitivity between the FAST and SLOW lines. Further, although GABA(B) receptors do modulate the locomotor stimulant response to ethanol in FAST mice, this effect does not appear to be due to a reduction in tonic dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2012.09.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3500454PMC
January 2013

Adolescent C57BL/6J mice show elevated alcohol intake, but reduced taste aversion, as compared to adult mice: a potential behavioral mechanism for binge drinking.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2011 Oct 16;35(10):1842-51. Epub 2011 May 16.

Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7178, USA.

Background: Binge alcohol drinking during adolescence is a serious health problem that may increase future risk of an alcohol use disorder. Although there are several different procedures by which to preclinically model binge-like alcohol intake, limited-access procedures offer the advantage of achieving high voluntary alcohol intake and pharmacologically relevant blood alcohol concentrations (BACs). Therefore, in the current study, developmental differences in binge-like alcohol drinking using a limited-access cycling procedure were examined. In addition, as alcohol drinking has been negatively correlated with sensitivity to the aversive properties of alcohol, we examined developmental differences in sensitivity to an alcohol-induced conditioned taste aversion (CTA).

Methods: Binge-like alcohol consumption was investigated in adolescent (4 weeks) and adult (10 weeks) male C57BL/6J mice for 2 to 4 h/d for 16 days. Developmental differences in sensitivity to an alcohol-induced CTA were examined in adolescent and adult mice, with saline or alcohol (3 or 4 g/kg) repeatedly paired with the intake of a novel tastant (NaCl).

Results: Adolescent mice showed a significant increase in alcohol intake as compared to adults, with adolescents achieving higher BACs and increasing alcohol consumption over successive cycles of the binge procedure. Conversely, adolescent mice exhibited a dose-dependent reduction in sensitivity to the aversive properties of alcohol, as compared to adult mice, with adolescent mice failing to develop a CTA to 3 g/kg alcohol. Finally, extinction of an alcohol CTA was observed following conditioning with a higher dose of alcohol in adolescent, versus adult, mice.

Conclusions: These results indicate that adolescent mice consume more alcohol, per kilogram body weight, than adults in a binge-like model of alcohol drinking and demonstrate a blunted sensitivity to the conditioned aversive effects of alcohol. Overall, this supports a behavioral framework by which heightened binge alcohol intake during adolescence occurs, in part, via a reduced sensitivity to the aversive properties of alcohol.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01528.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3158303PMC
October 2011

Attenuation of the stimulant response to ethanol is associated with enhanced ataxia for a GABA, but not a GABA, receptor agonist.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2009 Jan 18;33(1):108-20. Epub 2008 Oct 18.

Portland Alcohol Research Center and the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Background: The gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system is implicated in the neurobiological actions of ethanol, and pharmacological agents that increase the activity of this system have been proposed as potential treatments for alcohol use disorders. As ethanol has its own GABA mimetic properties, it is critical to determine the mechanism by which GABAergic drugs may reduce the response to ethanol (i.e., via an inhibition or an accentuation of the neurobiological effects of ethanol).

Methods: In this study, we examined the ability of 3 different types of GABAergic compounds, the GABA reuptake inhibitor NO-711, the GABA(A) receptor agonist muscimol, and the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen, to attenuate the locomotor stimulant response to ethanol in FAST mice, which were selectively bred for extreme sensitivity to ethanol-induced locomotor stimulation. To determine whether these compounds produced a specific reduction in stimulation, their effects on ethanol-induced motor incoordination were also examined.

Results: NO-711, muscimol, and baclofen were all found to potently attenuate the locomotor stimulant response to ethanol in FAST mice. However, both NO-711 and muscimol markedly increased ethanol-induced ataxia, whereas baclofen did not accentuate this response.

Conclusions: These results suggest that pharmacological agents that increase extracellular concentrations of GABA and GABA(A) receptor activity may attenuate the stimulant effects of ethanol by accentuating its intoxicating and sedative properties. However, selective activation of the GABA(B) receptor appears to produce a specific attenuation of ethanol-induced stimulation, suggesting that GABA(B) receptor agonists may hold greater promise as potential pharmacotherapies for alcohol use disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2008.00817.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2637353PMC
January 2009

GABAB receptor stimulation accentuates the locomotor effects of morphine in mice bred for extreme sensitivity to the stimulant effects of ethanol.

Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2006 Dec 11;85(4):697-704. Epub 2006 Dec 11.

Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and Portland Alcohol Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, L-470, Portland, OR 97239, USA.

Mice selectively bred for divergent sensitivity to the locomotor stimulant effects of ethanol (FAST and SLOW) also differ in their locomotor response to morphine. The GABA(B) receptor has been implicated in the mediation of locomotor stimulation to both ethanol and morphine, and a reduction in ethanol-induced stimulation has been found with the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen in FAST mice. We hypothesized that GABA(B) receptor activation would also attenuate the locomotor stimulant responses to morphine in these mice. In order to test this hypothesis, baclofen was administered to FAST-1 and FAST-2 mice 15 min prior to morphine, and activity was recorded for 30 min. Baclofen attenuated stimulation to 32 mg/kg morphine in FAST-1 mice, but only at a dose that also reduced saline activity. There was no stimulant response to 32 mg/kg morphine in FAST-2 mice, or to 16 mg/kg or 48 mg/kg morphine in FAST-1 mice, but the combination of baclofen with these morphine doses accentuated locomotor activity. Therefore, it appears that GABA(B) receptor activation is not a common mechanism for the locomotor stimulant responses to ethanol and morphine in FAST mice; however, these data suggest that GABA(B) receptor activation may instead enhance some of the behavioral effects of morphine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2006.10.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1805633PMC
December 2006

Naloxone does not attenuate the locomotor effects of ethanol in FAST, SLOW, or two heterogeneous stocks of mice.

Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2005 Oct 19;182(2):277-89. Epub 2005 Oct 19.

Portland Alcohol Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.

Rationale: Previous studies suggest that some behavioral effects of ethanol and morphine are genetically correlated. For example, mice bred for sensitivity (FAST) or insensitivity (SLOW) to the locomotor stimulant effects of ethanol differ in their locomotor response to morphine.

Objective: To evaluate a possible common mechanism for these traits, we examined the effect of naloxone, an opioid receptor antagonist, on ethanol- and morphine-induced locomotion in FAST and SLOW mice, as well as on ethanol-induced locomotion in two heterogeneous stocks of mice.

Method: In experiments 1 and 2, naloxone was given to FAST and SLOW mice 30 min prior to 2 g/kg ethanol or 32 mg/kg morphine, and locomotor activity was measured for 15 min (ethanol) or 30 min (morphine). In experiments 3 and 4, naloxone was administered 30 min prior to 1.25 g/kg ethanol, and locomotor activity was assessed in FAST mice and in a heterogeneous line of mice [Withdrawal Seizure Control (WSC)]. Experiment 5 assessed the effect of naloxone on ethanol-induced stimulation in outbred National Institutes of Health (NIH) Swiss mice.

Results: There was no effect of naloxone on the locomotor response to ethanol in FAST, SLOW, WSC, or NIH Swiss mice. However, naloxone did significantly attenuate the locomotor effects of morphine in FAST and SLOW mice.

Conclusions: These results suggest that a common opioidergic mechanism is not responsible for the correlated locomotor responses to ethanol and morphine in FAST and SLOW mice, and that activation of the endogenous opioid system is not critical for the induction of ethanol-induced alterations in activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-005-0066-8DOI Listing
October 2005
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