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Corticotropin Releasing Factor Type 1 and 2 Receptor Signaling in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Binge-Like Ethanol Consumption in C57BL/6J Mice
Open AccessArticle

Individual Differences in Ethanol Drinking and Seeking Behaviors in Rats Exposed to Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Vapor Exposure is Associated with Altered CaMKII Autophosphorylation in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell

1
VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, CA 92161, USA
2
Department of Anesthesiology, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA 92161, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(12), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9120367
Received: 28 October 2019 / Revised: 5 December 2019 / Accepted: 6 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
Chronic intermittent ethanol vapor exposure (CIE) in rodents produces reliable and high blood ethanol concentration and behavioral symptoms associated with moderate to severe alcohol use disorder (AUD)—for example, escalation of operant ethanol self-administration, a feature suggestive of transition from recreational to addictive use, is a widely replicated behavior in rats that experience CIE. Herein, we present evidence from a subset of rats that do not demonstrate escalation of ethanol self-administration following seven weeks of CIE. These low responders (LR) maintain low ethanol self-administration during CIE, demonstrate lower relapse to drinking during abstinence and reduced reinstatement of ethanol seeking triggered by ethanol cues when compared with high responders (HR). We examined the blood ethanol levels in LR and HR rats during CIE and show higher levels in LR compared with HR. We also examined peak corticosterone levels during CIE and show that LR rats have higher levels compared with HR rats. Lastly, we evaluated the levels of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) in the nucleus accumbens shell and reveal that the activity of CaMKII, which is autophosphorylated at site Tyr-286, is significantly reduced in HR rats compared with LR rats. These findings demonstrate that dysregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis activity and plasticity-related proteins regulating molecular memory in the nucleus accumbens shell are associated with higher ethanol-drinking and -seeking in HR rats. Future mechanistic studies should evaluate CaMKII autophosphorylation-dependent remodeling of glutamatergic synapses in the ventral striatum as a plausible mechanism for the CIE-induced enhanced ethanol drinking and seeking behaviors. View Full-Text
Keywords: high responders; low responders; nucleus accumbens shell; CaMKII; CIE; ethanol self-administration high responders; low responders; nucleus accumbens shell; CaMKII; CIE; ethanol self-administration
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Somkuwar, S.S.; Mandyam, C.D. Individual Differences in Ethanol Drinking and Seeking Behaviors in Rats Exposed to Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Vapor Exposure is Associated with Altered CaMKII Autophosphorylation in the Nucleus Accumbens Shell. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 367.

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