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Open AccessArticle

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

1
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
2
Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(7), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9070171
Received: 10 June 2019 / Revised: 15 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 19 July 2019
Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) signaling via limbic CRF1 and 2 receptors (CRF1R and CRF2R, respectively) is known to modulate binge-like ethanol consumption in rodents. Though CRF signaling in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been shown to modulate anxiety-like behavior and ethanol seeking, its role in binge ethanol intake is unknown. Here, we used “drinking-in-the-dark” (DID) procedures in male and female C57BL/6J mice to address this gap in the literature. First, the role of CRF1R and CRF2R signaling in the mPFC on ethanol consumption was evaluated through site-directed pharmacology. Next, we evaluated if CRF1R antagonist reduction of binge-intake was modulated in part through CRF2R activation by co-administration of a CRF1R and CRF2R antagonist. Intra-mPFC inhibition of CRF1R and activation of CRF2R resulted in decreased binge-like ethanol intake. Further, the inhibitory effect of the CRF1R antagonist was attenuated by co-administration of a CRF2R antagonist. We provide novel evidence that (1) inhibition of CRF1R or activation of CRF2R in the mPFC reduces binge-like ethanol intake; and (2) the effect of CRF1R antagonism may be mediated via enhanced CRF2R activation. These observations provide the first direct behavioral pharmacological evidence that CRF receptor activity in the mPFC modulates binge-like ethanol consumption. View Full-Text
Keywords: binge drinking; corticotropin releasing factor; corticotropin releasing hormone; mice; ethanol; alcohol; drinking in the dark; CRF1R; CRF2R; medial prefrontal cortex binge drinking; corticotropin releasing factor; corticotropin releasing hormone; mice; ethanol; alcohol; drinking in the dark; CRF1R; CRF2R; medial prefrontal cortex
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Robinson, S.L.; Perez-Heydrich, C.A.; Thiele, T.E. Corticotropin Releasing Factor Type 1 and 2 Receptor Signaling in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex Modulates Binge-Like Ethanol Consumption in C57BL/6J Mice. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 171.

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