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Effects of Ethanol Exposure and Withdrawal on Neuronal Morphology in the Agranular Insular and Prelimbic Cortices: Relationship with Withdrawal-Related Structural Plasticity in the Nucleus Accumbens

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
2
Teagasc Food Bioscience Research Centre, Carlow R93 XE12, Ireland
3
Department of Neurosciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
4
Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA
5
Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(8), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9080180
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 22 July 2019 / Accepted: 22 July 2019 / Published: 27 July 2019
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Abstract

The present study investigated the effects of chronic intermittent ethanol exposure and withdrawal on dendritic morphology and spine density in the agranular insular and prelimbic cortices. Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were passively exposed to vaporized ethanol (~37 mg/L; 12 h/day) or air (control) for ten consecutive days. Dendritic length, branching, and spine density were quantified in layer II/III pyramidal neurons 24 hours or seven days following the final ethanol exposure. Compared to unexposed control animals there were structural alterations on neurons in the prelimbic cortex, and to a lesser extent the agranular insular cortex. The most prominent ethanol-related differences were the transient increases in dendritic length and branching in prelimbic neurons at 24 h post-cessation, and increased mushroom-shaped spines at seven days post-cessation. The results obtained in the prelimbic cortex are the opposite of those previously reported in the nucleus accumbens core (Peterson, et al. 2015), suggesting that these regions undergo distinct functional adaptations following ethanol exposure and withdrawal. View Full-Text
Keywords: alcohol; frontal cortex; withdrawal; plasticity; Golgi; dendritic morphology; nucleus accumbens; chronic intermittent ethanol exposure alcohol; frontal cortex; withdrawal; plasticity; Golgi; dendritic morphology; nucleus accumbens; chronic intermittent ethanol exposure
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Frost, M.E.; Peterson, V.L.; Bird, C.W.; McCool, B.; Hamilton, D.A. Effects of Ethanol Exposure and Withdrawal on Neuronal Morphology in the Agranular Insular and Prelimbic Cortices: Relationship with Withdrawal-Related Structural Plasticity in the Nucleus Accumbens. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 180.

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