ENKEPHALINERGIC INVOLVEMENT--VOLUNTARY ALCOHOL DRINKING

Project: Research project

Description

The long-term objective of this research project is to determine
whether endogenous enkephalins play a major role as
neurotransmitters/neuromodulators of oral ethanol preference.
Studies will be performed to determine whether altering the
action of endogenous enkephalins changes voluntary ethanol
drinking. Specifically, we will examine: 1) the extent to which
various opioid receptor antagonists are capable of suppressing
voluntary ethanol consumption compared with the consumption of
other palatable and nonpalatable substances, 2) whether blocking
endogenous opioid receptors, prior to initial exposure to
ethanol, deters the initiation and development of voluntary
ethanol consumption, and 3) whether increasing the duration of
enkephalin action potentiates voluntary ethanol drinking. These
experiments will require the use of rats which voluntarily
consume large quantities of ethanol. Rats from two genetic
lines, which have been bred for oral ethanol preference, will
serve as subjects. We also propose to determine whether the central enkephalinergic
system differs in rats that display different preferences for
oral ethanol. Specifically, we will determine: 1) whether
enkephalin and preproenkephalin mRNA content in discrete brain
and pituitary regions differs in ethanol-naive rats which have
been genetically selected for oral ethanol preference or
nonpreference, 2) whether chronic voluntary ethanol drinking, and
removal of ethanol following chronic consumption, alters brain
and pituitary content of enkephalins and preproenkephalin mRNA,
and 3) whether a true correlation exists between brain enkephalin
and preproenkephalin mRNA content and the amount of ethanol
voluntarily consumed during free-choice drinking. These
experiments will require the use of rats which voluntarily
consume high or low amounts of ethanol. Rats from four genetic
lines, which have been bred for oral ethanol preference or
nonpreference, will serve as subjects. The results of the proposed studies should yield additional
information regarding the importance of the central
enkephalinergic system in mediating the reinforcing properties of
ethanol that contribute to the development and maintenance of
abnormal alcohol seeking behavior which characterize human
alcoholism.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date4/1/896/30/00

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $182,087.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $155,075.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $108,235.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $96,852.00

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Alcohol Drinking
Ethanol
Opioid Analgesics
Alcohols
Drinking
Enkephalins
delta Opioid Receptor
Messenger RNA
Narcotic Antagonists
Opioid Receptors
Neurotransmitter Agents

ASJC

  • Medicine(all)