Ethanol effects on local cerebral glucose utilization in high-alcohol-drinking and low-alcohol-drinking rats

Jennifer E. Learn, Daniel G. Smith, William J. McBride, Lawrence Lumeng, Ting Kai Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Divergent ethanol-drinking behavior in rats selectively bred for high- or low-ethanol-drinking behavior could be related to differences in the sensitivity of the CNS to ethanol. In the current study, we examined the effects of acute (i.e., single injection) ethanol administration on local cerebral glucose utilization (LCGU) within selected brain regions of high-alcohol-drinking (HAD) and low-alcohol-drinking (LAD) rats. Adult, male, HAD and LAD rats from replicate line 2 were injected intraperitoneally with saline, or ethanol, at doses of 0.25 g/kg or 1.0 g/kg, during their dark cycle; 10 min later, [14C]-2-deoxyglucose ([14C]-2-DG; 125 μCi/kg) was injected into the femoral vein. Timed arterial blood samples were collected over 45 min and assayed for plasma glucose, ethanol, and [14C]-2-DG levels. Rats were then decapitated, and their brains were quickly extracted and frozen in isopentane at -50°C. Coronal brain sections were prepared and apposed to x-ray film for 2 days, and image densities were determined by using quantitative autoradiography. Data were collected from several key limbic (nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmental area, olfactory tubercle, amygdala, hippocampus, ventral pallidum, and septum), basal ganglia, cortical (medial prefrontal, frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, entorhinal, piriform, and cingulate), and subcortical (thalamus, habenula, and superior colliculus) structures. After administration of both low (0.25 g/kg) and moderate (1.0 g/kg) doses of ethanol, LCGU values were lower, relative to those for saline controls, in several CNS regions (lateral septum; posterior cingulate, frontal, parietal, and temporal cortices; dorsomedial striatum; and dorsomedial thalamus) of LAD but not HAD rats. These findings may indicate that certain CNS regions of LAD-2 rats are more sensitive than regions of HAD-2 rats to the effects of low-to-intermediate doses of ethanol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • 2-deoxyglucose
  • High-alcohol-drinking rats
  • Local cerebral glucose utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)

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