Next stop dependence-binge drinking on the road to alcoholism: Preclinical findings on its neurobiology from rat animal models

Richard L. Bell, Kelle M. Franklin, Sheketha Hauser, Eric A. Engleman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Binge alcohol drinking continues to be a major public health concern worldwide. Thus, continued clinical and preclinical research is needed to understand the neurobiology of this behavior. Substantial progress has been made in defining binge drinking for clinical research. However, the definition of binge-like drinking for preclinical research is still evolving. It has been shown that binge drinkers often manifest many of the same cognitive and emotional deficits seen in individuals that have experienced multiple detoxifications. These findings suggest that neuroadaptations associated with cycles of high blood alcohol concentrations followed by a period of abstinence are common to both binge alcohol drinking and alcohol dependence. This supports a role for binge drinking in the initial stages of alcohol dependence when impulsive drinking and the positive reinforcing properties of alcohol predominate. Moreover, it coincides with clinical evidence that binge alcohol drinking is a developmental phenomenon occurring predominantly in adolescents and young adults. Here we present pre-clinical approaches to examine binge alcohol drinking using selectively bred rats. The selectively bred alcohol-preferring P and the high alcohol drinking HAD1 and HAD2 rat lines display behaviors that in many respects parallel that of humans with alcohol use disorders. This includes differences in binge-like alcohol drinking between peri-adolescent rats and their adult counterparts. Findings obtained from research with these rat lines support clinical findings that the mesocorticolimbic dopamine "reward" system is crucial in mediating binge-like drinking and alcohol use disorders in general. Similarly, this research indicates that activity of the glutamate, GABA, dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and multiple peptide systems is crucial in mediating binge drinking, alcohol use disorders and addiction in general. It is clear that substantial progress has been made in understanding the neurobiology of these behaviors. However, the translation of these important findings into the clinical setting will require more research using models that bear some face validity with clinical populations. Towards this end, selectively bred rat lines, such as the P, HAD1 and HAD2 lines will continue to facilitate this endeavor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBinge Eating and Binge Drinking
Subtitle of host publicationPsychological, Social and Medical Implications
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages1-60
Number of pages60
ISBN (Print)9781626185807
StatePublished - May 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Bell, R. L., Franklin, K. M., Hauser, S., & Engleman, E. A. (2013). Next stop dependence-binge drinking on the road to alcoholism: Preclinical findings on its neurobiology from rat animal models. In Binge Eating and Binge Drinking: Psychological, Social and Medical Implications (pp. 1-60). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..