Teenage alcohol abuse is a fundamental health concern and it can have permanent effects on brain function. We identifi ed the effects of adolescent binge exposure on regulators of stress and anxiety responses: corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) and arginine vasopressin (AVP). We hypothesized that binge ethanol exposure during puberty increases the expression of these genes in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus. Animals wew handled daily for 7 days and then divided into 4 groups (n=6/8): (1) untreated, (2) intraperitoneal (i.p.) saline injection (for 8 days), (3) acute ethanol exposure (saline for 7 days and ethanol (3 g/kg) on the last day) and (4) binge ethanol exposure (3 days of ip ethanol injection, 2 days of saline and 3 days of ethanol). Treatments started at PND37 and animals were sacrifi ced at PND44 1 hour after the last injection; trunk blood was collected, brains removed, and rapidly frozen. Blood alcohol level reached 153 ± 12 mg/dl in males and 187 ± 23 mg/dl in females. Both acute and binge alcohol treatments increased CORT levels. Brains were sectioned at 200 μm on a freezing microtome and the PVN was microdissected. Total RNA was isolated from the PVN and quantitative real time RT-PCR was performed. In the PVN binge ethanol exposure increased CRH and AVP gene expression (P<0.05) suggesting that it might have profound effects on the development of the hypothalamo-pituitaryadrenal axis and could increase the risk of adult anxiety disorders.
Neuroscience Program, Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA
Molecular Biochemistry Program, Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA
Department of Cell Biology, neurobiology and Anatomy, Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA