To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Ethanol Action on Dopaminergic Neurons in the Ventral Tegmental Area: Interaction with Intrinsic Ion Channels and Neurotransmitter Inputs

The dopaminergic system originating in the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA) has been extensively studied over the past decades as a critical neural substrate involved in the development of alcoholism and addiction to other drugs of abuse.

Accumulating evidence indicates that ethanol modulates the functional output of this system by directly affecting the firing activity of VTA dopamine neurons, whereas withdrawal from chronic ethanol exposure leads to a reduction in the functional output of these neurons.

This chapter will provide an update on the mechanistic investigations of the acute ethanol action on dopamine neuron activity and the neuroadaptations/plasticities in the VTA produced by previous ethanol experience.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail: