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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Event-Related Oscillations (EROs) as risk markers in genetic mouse models of high alcohol preference
Neuroscience Article in Press 21 June 2009

Mouse models have been developed to simulate several relevant human traits associated with alcohol use and dependence. However, the neurophysiological substrates regulating these traits remain to be completely elucidated. We have previously demonstrated that differences in the event-related potential (ERP) responses can be found that distinguish high-alcohol preferring from low alcohol preferring mice that resemble difference seen in human studies of individuals with high and low risk for alcohol dependence.

Recently, evidence of genes that affect event-related oscillations (EROs) and the risk for alcohol dependence has emerged, however, to date EROs have not been evaluated in genetic mouse models of high and low alcohol preference. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to characterize EROs in mouse models of high (B6 and HAP-1 mice) and low (D2 and LAP-1 mice) alcohol preference.

A time-frequency representation method was used to determine delta, theta and alpha/beta ERO energy and the degree of phase variation in these mouse models. The present results suggest that the decrease in P3 amplitudes previously shown in B6 mice, compared to D2 mice, is related to reductions in evoked delta ERO energy and delta and theta phase locking. In contrast, the increase in P1 amplitudes reported in HAP-1 mice, compared to LAP mice, are associated with increases in evoked theta ERO energy.

These studies suggest that differences in delta and theta ERO measures in mice mirror changes observed between groups at high- and low-risk for alcoholism where changes in EROs were found to be more significant than group differences in P3 amplitudes, further suggesting that ERO measures are more stable endophenotypes in the study of alcohol dependence.

Further studies are needed to determine the relationship between expression of these neurophysiological endophenotypes and the genetic profile of these mouse models.

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