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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Longitudinal Analysis of Circulating Stress-Related Proteins and Chronic Ethanol Self-Administration in Cynomolgus Macaques

Alcoholics have alterations in endocrine and immune functions and increased susceptibility to stress-related disorders. A longitudinal analysis of chronic ethanol intake on homeostatic mechanisms is, however, incompletely characterized in primates.

Plasma proteins (n = 60; Luminex) and hormones (adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH]; cortisol) were repeatedly measured in adult male cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis, n = 10) during a 32-month experimental protocol at baseline, during induction of water and ethanol (4% w/v in water) self-administration, after 4 months, and after 12 months of 22-hour daily concurrent access to ethanol and water.

Significant changes were observed in ACTH, cortisol, and 45/60 plasma proteins: a majority (28/45) were suppressed as a function of ethanol self-administration, 8 proteins were elevated, and 9 showed biphasic changes. Cortisol and ACTH were greatest during induction, and correlations between these hormones and plasma proteins varied across the experiment. Pathway analyses implicated nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) as possible mediators of ethanol-induced effects on immune-related proteins in primates.

Chronic ethanol consumption in primates leads to an allostatic state of physiological compromise with respect to circulating immune- and stress-related proteins in NF-κB- and STAT/JAK-related pathways in correlation with altered endocrine activity.

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