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Monday, April 22, 2013

Cytisine modulates chronic voluntary ethanol consumption and ethanol-induced striatal up-regulation of ΔFosB in mice


Chronic administration of ethanol induces
persistent accumulation of ΔFosB, an important transcription factor, in the midbrain dopamine system. This process underlies the progression to addiction.

Previously, we have shown that cytisine, a neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonist, reduces various ethanol-drinking behaviors and ethanol-induced striatal dopamine function. However, the effects of cytisine on chronic ethanol drinking and ethanol-induced up-regulation of striatal ΔFosB are not known.

Therefore, we examined the effects of cytisine on chronic voluntary ethanol consumption and associated striatal ΔFosB up-regulation in C57BL/6J mice using behavioral and biochemical methods. Following the chronic voluntary consumption of 15% (v/v) ethanol under a 24-h two-bottle choice intermittent access (IA; 3 sessions/week) or continuous access (CA; 24 h/d and 7 d/week) paradigm, mice received repeated intraperitoneal injections of saline or cytisine (0.5 or 3.0 mg/kg). Ethanol and water intake were monitored for 24 h post-treatment. Pretreatment with cytisine (0.5 or 1.5 mg/kg) significantly reduced ethanol consumption and preference in both paradigms at 2 h and 24 h post-treatment. The ΔFosB levels in the ventral and dorsal striatum were determined by Western blotting 18–24 h after the last point of ethanol access. In addition, cytisine (0.5 mg/kg) significantly attenuated up-regulation of ΔFosB in the ventral and dorsal striatum following chronic ethanol consumption in IA and CA paradigms.

The results indicate that cytisine modulates chronic voluntary ethanol consumption and reduces ethanol-induced up-regulation of striatal ΔFosB. Further, the data suggest a critical role of nAChRs in chronic ethanol-induced neurochemical adaptations associated with ethanol addiction.

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