Journal archive > 2004 > N 2, March-April

Change of dopamine, serotonin and opioid neuromediator systems under the rat brain adaptation to prolonged effect of ethanol

M. V. Pivovarchik

Aim of the study: to investigate the effect of in vivo short-term ethanol administration (i.p., 1.5 g/kg, 6 h) on binding characteristics of opioid receptor agonists in rat midbrain, as well as the contents of dopamine, serotonin and their precursors and metabolites in midbrain, striatum and hypothalamus of rats after long-term alcohol consumption. The methods of receptor binding assay and high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection were used.

The data obtained suggest that the response of neurotransmitter systems to short-term ethanol administration in different regions of rats brain is not identical. Our findings demonstrate that short-term ethanol administration may modulate dopaminergic transmission in the rat hypothalamus and striatum but this effect may be attenuated by down-regulation of ОР1 in the midbrain after long-term alcohol consumption. Serotonin system in hypothalamus becomes more sensitive to short-term ethanol administration after the long-term ethanol-containing liquid diet in comparison with control rats.

Our results suggest that reinforcing properties of ethanol may be partially mediated by mechanisms involving the ethanol-induced disturbing of dopaminergic metabolism in the midbrain and hypothalamus and serotoninergic metabolism in hypothalamus.

Recieved: 2003-11-25

Published at the site: 2004-04-04

The original article in Russian is available for download in PDF format.