alexa Association of Plasma Orexin A and Ethanol-Drinking Beh
ISSN: 2329-6488

Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
Open Access

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Research Article

Association of Plasma Orexin A and Ethanol-Drinking Behaviors in Pregnant Rats

Kristen A Schmidt1#, Ada M-C Ho1,2#, Mark A Frye1 and Doo-Sup Choi1,2*

1Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

2Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

#Authors contributed equally to the manuscript.

*Corresponding Author:
Doo-Sup Choi
Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
Tel: +1-507-284-5602
Fax: +1-507-284-1767
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: August 22, 2016; Accepted date: September 13, 2016; Published date: September 16, 2016

Citation: Schmidt KA, Ho AMC, Frye MA, Choi DS (2016) Association of Plasma Orexin A and Ethanol-Drinking Behaviors in Pregnant Rats. J Alcohol Drug Depend 4:247. doi: 10.4172/2329-6488.1000247

Copyright: © 2016 Schmidt KA, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Aims: A sharp reduction in gestational alcohol preference has been observed in both humans and animals. This study investigated the specific neurobiological relationship between alcohol use, pregnancy and plasma orexin A. Methods: Adult female Wistar rats (n=15) were subjected to a two-bottle choice drinking paradigm (5% ethanol vs. tap water with measurement of liquid weight consumed and recorded daily) for 3 weeks prior to random assignment to mating group (n=8) vs. virgin group (n=7). Ethanol exposure was immediately resumed in the virgin group and following sperm plug observation in the mating group. Tail vein blood was collected during pre-ethanol exposure, pre-mating, and pregnancy days 12 and 19 for orexin A measurement by ELISA. Results: There was no significant difference in serum orexin A levels before or after alcohol exposure. A significant reduction (p<0.05) in alcohol preference was demonstrated in pregnant rats compared to virgin rats. In the pregnant group, there was a significant positive correlation between the percentage change in plasma orexin A level and alcohol preference (Pearson's r = 0.804, p<0.05) and consumption (Pearson's r = 0.800, p<0.05). Conclusions: These data suggest that pregnant rats have a significant reduction in alcohol preference compared to virgin rats exposed to alcohol for the same duration, substantiating a biological basis for diminished gestational alcohol intake. Plasma orexin A concentration during pregnancy may be associated with gestational alcohol intake. Short summary: Our results demonstrate that pregnant rats have a significant reduction in gestational alcohol preference compared to virgin rats, supporting a biological basis underlying gestational alcohol reduction. The observed significant positive correlation between gestational changes in alcohol consumption, preference and circulatory orexin A concentration suggests a relationship between orexin A and gestational alcohol intake.


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