Author(s): VidalInfer A, Aguilar MA, Miarro J, RodrguezArias M
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Heavy binge drinking is increasingly frequent among adolescents, and consumption of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is often combined with ethanol (EtOH). The long-lasting effects of intermittent exposure to EtOH and MDMA during adolescence on learning and memory were evaluated in adult mice using the Hebb-Williams maze. METHODS: Adolescent OF1 mice were exposed to EtOH (1.25 g/kg) on two consecutive days at 48-h intervals over a 14-day period (from PD 29 to 42). MDMA (10 or 20 mg/kg) was injected twice daily at 4-h intervals over two consecutive days, and this schedule was repeated six days later (PD 33, 34, 41 and 42), resulting in a total of eight injections. Animals were initiated in the Hebb-Williams maze on PND 64. The concentration of brain monoamines in the striatum and hippocampus was then measured. RESULTS: At the doses employed, both EtOH and MDMA, administered alone or together, impaired learning in the Hebb-Williams maze, as treated animals required more time to reach the goal than their saline-treated counterparts. The groups treated during adolescence with EtOH, alone or plus MDMA, also presented longer latency scores and needed more trials to reach the acquisition criterion score. MDMA induced a decrease in striatal DA concentration, an effect that was augmented by the co-administration of EtOH. All the treatment groups displayed an imbalance in the interaction DA/serotonin. CONCLUSIONS: The present findings indicate that the developing brain is highly vulnerable to the damaging effects of EtOH and/or MDMA, since mice receiving these drugs in a binge pattern during adolescence exhibit impaired learning and memory in adulthood.
This article was published in Behav Brain Funct
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy