Author(s): Myers RD, Robinson DE
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Numerous pharmacological and other studies have implicated both Mmu and dopamine receptor subtypes in alcohol consumption. In the genetic drinking rat as well as those chemically induced to drink, evidence has accrued that the abnormal intake of alcohol is underpined by these receptors in the brain. The purpose of this investigation was to demonstrate unequivocally that a biological impairment by antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) targeted specifically to these two receptor subtypes would disrupt ongoing alcohol drinking. In this project, a new strain of female and male high-ethanol preferring (HEP) rats was used that had free access to preferred concentrations of alcohol over water in a two choice paradigm. A guide cannula for a microinjection needle was first implanted bilaterally above the nucleus accumbens (NAC) of each rat. Following recovery, a dose of either 250 or 500 ng of the Mmu ODN or 500 ng D2ODN was microinjected into the NAC of the rat in a volume of 0.8-1.0 microl. A standard temporal sequence was used in which microinjections were given four times at successive 12-h intervals over a 2-day interval. The control mismatch ODNs corresponding to both the Mmu or D2 receptor antisense were microinjected identically at homologous sites in the NAC. Following the experiments, the brain of each rat was removed and sectioned in the coronal plane for histological analysis so that each microinjection site was identified. The results showed that the Mmu receptor antisense caused a significant dose dependent fall in free access alcohol drinking within 12 to 24 h following the initial microinjection. This decline often persisted for 1 to 2 days in terms of both g/kg intake and proportion of alcohol to water consumed. Similarly, the D2 receptor ODN likewise induced an intense and significant decline in both g/kg and proportion measures of alcohol intake. Since the corresponding mismatch ODN for both Mmu and D2 receptors exerted no effect on either of these measures of alcohol consumption, the specificity of molecular action of the respective antisense molecules on drinking behavior of the HEP rats was confirmed. Thus, these results provide the first unequivocal evidence that the genes for D2 and Mmu receptors are fundamentally involved in abnormal alcohol drinking in the genetically predisposed individual. Finally, important new anatomical evidence is introduced for the critical role of the NAC in the genetic basis of aberrant drinking of alcohol.
This article was published in Alcohol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy