alexa Synapse-to-neuron ratio in the lateral geniculate nucleus of rats exposed chronically to ethanol
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence

Author(s): C Kjellstrm, N Conradi

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Effects of chronic ethanol exposure on synapse-to-neuron ratio in the rat lateral geniculate nucleus were investigated. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to ethanol, using the Lieber-DeCarli liquid diets, for 4 months starting at the age of 5 weeks. Brains were per-fusion-fixed, and the region containing the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus was cut into slabs (500 μm thick) that were epoxy resin-embedded. From each rat, three slabs containing the structure were serially sectioned for electron microscopy. Using the double disector method, the study shows an unaltered synapse-to-neuron ratio in ethanol-treated rats when compared with controls. The findings are in agreement with previous studies on the visual system using the seme exposure model. In contrast, a previous study has shown that the synapse-to-neuron ratio in locus ceruleus of ethanol-treated rats is reduced by 50%. Other studies have shown that, whereas the glutamatergic NMDA receptor is very sensitive to ethanol, the kainate/AMPA type of receptor is very much less so. Thus, the difference in ethanol-induced synapse elimination between the two regions may reflect this different sensitivity of the glutamatergic receptors, which are of the kainate/AMPA type in the lateral geniculate nucleus and of the NMDA type in the locus ceruleus.

This article was published in Alcohol Clin Exp Res and referenced in Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence

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