Background Adolescent alcohol exposure may increase depression vulnerability in adulthood by increasing the anhedonic response to stress. Methods Male Wistar rats (postnatal days 28–53) were exposed to binge-like adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE) or water. In adulthood, rats were exposed to social defeat, consisting of daily confrontations with an aggressive conspecific, followed by testing of brain reward function in a discrete-trial current-intensity intracranial self-stimulation procedure for 10 consecutive days. Neurochemistry and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and CRF receptor 1 (CRFR1) mRNA levels were assessed in corticolimbic brain areas on day 11 of social defeat stress. Results Social defeat elevated reward thresholds in both AIE- and water-exposed rats indicating stress-induced anhedonia. However, AIE-exposed rats were more likely to show threshold elevations after repeated stress compared to water-exposed rats. AIE exposure decreased CRF mRNA levels in the nucleus accumbens and increased CRFR1 mRNA levels in the prefrontal cortex, while stress increased CRF mRNA levels in the central amygdala. In the caudate putamen, AIE exposure decreased dopamine turnover, while stress increased glutamate and serotonin metabolism and turnover. Conclusions These results demonstrate increased risk of repeated stress-induced anhedonia after AIE exposure, an effect that may be due to alterations in brain CRF and dopamine systems.
Psychopharmacology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 27, 2017
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