Effects of pharmacological inhibition of the centrally-projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus on ethanol-induced conditioned place preference and body temperature

Alfredo Zuniga, Andrey E. Ryabinin, Christopher L. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic disease characterized in part by repeated relapsing events. Exposure to environmental stimuli or cues that have previously been associated with the effects of alcohol can promote relapse through the triggering of craving for alcohol. Therefore, identifying and characterizing neuronal populations that may regulate these associations is of the upmost importance. Previous studies have implicated the centrally-projecting Edinger Westphal nucleus (EWcp) in this process, as the EWcp is both sensitive to, and can regulate alcohol intake. To date however, it is unclear if the EWcp is involved in the formation or expression of these alcohol-cue associations. As such, the present studies examined the involvement of the EWcp in male DBA/2J mice in the acquisition and expression of place preference for an alcohol-paired cue using the conditioned place preference (CPP) procedure. Pharmacological inhibition of the EWcp via the GABAA and GABAB receptor agonists muscimol and baclofen did not affect either the acquisition or the expression of CPP. Follow up studies did find however, that pharmacological inhibition of the EWcp increased body temperature and prevented alcohol-induced increases in c-Fos expression in the EWcp. When considered in light of previous studies, the present results indicate that the EWcp may be involved in the regulation of alcohol self-administration, and not conditioned alcohol-seeking. Additionally, the present studies provide further evidence for the involvement of the EWcp in thermoregulation and help elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which alcohol increases c-Fos in the EWcp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalAlcohol
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Conditioned place preference
  • Edinger-Westphal
  • Ethanol
  • Tevmperature
  • c-Fos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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