Modulation of Poly ADP Ribose Polymerase (PARP) Levels and Activity by Alcohol Binge-Like Drinking in Male Mice

Gian Paolo Vallerini, You Hong Cheng, Kayla A. Chase, Rajiv P. Sharma, Handojo Kusumo, Shivani Khakhkhar, Douglas L. Feinstein, Marina Guizzetti, David P. Gavin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Binge drinking is a frequent pattern of ethanol consumption within Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs). Binge-like ethanol exposure increases Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) expression and activity. PARP enzymes have been implicated in addiction and serve multiple roles in the cell, including gene expression regulation. In this study, we examined the effects of binge-like alcohol consumption in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of adult C57BL/6J male mice via a 4-day Drinking-in-the-Dark (DID) paradigm. The role of PARP in associated gene expression and behavioral changes was assessed by administering the PARP inhibitor ABT-888 on the last DID day. We then conducted an RNA-seq analysis of the PFC gene expression changes associated with DID-consumed ethanol or ABT-888 treatment. A separate cohort of mice was inoculated with an HSV–PARP1 vector in the PFC and subject to a DID experiment to verify whether overexpressed PARP1 increased ethanol drinking. We confirmed that alcohol increases Parp1 gene expression and PARP activity in the PFC. RNA-seq showed significantly altered expression of 41 genes by DID-consumed ethanol, and of 48 genes by ABT-888. These results were confirmed by qPCR in 7 of the 10 genes validated, 4 of which have been previously associated with addiction. ABT-888 reduced, and overexpression of PFC PARP1 increased DID ethanol consumption. In our model, alcohol binge drinking induced specific alterations in the PFC expression of genes potentially involved in addiction. Pharmacological PARP inhibition proved effective in reversing these changes and preventing further alcohol consumption. Our results suggest an involvement of ethanol-induced PARP1 in reinforcing binge-like addictive behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Nov 10 2020


  • PARP
  • RNA-seq
  • addiction
  • alcohol use disorder
  • epigenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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