Early Environment, Adolescent Alcohol Drinking and Neurobiological Responses to Drugs
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Genes and environment interact to determine an individual’s vulnerability or resilience to several psychiatric disorders, including alcohol use disorder (AUD). Alcohol use is often initiated during adolescence and early onset drinking is associated with increased risk for later AUD. Childhood and adolescence are periods of extensive brain maturation, which makes young individuals more susceptible to environmental influence. However, little is known about early environmental influence on reward pathways and behaviors involved in the development of AUD. Changes in the endogenous opioid and dopamine systems, as well as individual differences in risk behaviors are all believed to play important roles in the increased vulnerability seen after adverse early life events and early onset drinking. The overall aim of the thesis was therefore to investigate the influence of early environmental factors on adolescent alcohol intake, endogenous opioids, dopamine dynamics and alcohol-induced effects in rats to increase our knowledge of neurobiological factors underlying vulnerability to AUD. Furthermore, individual behavioral differences and their correlation to basal and drug-induced neurobiological responses in rats were also investigated. Animal models of different early environments, e.g. maternal separation and social vs. single housing, and adolescent alcohol consumption have been used to study effects on behavior, endogenous opioid peptides and dopamine dynamics. The results identified the amygdala and dorsal striatum as interesting brain regions in which endogenous opioids and dopamine, respectively, are impacted by early environmental factors. The amygdala and the dorsal striatum are both hypothesized to be involved in the shift from initial drug use to compulsive use and changes in these areas may be underlying environmentally increased vulnerability to AUD. Furthermore, behavioral phenotypes in relation to individual neurobiological responses were identified. High risk-taking behavior was associated with a more pronounced response to amphetamine, but the inherent dopamine response was instead associated with risk-assessment behavior. In conclusion, several brain regions of interest for future research were identified. Furthermore, the results contribute to increased understanding of factors involved in the development of vulnerability for AUD in adolescents and young adults.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. , 99 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Pharmacy, ISSN 1651-6192 ; 190
adolescence, beta-endorphin, dopamine, dynorphin, endogenous opioids, enkephalin, high-speed chronoamperometry, housing conditions, maternal separation, multivariate concentric square field™ test, open field test, radioimmunoassay, voluntary alcohol intake, Wistar rats
Neurosciences Pharmacology and Toxicology
Research subject Pharmaceutical Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229992ISBN: 978-91-554-9011-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-229992DiVA: diva2:740329
2014-10-10, B42, BMC, Husargatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Colombo, Giancarlo, Professor
Nylander, Ingrid, ProfessorSvensson, Anne-LieMartin, Lundblad
List of papers