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Viral-mediated knockdown of mGluR7 in the nucleus accumbens mediates excessive alcohol drinking and increased ethanol-elicited conditioned place preference in rats
Published in
PMID: 22781839
Volume: 38
Issue: 11
Pages: 2109 - 2119
Whether metabotropic glutamate 7 (mGluR7) -activation enhances or diminishes the reinforcing properties of psychostimulants remains unclear. We have previously shown that systemic mGluR7 activation reduced alcohol consumption and preference as well as locomotorstimulating and rewarding properties of ethanol. In this study, we further examined the contribution of mGluR7 on the effect of ethanol within the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a neural target for many drugs of abuse. Using short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-expressing lentiviral vectors (LV) to alter locally the activity of mGluR7 in male rats, we have shown that blocking mGluR7 expression increased ethanol consumption and preference in a two-bottle choice drinking paradigm with no effect either on saccharin or on quinine used for taste discrimination. In addition, mGluR7 knockdown increases preference for environments previously paired with low doses of ethanol in the conditioned place preference (CPP) test, as it shifted the dose-response curve for ethanol CPP to the left, indicating alterations in the rewarding effects of alcohol. More importantly, mGluR7 blockade in the dorsal striatum (DS) neither affected ethanol consumption nor ethanol-elicited CPP. These results show that levels of mGluR7 in the NAcc regulate responsiveness to alcohol. Taken together, these findings clearly demonstrate that mGluR7 signaling within the NAcc is a key modulator of functional responses to ethanol and offer an important target for regulating the addictive effects of alcohol. \textcopyright 2013 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.
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