Event Title

Sex differences in the effects of acute ethanol treatment on the mesolimbic dopamine system in mice

Presenter Information

Justice Bufford
Janeily Perez

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Erin Rhinehart

Start Date

24-4-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

24-4-2018 5:00 PM

Description

Alcoholism is a societal concern, but its underlying mechanisms are not well understood. We studied the effects of ethanol on the reward pathway in mice using tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate limiting enzyme for dopamine production. We hypothesized ethanol would increase TH expression, especially in female mice. We tested this hypothesis by quantifying the number of positive TH cells in the ventral tegmentum area (VTA) and the percent positive area in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Data supported our hypothesis that ethanol increased TH production in the reward pathway. We found that TH expression in response to alcohol was higher in female mice compared to male mice. This suggests that females are more susceptible to the rewarding effects of ethanol and need to consume less to activate the reward pathway. Data from our study indicates that females could be more physiologically susceptible to alcohol addiction than males.

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Apr 24th, 4:00 PM Apr 24th, 5:00 PM

Sex differences in the effects of acute ethanol treatment on the mesolimbic dopamine system in mice

Alcoholism is a societal concern, but its underlying mechanisms are not well understood. We studied the effects of ethanol on the reward pathway in mice using tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate limiting enzyme for dopamine production. We hypothesized ethanol would increase TH expression, especially in female mice. We tested this hypothesis by quantifying the number of positive TH cells in the ventral tegmentum area (VTA) and the percent positive area in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Data supported our hypothesis that ethanol increased TH production in the reward pathway. We found that TH expression in response to alcohol was higher in female mice compared to male mice. This suggests that females are more susceptible to the rewarding effects of ethanol and need to consume less to activate the reward pathway. Data from our study indicates that females could be more physiologically susceptible to alcohol addiction than males.