Hippocampal cholinergic alterations and related behavioral deficits after early exposure to ethanol

Chaim G. Pick, Michael Cooperman, David Trombka, Yael Rogel-Fuchs, Joseph Yanai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study was designed to ascertain septohippocampal cholinergic alterations and their related behavioral deficits after early exposure to ethanol. Mouse pups were exposed to ethanol, 3 g/kg by daily subcutaneous injection on postnatal days 2-14. At age 50 days, the ethanol-exposed mice had significant reductions from control levels in eight-arm maze performance. For example, on the fourth testing day, the number of correct entries in the ethanol group was 21% below control levels (P < 0.05) and the number of trials needed to enter all arms was 48% above control (P < 0.001). It took the ethanol-exposed mice twice the time to reach criterion than it did control (P < 0.01). A 33% increase from control level in muscarinic receptor number (βmax) was found in the treated mice of age 22 days and a 64% increase at age 50 days (P < 0.001). However, no differences between control and treated groups could be detected in the presynaptic component of the cholinergic innervation, choline acetyltransferase activity. The results suggest that early ethanol exposure acts on hippocampal function similarly to phenobarbital, probably via alterations in postsynaptic processes in the septohippocampal cholinergic pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-385
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1993

Keywords

  • choline acetyltransferase
  • early exposure
  • eight-arm maze
  • ethanol
  • hippocampus
  • mice
  • muscarinic receptors

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