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Physiol Behav. 2008 Mar 18;93(4-5):733-41. Epub 2007 Nov 28.

Involvement of brain catalase activity in the acquisition of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference.

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  • 1Area de Psicobiolog√≠a, Universitat Jaume I, Castell√≥n 8029AP, Spain.


It has been suggested that some of the behavioral effects produced by ethanol are mediated by its first metabolite, acetaldehyde. The present research addressed the hypothesis that catalase-dependent metabolism of ethanol to acetaldehyde in the brain is an important step in the production of ethanol-related affective properties. Firstly, we investigated the contribution of brain catalase in the acquisition of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). Secondly, the specificity of the catalase inhibitor 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole (AT) was evaluated with morphine- and cocaine-induced CPP. Finally, to investigate the role of catalase in the process of relapse to ethanol seeking caused by re-exposure to ethanol, after an initial conditioning and extinction, mice were primed with saline and ethanol or AT and ethanol and tested for reinstatement of CPP. Conditioned place preference was blocked in animals treated with AT and ethanol. Morphine and cocaine CPP were unaffected by AT treatment. However, the reinstatement of place preference was not modified by catalase inhibition. Taken together, the results of the present study indicate that the brain catalase-H(2)O(2) system contributes to the acquisition of affective-dependent learning induced by ethanol, and support the involvement of centrally-formed acetaldehyde in the formation of positive affective memories produced by ethanol.

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