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Nat Neurosci. 2012 Oct;15(10):1359-61. doi: 10.1038/nn.3204. Epub 2012 Sep 2.

Chronic alcohol remodels prefrontal neurons and disrupts NMDAR-mediated fear extinction encoding.

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  • 1Laboratory of Behavioral and Genomic Neuroscience, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, US National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. andrew.holmes@nih.gov

Abstract

Alcoholism is frequently co-morbid with post-traumatic stress disorder, but it is unclear how alcohol affects the neural circuits mediating recovery from trauma. We found that chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) impaired fear extinction and remodeled the dendritic arbor of medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC) neurons in mice. CIE impaired extinction encoding by infralimbic mPFC neurons in vivo and functionally downregulated burst-mediating NMDA GluN1 receptors. These findings suggest that alcohol may increase risk for trauma-related anxiety disorders by disrupting mPFC-mediated extinction of fear.

PMID:
22941108
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3471649
Free PMC Article

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