Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2014 Jul;39(8):1978-87. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.46. Epub 2014 Feb 25.

Ethanol alters local cellular levels of (3α,5α)-3-hydroxypregnan-20-one (3α,5α-THP) independent of the adrenals in subcortical brain regions.

Author information

  • 11] Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA [2] Curriculum in Neurobiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
  • 2Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
  • 31] Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA [2] Curriculum in Neurobiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA [3] Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Abstract

The neuroactive steroid (3α,5α)-3-hydroxypregnan-20-one (3α,5α-THP or allopregnanolone) is a positive modulator of GABAA receptors synthesized in the brain, adrenal glands, and gonads. In rats, ethanol activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and elevates 3α,5α-THP in plasma, cerebral cortex, and hippocampus. In vivo, these effects are dependent on both the pituitary and adrenal glands. In vitro, however, ethanol locally increases 3α,5α-THP in hippocampal slices, in the absence of adrenal influence. Therefore, it is not known whether ethanol can change local brain levels of 3α,5α-THP in vivo, independent of the adrenals. To directly address this controversy, we administered ethanol (2 g/kg) or saline to rats that underwent adrenalectomy (ADX) or received sham surgery and performed immunohistochemistry for 3α,5α-THP. In the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), ethanol increased 3α,5α-THP after sham surgery, compared with saline controls, with no ethanol-induced change in 3α,5α-THP following ADX. In subcortical regions, 3α,5α-THP was increased independent of adrenals in the CA1 pyramidal cell layer, dentate gyrus polymorphic layer, bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, and paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. Furthermore, ethanol decreased 3α,5α-THP labeling in the nucleus accumbens shore and central nucleus of the amygdala, independent of the adrenal glands. These data indicate that ethanol dynamically regulates local 3α,5α-THP levels in several subcortical regions; however, the adrenal glands contribute to 3α,5α-THP elevations in the mPFC. Using double immunofluorescent labeling we determined that adrenal dependence of 3α,5α-THP induction by ethanol is not due to a lack of colocalization of 3α,5α-THP with the cholesterol transporters steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) or translocator protein (TSPO).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk