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Neurosci Behav Physiol. 1994 May-Jun;24(3):274-9.

Some biological mechanisms of the inborn predisposition to alcoholism.

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  • 1Laboratory of Psychopharmacology, Institute of Medicobiological Problems of Drug Studies of the State Scientific Center of Drug Studies, Moscow.

Abstract

The children of alcoholism patients have a high biological risk of this illness, mental and emotional disorders, and behavioral disturbances. The offspring of white mongrel rats with chronic alcohol intoxication were investigated in order to study the neurochemical mechanisms of these phenomena. The content of DA in blood and blood plasma, the characteristics of GABA and the opiate receptors of the brain, the activity of DBH, COMT, MAO, the content of cAMP and cGMP in brain tissue, as well as the expression of the gene c-fos were studied. Changes in the brain content of DA and qualitative and quantitative changes in MAO (an increase and solubilization of MAO A and B activity in the liver) were identified in the offspring of alcoholic rats. A tendency was also observed in the brain toward a decrease in the activity of DBH and COMT and an increase in the activity of cAMP and cGMP. The baseline expression of the gene c-fos in the offspring of male alcoholic rats did not differ from the norm; however, a powerful increase in the expression of the gene c-fos did appear in response to the administration of 2 g/kg of ethanol, in the absence of this effect in the control. A view is presented on the significant role of changes in the functions of the DA system in the genesis of pathology in the offspring of parents with chronic alcohol intoxication, as well as on the possible influence of the prolonged consumption of alcohol on the function of the genome.

PMID:
7969881
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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