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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2000 Jun 23;79(1-2):174-9.

Effects of chronic ethanol administration on expression of BDNF and trkB mRNAs in rat hippocampus after experimental brain injury.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington 40536-0298, USA.


Previous evidence indicates that both chronic alcohol treatment and traumatic brain injury modulate expression of certain neurotrophins and neurotrophin receptors in cortical tissue. However, the combined effects of chronic alcohol and brain trauma on expression of neurotrophins and their receptors have not been investigated. In the present study, we examined the effects of 6 weeks of chronic ethanol administration on lateral fluid percussion (FP) brain injury-induced alterations in expression of mRNAs for the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its high affinity receptor, trkB, in rat hippocampus. In both the control- (pair-fed isocaloric sucrose) diet and the chronic ethanol-diet groups, unilateral FP brain injury induced a bilateral increase in levels of both BDNF and trkB mRNAs in the dentate gyrus granule cell layer, and of BDNF mRNA in hippocampal region CA3. However, no significant differences in expression were found between the control-diet and ethanol-diet groups, in either the sham-injured or FP-injured animals. These findings suggest that 6 weeks of chronic ethanol administration does not alter the plasticity of hippocampal BDNF/trkB expression in response to experimental brain injury.

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