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Okajimas Folia Anat Jpn. 2006 May;83(1):1-6.

Effects of chronic ethanol administration on the expression levels of neurotrophic factors in the rat hippocampus.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, Japan.


Chronic ethanol consumption has adverse effects on the central nervous system. Hippocampus is one of the target sites of ethanol neurotoxicity. Hippocampal damage is known to result in impairment of learning and memory. This study was aimed to determine whether chronic ethanol consumption could alter the expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) mRNAs in the hippocampus. Male Wistar rats were given unrestricted access to a liquid diet containing 5% (v/v) ethanol as the sole fluid source for 19 weeks beginning at 10 weeks of age. The expression levels of BDNF and GDNF mRNAs in the hippocampus were analyzed by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. The present study revealed that chronic ethanol consumption did not result in significant changes in the expression levels of BDNF and GDNF mRNAs. Our present results showed no significant alteration in the expression of these neurotrophic factors; these results will lead to further studies to examine the possible alterations in the gene expression of various neurotrophins that are related to hippocampal functions including learning and memory.

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