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Brain Res. 1991 Apr 26;547(1):129-34.

Brain regional specificity and time-course of changes in the NMDA receptor-ionophore complex during ethanol withdrawal.

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Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD 20852.


Previous work, using membrane receptor binding techniques, demonstrated an increase in hippocampal MK-801 binding sites in mice after chronic ethanol ingestion. The current studies, using quantitative autoradiography, demonstrate that chronic ethanol ingestion also produces increases in MK-801 binding in cerebral cortex, striatum and thalamus, as well as in hippocampus. The persistence of changes in MK-801 binding paralleled the time-course for ethanol withdrawal seizure susceptibility. These results support the hypothesis that an increase in the number of NMDA receptor/channel complexes in hippocampus, and possibly other brain regions, plays a role in the generation or expression of ethanol withdrawal seizures.

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