Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2009 Oct 28;29(43):13494-502. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2243-09.2009.

Endogenous BDNF in the dorsolateral striatum gates alcohol drinking.

Author information

Ernest Gallo Research Center, University of California, San Francisco, Emeryville, California 94608, USA.


We previously found that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-haplodeficient mice exhibit greater ethanol-induced place preference and psychomotor sensitization, and greater ethanol consumption after deprivation, than control mice. We further observed that, in mice, voluntary ethanol intake increases BDNF expression in the dorsal striatum (DS). Here, we determined whether BDNF within the DS regulates ethanol self-administration in Long-Evans rats trained to self-administer a 10% ethanol solution. We observed a greater increase in BDNF expression after ethanol self-administration in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) than in the dorsomedial striatum (DMS). We further found that downregulation of endogenous BDNF using viral-mediated siRNA in the DLS, but not in the DMS, significantly increased ethanol self-administration. Infusion of exogenous BDNF (0.25 microg/microl/side into the DMS; 0.25 and 0.75 microg/microl/side into the DLS) attenuated responding for ethanol when infused 3 h before the beginning of the self-administration session. Although the decrease in ethanol intake was similar in the DLS and DMS, BDNF infused in the DLS, but not in the DMS, induced an early termination of the drinking episode. Furthermore, the action of BDNF in the DLS was specific for ethanol, as infusion of the neurotrophic factor in the DMS, but not DLS, resulted in a reduction of sucrose intake. Together, these findings demonstrate that the BDNF pathway within the DLS controls the level of ethanol self-administration. Importantly, our results suggest that an endogenous signaling pathway within the same brain region that mediates drug-taking behavior also plays a critical role in gating the level of ethanol intake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center