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Neurosci Lett. 2011 Aug 1;500(1):52-6. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2011.05.239. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Impairment of long-term potentiation in the hippocampus of alcohol-treated OLETF rats.

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Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Type 2 diabetes and chronic heavy alcohol consumption each have been known to be associated with the impairment of hippocampus-dependent cognitive functions. Although both conditions often coexist clinically and there is accumulated evidence of a relationship between the two, the combined effect on hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) has not yet been investigated. We compared the effect of type 2 diabetes itself with that of type 2 diabetes with chronic heavy alcohol consumption on the hippocampal LTP using Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rat model, which resembles the characteristics of human type 2 diabetes. Ten of 16-week-old male OLETF rats were randomized into two treatment groups according to weight: the OLETF-Alcohol (O-A, n=5) and the OLETF-Control (O-C, n=5). The rats in the O-A group were fed Lieber-DeCarli Regular EtOH over a 10-week period and the amount of alcohol consumption was 8.42±2.52g/kg/day. To ensure the effect of poor glycemic control on LTP, intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test was performed after a 10-week treatment. The hippocampal LTP was measured by extracellular field excitatory post-synaptic potentials at Shaffer collateral (SC) synapses in the CA1 region. Although the O-A group showed significantly lower fasting and postprandial glucose (P<0.01 and P=0.02, respectively), the hippocampal LTP was more significantly attenuated in the O-A group than the O-C group (P=0.032). The results of this study suggested that chronic heavy alcohol consumption could potentiate the impairment of hippocampal LTP in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance or early type 2 diabetes, even though it did not aggravate, but did improve glycemic control. Clinical attention to chronic heavy drinking will be required in preventing cognitive impairment in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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