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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1996 Jun;54(2):415-23.

Metabolic mapping of the effects of chronic voluntary ethanol consumption in rats.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC 27157-1083, USA.


The 2-[14C]deoxyglucose method was used to examine the effects of chronic, voluntary ethanol consumption on rates of local cerebral glucose utilization (LCGU). LCGU was measured in male Long-Evans rats immediately following the completion of a 60-min schedule-induced polydipsia drinking session. Three groups of animals were examined: animals with a history of ethanol consumption that received ethanol on the test day (ethanol-ethanol), animals with a similar ethanol history that were presented with water on the test day (ethanol-water), and a control group that received water throughout the experiment (water-water). Ethanol consumption on the test day resulted in a highly discrete pattern of metabolic changes, with significant decreases in glucose utilization in the hippocampal complex, habenula, anterior ventral thalamus, and mammillary bodies, whereas increases were observed in the nucleus accumbens and locus coeruleus. Rates of LCGU in the ethanol-water group were increased throughout all regions of the central nervous system examined, indicating that the long-term consumption of moderate ethanol doses that do not produce physical dependence can cause significant changes in functional brain activity.

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