The Effects of Ethanol on Developing Catecholamine Neurons
Significantly lower concentrations of norepinephrine were observed in whole brain and hypothalamus of pups exposed to ethanol pre- or post-natally as compared to controls. Dopamine levels were found to be unaltered in whole brain compared to controls although hypothalamus and corpus striatum demonstrated a decreased concentration in the experimental animals exposed to ethanol.
The reduced levels of these neurotransmitters observed in the hypothalamus could reflect a direct damage to norepinephrine neurons by pre- or post-natal exposure to ethanol. However, depressed dopamine levels in the corpus striatum indicate additional injury to dopamine neurons. Alternatively, a modulatory interaction between norepinephrinergic and dopaminergic systems may be operative in these offspring. The changes observed in catecholamines could not be explained by a single and simple mode of ethanol action in the developing rat.
KeywordsCorpus Striatum Norepinephrine Concentration Brain Norepinephrine Norepinephrine Neuron Catecholamine Neuron
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