Adolescent alcohol use is associated with a risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD). Adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE) in rats augments ethanol consumption in adulthood. In addition, chronic intermittent ethanol exposure reduces dopamine transmission in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) via a kappa opioid receptor (KORs) mechanism. However, the impact of AIE on KOR-mediated regulation of dopamine is unknown. The goal of this study is to examine the impact of AIE exposure on dopamine transmission and KOR function. Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed on alternating days to ethanol or water via orogastricgavage during early (P25-45; e-AIE) or late (P45-65; l-AIE) adolescence. Following protracted abstinence, coronal sections containing the NAc were harvested for dopamine transmission and KOR-function analysis. After baseline dopamine release was stable, KORs were activated pharmacologically and the effects on dopamine release were measured. Our data showed augmented KOR function in eAIE compared to e-water female rats. In contrast, no changes in KOR-function were observed in e-AIE male rats. Interestingly, in male and female l-AIE rats, KOR-function was reduced. This exposure-dependent disparity in KOR-function suggests differential temporal interaction between ethanol and KORs within the NAc during development.
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Amirault, Raymond; Spodnick, Mary; and Towner, Trevor, "Adolescent Intermittent Ethanol Influence on Kappa Opiod Receptor Function within the Nucleus Accumbens in Adult Rats" (2020). Research Days Posters Spring 2020. 3.