Abnormal consumption of ethanol, the ingredient responsible for alcoholic drinks’ addictive liability, causes millions of deaths yearly. Ethanol’s addictive potential is triggered through activation, by a still unknown mechanism, of the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, part of a key motivation circuit, DA neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA) projecting to the ipsilateral nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). The present in vivo brain microdialysis study, in dually-implanted rats with one probe in the pVTA and another in the ipsilateral or contralateral AcbSh, demonstrates this mechanism. As a consequence of the oral administration of a pharmacologically relevant dose of ethanol, we simultaneously detect a) in the pVTA, a substance, 1-methyl-6,7-dihydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (salsolinol), untraceable under control conditions, product of condensation between DA and ethanol’s first by-product, acetaldehyde; and b) in the AcbSh, a significant increase of DA release. Moreover, such newly generated salsolinol in the pVTA is responsible for increasing AcbSh DA release via m opioid receptor (mOR) stimulation. In fact, inhibition of salsolinol’s generation in the pVTA or blockade of pVTA mORs prevents ethanol-increased ipsilateral, but not contralateral, AcbSh DA release. This evidence discloses the long-sought key mechanism of ethanol’s addictive potential and suggests the grounds for developing preventive and therapeutic strategies against abnormal consumption.

Ethanol-Dependent Synthesis of Salsolinol in the Posterior Ventral Tegmental Area as Key Mechanism of Ethanol’s Action on Mesolimbic Dopamine

Bassareo, Valentina;Frau, Roberto;Maccioni, Riccardo;Caboni, Pierluigi;Manis, Cristina;Peana, Alessandra T.;Porru, Simona;Acquas, Elio
2021-01-01

Abstract

Abnormal consumption of ethanol, the ingredient responsible for alcoholic drinks’ addictive liability, causes millions of deaths yearly. Ethanol’s addictive potential is triggered through activation, by a still unknown mechanism, of the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, part of a key motivation circuit, DA neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA) projecting to the ipsilateral nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh). The present in vivo brain microdialysis study, in dually-implanted rats with one probe in the pVTA and another in the ipsilateral or contralateral AcbSh, demonstrates this mechanism. As a consequence of the oral administration of a pharmacologically relevant dose of ethanol, we simultaneously detect a) in the pVTA, a substance, 1-methyl-6,7-dihydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (salsolinol), untraceable under control conditions, product of condensation between DA and ethanol’s first by-product, acetaldehyde; and b) in the AcbSh, a significant increase of DA release. Moreover, such newly generated salsolinol in the pVTA is responsible for increasing AcbSh DA release via m opioid receptor (mOR) stimulation. In fact, inhibition of salsolinol’s generation in the pVTA or blockade of pVTA mORs prevents ethanol-increased ipsilateral, but not contralateral, AcbSh DA release. This evidence discloses the long-sought key mechanism of ethanol’s addictive potential and suggests the grounds for developing preventive and therapeutic strategies against abnormal consumption.
2021
acetaldehyde; brain microdialysis; dopamine; ethanol; m opioid receptors; nucleus accumbens shell; posterior ventral tegmental area; salsolinol
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/315181
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