Prolonged changes in neurochemistry of dopamine neurones after chronic ethanol consumption

C. P. Bailey, N. Andrews, A. T. McKnight, J. Hughes, H. J. Little

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19 Citations (SciVal)


The effects of 3 weeks of chronic ethanol consumption in mice on brain concentrations and turnover of monamine transmitters was examined. The measurements were made at 24 h, 6 days and 2 months after cessation of the ethanol intake to examine changes that might be relevant to relapse drinking. Increases in noradrenaline and dopamine concentrations, and decreases in the ratios of dopamine metabolites to dopamine, were seen in ventral tegmental tissue at 24 h after alcohol consumption. Increased noradrenaline was also evident at the 6-day interval, but no other changes were seen at this time. At the 2-month interval, the ventral tegmentum from ethanol-treated animals showed decreases in metabolite/dopamine ratios. No changes were seen in 5- hydroxytryptamine or its metabolite. In striatal tissue, none of these changes were seen, but at 24 h decreases occurred in the content of dopamine and its metabolites and a decrease in 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. The results indicate changes occur in monoamine turnover in the VTA as long as 2 months after cessation of chronic ethanol consumption; such changes may be related to the prolonged nature of alcohol dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2000


  • 5-HT
  • Alcohol
  • Chronic ethanol intake
  • Dopamine
  • Noradrenaline
  • Ventral tegmental area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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