Control of chronic excessive alcohol drinking by genetic manipulation of the Edinger-Westphal nucleus urocortin-1 neuropeptide system

W. J. Giardino, E. D. Rodriguez, M. L. Smith, M. M. Ford, D. Galili, S. H. Mitchell, A. Chen, A. E. Ryabinin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Midbrain neurons of the centrally projecting Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EWcp) are activated by alcohol, and enriched with stress-responsive neuropeptide modulators (including the paralog of corticotropin-releasing factor, urocortin-1). Evidence suggests that EWcp neurons promote behavioral processes for alcohol-seeking and consumption, but a definitive role for these cells remains elusive. Here we combined targeted viral manipulations and gene array profiling of EWcp neurons with mass behavioral phenotyping in C57BL/6 J mice to directly define the links between EWcp-specific urocortin-1 expression and voluntary binge alcohol intake, demonstrating a specific importance for EWcp urocortin-1 activity in escalation of alcohol intake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1021
Number of pages8
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2017

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