Serotonergic neuroplasticity in alcohol addiction

Belmer, Arnauld, Patkar, Omkar, Pitman, Kim, & Bartlett, Selena (2016) Serotonergic neuroplasticity in alcohol addiction. Brain Plasticity, 1(2), pp. 177-206.

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Alcohol addiction is a debilitating disorder producing maladaptive changes in the brain, leading drinkers to become more sensitive to stress and anxiety. These changes are key factors contributing to alcohol craving and maintaining a persistent vulnerability to relapse. Serotonin (5-Hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a monoamine neurotransmitter widely expressed in the central nervous system where it plays an important role in the regulation of mood. The serotonin system has been extensively implicated in the regulation of stress and anxiety, as well as the reinforcing properties of all of the major classes of drugs of abuse, including alcohol. Dysregulation within the 5-HT system has been postulated to underlie the negative mood states associated with alcohol use disorders.

This review will describe the serotonergic (5-HTergic) neuroplastic changes observed in animal models throughout the alcohol addiction cycle, from prenatal to adulthood exposure. The first section will focus on alcohol-induced 5-HTergic neuroadaptations in offspring prenatally exposed to alcohol and the consequences on the regulation of stress/anxiety. The second section will compare alterations in 5-HT signalling induced by acute or chronic alcohol exposure during adulthood and following alcohol withdrawal, highlighting the impact on the regulation of stress/anxiety signalling pathways. The third section will outline 5-HTergic neuroadaptations observed in various genetically-selected ethanol preferring rat lines. Finally, we will discuss the pharmacological manipulation of the 5-HTergic system on ethanol- and anxiety/stress-related behaviours demonstrated by clinical trials, with an emphasis on current and potential treatments.

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ID Code: 92284
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Serotonin, alcohol-related disorders, alcohol addiction, anxiety, depression
DOI: 10.3233/BPL-150022
ISSN: 2213-6304
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 26 Jan 2016 23:34
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2016 23:57

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