Gestational naltrexone ameliorates fetal ethanol exposures enhancing effect on the postnatal behavioral and neural response to ethanol

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Abstract

The association between gestational exposure to ethanol and adolescent ethanol abuse is well established. Recent animal studies support the role of fetal ethanol experience-induced chemosensory plasticity as contributing to this observation. Previously, we established that fetal ethanol exposure, delivered through a dam's diet throughout gestation, tuned the neural response of the peripheral olfactory system of early postnatal rats to the odor of ethanol. This occurred in conjunction with a loss of responsiveness to other odorants. The instinctive behavioral response to the odor of ethanol was also enhanced. Importantly, there was a significant contributory link between the altered response to the odor of ethanol and increased ethanol avidity when assessed in the same animals. Here, we tested whether the neural and behavioral olfactory plasticity, and their relationship to enhanced ethanol intake, is a result of the mere exposure to ethanol or whether it requires the animal to associate ethanol's reinforcing properties with its odor attributes. In this later respect, the opioid system is important in the mediation (or modulation) of the reinforcing aspects of ethanol. To block endogenous opiates during prenatal life, pregnant rats received daily intraperitoneal administration of the opiate antagonist naltrexone from gestational day 6-21 jointly with ethanol delivered via diet. Relative to control progeny, we found that gestational exposure to naltrexone ameliorated the enhanced postnatal behavioral response to the odor of ethanol and postnatal drug avidity. Our findings support the proposition that in utero ethanol-induced olfactory plasticity (and its relationship to postnatal intake) requires, at least in part, the associative pairing between ethanol's odor quality and its reinforcing aspects. We also found suggestive evidence that fetal naltrexone ameliorated the untoward effects of gestational ethanol exposure on the neural response to non-fetal-exposure odorants. Thus, gestational naltrexone may also have a neuroprotective and/or neuroproliferative impact on olfactory development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1208
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Volume237
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012

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Naltrexone
Ethanol
Odors
Plasticity
Animals
Nutrition
Rats
Opiate Alkaloids
Diet
Opioid Peptides
Odorants

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

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title = "Gestational naltrexone ameliorates fetal ethanol exposures enhancing effect on the postnatal behavioral and neural response to ethanol",
abstract = "The association between gestational exposure to ethanol and adolescent ethanol abuse is well established. Recent animal studies support the role of fetal ethanol experience-induced chemosensory plasticity as contributing to this observation. Previously, we established that fetal ethanol exposure, delivered through a dam's diet throughout gestation, tuned the neural response of the peripheral olfactory system of early postnatal rats to the odor of ethanol. This occurred in conjunction with a loss of responsiveness to other odorants. The instinctive behavioral response to the odor of ethanol was also enhanced. Importantly, there was a significant contributory link between the altered response to the odor of ethanol and increased ethanol avidity when assessed in the same animals. Here, we tested whether the neural and behavioral olfactory plasticity, and their relationship to enhanced ethanol intake, is a result of the mere exposure to ethanol or whether it requires the animal to associate ethanol's reinforcing properties with its odor attributes. In this later respect, the opioid system is important in the mediation (or modulation) of the reinforcing aspects of ethanol. To block endogenous opiates during prenatal life, pregnant rats received daily intraperitoneal administration of the opiate antagonist naltrexone from gestational day 6-21 jointly with ethanol delivered via diet. Relative to control progeny, we found that gestational exposure to naltrexone ameliorated the enhanced postnatal behavioral response to the odor of ethanol and postnatal drug avidity. Our findings support the proposition that in utero ethanol-induced olfactory plasticity (and its relationship to postnatal intake) requires, at least in part, the associative pairing between ethanol's odor quality and its reinforcing aspects. We also found suggestive evidence that fetal naltrexone ameliorated the untoward effects of gestational ethanol exposure on the neural response to non-fetal-exposure odorants. Thus, gestational naltrexone may also have a neuroprotective and/or neuroproliferative impact on olfactory development.",
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AU - Youngentob, Steven

AU - Kent, Paul F.

AU - Youngentob, Lisa

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N2 - The association between gestational exposure to ethanol and adolescent ethanol abuse is well established. Recent animal studies support the role of fetal ethanol experience-induced chemosensory plasticity as contributing to this observation. Previously, we established that fetal ethanol exposure, delivered through a dam's diet throughout gestation, tuned the neural response of the peripheral olfactory system of early postnatal rats to the odor of ethanol. This occurred in conjunction with a loss of responsiveness to other odorants. The instinctive behavioral response to the odor of ethanol was also enhanced. Importantly, there was a significant contributory link between the altered response to the odor of ethanol and increased ethanol avidity when assessed in the same animals. Here, we tested whether the neural and behavioral olfactory plasticity, and their relationship to enhanced ethanol intake, is a result of the mere exposure to ethanol or whether it requires the animal to associate ethanol's reinforcing properties with its odor attributes. In this later respect, the opioid system is important in the mediation (or modulation) of the reinforcing aspects of ethanol. To block endogenous opiates during prenatal life, pregnant rats received daily intraperitoneal administration of the opiate antagonist naltrexone from gestational day 6-21 jointly with ethanol delivered via diet. Relative to control progeny, we found that gestational exposure to naltrexone ameliorated the enhanced postnatal behavioral response to the odor of ethanol and postnatal drug avidity. Our findings support the proposition that in utero ethanol-induced olfactory plasticity (and its relationship to postnatal intake) requires, at least in part, the associative pairing between ethanol's odor quality and its reinforcing aspects. We also found suggestive evidence that fetal naltrexone ameliorated the untoward effects of gestational ethanol exposure on the neural response to non-fetal-exposure odorants. Thus, gestational naltrexone may also have a neuroprotective and/or neuroproliferative impact on olfactory development.

AB - The association between gestational exposure to ethanol and adolescent ethanol abuse is well established. Recent animal studies support the role of fetal ethanol experience-induced chemosensory plasticity as contributing to this observation. Previously, we established that fetal ethanol exposure, delivered through a dam's diet throughout gestation, tuned the neural response of the peripheral olfactory system of early postnatal rats to the odor of ethanol. This occurred in conjunction with a loss of responsiveness to other odorants. The instinctive behavioral response to the odor of ethanol was also enhanced. Importantly, there was a significant contributory link between the altered response to the odor of ethanol and increased ethanol avidity when assessed in the same animals. Here, we tested whether the neural and behavioral olfactory plasticity, and their relationship to enhanced ethanol intake, is a result of the mere exposure to ethanol or whether it requires the animal to associate ethanol's reinforcing properties with its odor attributes. In this later respect, the opioid system is important in the mediation (or modulation) of the reinforcing aspects of ethanol. To block endogenous opiates during prenatal life, pregnant rats received daily intraperitoneal administration of the opiate antagonist naltrexone from gestational day 6-21 jointly with ethanol delivered via diet. Relative to control progeny, we found that gestational exposure to naltrexone ameliorated the enhanced postnatal behavioral response to the odor of ethanol and postnatal drug avidity. Our findings support the proposition that in utero ethanol-induced olfactory plasticity (and its relationship to postnatal intake) requires, at least in part, the associative pairing between ethanol's odor quality and its reinforcing aspects. We also found suggestive evidence that fetal naltrexone ameliorated the untoward effects of gestational ethanol exposure on the neural response to non-fetal-exposure odorants. Thus, gestational naltrexone may also have a neuroprotective and/or neuroproliferative impact on olfactory development.

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