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Journal Article


Chapin JK, Woodward DJ. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 1989; 13(1): 8-14.


Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Hahnemann University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


(Copyright © 1989, John Wiley and Sons)






This study investigated the effects of ethanol withdrawal on sensory responses of single neurons recorded in the somatosensory (SI) cortex of awake, behaving, ethanol-dependent rats. Eleven rats were fed an ethanol-containing liquid diet for 90-120 days, while 11 weight-matched controls were pair-fed an equivalent sucrose containing diet to equalize caloric intake. Single SI cortical neurons in the chronically treated rats were recorded continuously over several hours after withdrawal from ethanol, and after reintoxication induced by intraperitoneal injection of 10% (v/v) ethanol solution. Intoxication and withdrawal related changes in sensory responsiveness of these neurons were quantitatively measured by stimulating through electrodes chronically implanted under the skin of the forepaw. Sensory response histograms constructed from these stimuli showed a characteristic pattern, typically consisting of two early excitatory peaks (E1a and E1b), followed by an inhibition (I1), and in some neurons, a late excitatory response (E2). As withdrawal advanced, the sensory response histograms exhibited marked increases in the magnitudes of the E1a, I1, and E2 responses, coupled with a reduced spontaneous discharge rate. These changes are similar to, but quantitatively greater than, those which have previously been observed in normal and control rats during "immobile arousal" behaviors, which can be evoked when an experimenter holds the animals still, producing an immobile "aversive arousal." In withdrawing animals this same "holding" manipulation tended to markedly exacerbate and accelerate behavioral and neurophysiological signs of withdrawal. By contrast, the same manipulations had little effect when carried out during light intoxication or early stages of withdrawal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Language: en


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