Eliyana Van Doren
Binge-drinking Induced Negative Affect and Molecular Irregularities in C57BL/6J Mice
Alcohol binge-drinking behaviors and severity of withdrawal are known to vary in both primates and rodents depending on their age and sex. The region of the brain that mediates behavioral responses to alcohol is called the nucleus accumbens (NA). The NA also plays a significant role in regulating stress and reward-motivated behavior. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter, and glutamatergic dysfunctions within the NA are linked to alcohol withdrawal-induced anxious behaviors. This study examined the expression of two proteins important for glutamatergic signaling during early and protracted alcohol withdrawal following two-weeks of binge-drinking. These findings will support our behavioral observations and provide biochemical evidence of the observed behaviors. The aim of this project is to better understand how changes within the NA interact with binge-drinking and withdrawal behaviors and the subject factor interactions of sex x age.