Diana, Marco and Pistis, Marco and Muntoni, Anna Lisa and Gessa, Gian Luigi (1996) Mesolimbic dopaminergic reduction outlasts ethanol withdrawal syndrome: Evidence of protracted abstinence. Neuroscience, Vol. 71 (2), p. 411-415. ISSN 0306-4522. eISSN 1873-7544. Article.
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Rats chronically administered with ethanol every six hours for six consecutive days show, upon suspension of treatment, a marked somatic withdrawal syndrome characterized by classical neurological signs. The emergence of the behavioral syndrome coincides with a profound decline of dopaminergic mesolimbic neuronal activity which corresponds to a reduction of dopamine outflow in the nucleus accumbens [Diana et al. (1993)Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.90, 7966–7969]. However, while the behavioral manifestation of the ethanol withdrawal syndrome recedes in about 48 h, electrophysiological indices of mesolimbic dopaminergic function are still reduced 72 h after ethanol discontinuation, thus outlasting the physical signs of ethanol withdrawal syndrome. Dopaminergic neuronal activity is reintegrated by anti-craving drugs such as ethanol itself and γ-hydroxybutyric acid.
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