The hypothesis that κ-opioid system activity may in part mediate convulsions exhibited during ethanol withdrawal was tested by exposing Withdrawal Seizure-Prone (WSP) and Withdrawal Seizure-Resistant (WSR) mice to chronic ethanol. Whole brain was harvested for RNA isolation and prodynorphin mRNA steady-state levels in whole brain were examined using Northern blot analysis. The data revealed significantly increased levels of prodynorphin mRNA expression in mice susceptible to ethanol withdrawal convulsions after withdrawal, with no corresponding increase in prodynorphin steady-state levels in mice resistant to ethanol withdrawal convulsions. These findings were not due to basal differences in prodynorphin expression between the WSP and WSR mice. To verify that the differences observed were not due to an ethanol-induced global alteration in gene transcription, mRNA levels of the housekeeping gene glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were measured. Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase expression was unchanged following both chronic exposure to ethanol and chronic exposure followed by withdrawal. These results extend our understanding of prodynorphin's role in generalized seizure activity to include ethanol withdrawal-induced convulsions. Our findings suggest that prodynorphin expression is modulated during ethanol withdrawal convulsions, or alternatively, prodynorphin may mediate the severity of ethanol withdrawal convulsions. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
- Selected lines
- κ-Opioid receptors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology