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Effects of different forms of environmental stimulation on the alcohol-induced behavioral alterations: involvement of epigenetic modifications and of transcriptional and neurotrophic factors

Grant number: 12/09898-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2012
Effective date (End): August 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology
Principal Investigator:Rosana Camarini
Grantee:Marcos Brandão Contó
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Alcohol dependence is one of the most common substance use disorders and scientific research involving pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches are of great importance in order to reach an effective treatment in dependence. The animal models of environment enrichment and the physical exercise have demonstrated promising results regarding the prevention in developing dug dependence in general. In our laboratory, we have shown the reversion of ethanol behavioral sensitization by environmental enrichment (Rueda et al, 2011- Processo FAPESP - 08/51790-3). More studies, however, are necessary, involving prevention and, above all, treatment of ethanol's dependence through different forms of environment stimulation. Genetic variations of human clock genes have been associated with alcohol intake. Furthermore, both drugs of abuse (including ethanol) and environmental stimuli can alter the circadian rhythm. The proposal of the present study is verify whether physical exercise is also capable to reverse ethanol behavioral sensitization. The rewarding effects of ethanol will be evaluated by conditioned place preference, after exposure to those environmental manipulations. Further researches addressing a higher comprehension of the molecular alterations underlying both the dependence and its treatment are needed as well. Thus, the aim of the present study is verify, in brain regions related to dependence, possible epigenetic alterations - involving DNA methylation- and in the expression of BDNF, CREB, PER1, PER2, SIRT1 and SIRT2 in mice conditioned and sensitized to ethanol.