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Energy drinks or their components influence on ethanol anxiolytic and stimulant effects

Grant number: 06/00803-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2006
Effective date (End): December 31, 2006
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Neuropsychopharmacology
Principal researcher:Maria Lucia Oliveira de Souza Formigoni
Grantee:Gabriela Naomi Kowara Fujisaka
Home Institution: Departamento de Psicobiologia. Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Alcohol is one of the most used psychotropic substances, socially well accepted, but that triggers many physical, psychological, social and economical problems. It presents a dose-dependent byphasic effect, this means, in low doses it produces stimulation and in high doses depression of the Central Nervous System (CNS). Ethanol affects the functioning of the CNS inducing many alterations in the balance of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters, in many areas of the brain. Among them are the dopaminergic, glutamatergic, serotonergic and gabaergic systems. The anxyolitic effect of ethanol is related with the inhibition of serotonergic neurons by the activated GABA complex-receptor. Many studies were developed looking for drugs able to reduce the alcoholic intoxication. Recently many anedoctal reports were described on the combined effect of alcoholic beverages (whisky) and "energy drinks" (as RedBull, for instance). People report to feel more stimulated and less sleepiness than if they drink only alcohol, with a reduction of the depressant effect of ethanol. In previous studies with mice we observed that the combined administration of ethanol and energy drink increased the stimulant effect of low doses of ethanol, as well as the sensitization to this effect, but did not antagonize its effects on motor coordination. However there is no study on the influence of energy drinks on the anxyolitic effect of ethanol, as well as, on the active components responsible for the interaction. The objectives of the present project are: to evaluate the effects of the combined administration of ethanol and energy drinks on the anxyolitic effect of ethanol and to evaluate the effects of the administration of each one out of the main components of energy drinks (caffeine, taurine, carbohidrates, gluconolactone and inositol)on the locomotor activity of mice. The anxyolitic effect will be evaluates by the performance of mice in the elevated plus-maze and the locomotor activity effect by their performance in activity cages.

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