• Mash, Deborah C (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This proposal seeks funds from the small grant program (R03) for a
comprehensive autoradiographic study of the alterations in neuroamine
receptor subtypes in a primate model of alcoholism. We propose to
conduct these studies in animals taken from an experimental colony of
Vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) that have been previously
characterized for their descriptive behaviors and alcohol preference.
The Vervet or African green monkeys, which are housed in stable social
groups, are drawn from a large isolated and non-endangered Caribbean
population on the island of St. Kitts, W.I. Interestingly, the feral
population from which these animals came has lived for 300 years in an
environment of sugar cane, burned cane and fermented cane. Population
screening studies indicate that 17% of the Vervet monkeys will select
alcohol over vehicle alone. The Vervet monkeys which spontaneously
select alcohol and drink to intoxication have advantages for the proposed
chemoanatomical studies and complement the more established animal models
of alcoholism. We propose to characterize baseline neurochemical markers
in alcohol-selecting and control Vervets. We will utilize in vitro
autoradiography to quantify the regional density of dopaminergic and
serotonergic receptor subtypes. Dopaminergic and serotonergic
innervation densities will be visualized by labelling dopamine and
serotonin transporters in slide-mounted brain sections. The baseline
neurochemical status will be compared to altered neuroreceptor regulation
during the induction and alcohol withdrawal periods. Adjacent sagittal
brain sections will be processed for in vitro autoradiography to
demonstrate potential alterations in the affinity .and number of
dopaminergic, serotonergic and beta adrenergic subtypes during the
intoxication/withdrawal phase. We will attempt to correlate the
neurochemical findings with blood alcohol levels and with measures of
amine-aldehyde adducts in urine and brain. The proposed preclinical
studies in primates which voluntarily select alcohol are designed to
provide a basis for identifying the interrelated neurochemical correlates
of alcohol abuse in man.
Effective start/end date9/30/928/31/94


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $76,900.00


  • Medicine(all)


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