Chronic progesterone treatment augments while dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate prevents tolerance to ethanol anxiolysis and withdrawal anxiety in rats

Ajaykumar N. Sharma, Chandrabhan T. Chopde, Khemraj Hirani, Dadasaheb M. Kokare, Rajesh R. Ugale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have recently shown that the neurosteroid allopregnanolone modulates anxiolytic effect of ethanol. In the present report, we attempted to examine whether neurosteroids progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), which modulate γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor function, affects development of tolerance to ethanol anxiolysis and withdrawal anxiety. Rats on ethanol (6% v/v in nutritionally balanced liquid diet) for prolong period (10 days) were injected twice daily either with vehicle, progesterone (a precursor of allopregnanolone, positive GABAA receptor modulator), finasteride (5α-reductase inhibitor) or DHEAS (negative GABAA receptor modulator). During this period, rats were acutely challenged periodically with ethanol (2 g/kg, i.p., 8% w/v) and subjected to the elevated plus maze test. For withdrawal studies, similar treatment protocols (except ethanol challenge) were employed and on day 11, rats were subjected to the elevated plus maze test at different time intervals post-ethanol withdrawal. While progesterone significantly advanced the development of tolerance to ethanol anxiolysis and enhanced withdrawal anxiety, DHEAS and finasteride prevented such behavioral alterations. These data highlight the important role played by GABAergic neurosteroids progesterone and DHEAS in the development of tolerance to ethanol anxiolysis and withdrawal anxiety in rats. Moreover, it points to the potential usefulness of specific neurosteroids as targets in the treatment of alcoholism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-222
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Volume567
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 19 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Allopregnanolone
  • DHEAS
  • Ethanol tolerance
  • GABA receptor
  • Neurosteroids
  • Withdrawal anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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