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Sex Differences in Ethanol Addiction Using a Novel Self-Adminstered Behavioral Paradigm in Mice

Paulina Kozan, Erick Alvarado, Mikayla Zobeck, Vanessa Sauer, and Phillip D. Rivera, Department of Biology, Hope College, 141 E 12th St, Holland, MI 49423

According to the World Health Organization, addiction is a compulsive behavior that affects ~275 million people worldwide. In 2017, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 19.7 million Americans (ages 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder. Previous studies show the importance of sex-differences in describing pathologies of mental health disorders, such as addiction, between males and females. Moreover, differences in immunity and inflammatory responses are observed between males and females in humans and mice. One way to determine these differences in innate immune involvement is to focus on microglia, resident immune cells found in the brain, and their function during the onset of addiction. Studies have shown that the intrinsic features of microglia, such as morphology and molecular traits, are affected in a sex-dependent manner. First, a group of mice were trained to establish a preference for ethanol (EtOH) via drinking in the dark (DID), a 4-day binge paradigm. Two days later, they were introduced to ethanol conditioned place preference (eCPP), an 8-day behavioral paradigm that can be used to study the rewarding and aversive effects of EtOH. On the last day of eCPP, 90 minutes post-test, mice were sacrificed and their brains extracted for molecular analyses of inflammatory cytokines. This process was repeated with a second group of mice and data from both groups were combined. Thus, if we can understand the contribution of resident microglia to the onset of addiction in a sex-dependent manner, we may be able to develop sex-specific treatments of addiction.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Paulina Kozan, Erick Alvarado, Mikayla Zobeck, Vanessa Sauer

Institution: Hope College

Type: Poster

Subject: Biology

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 3
Date/Time: Mon 4:30pm-5:30pm
Session Number: 3131