There has been a great deal of activity in recent years in the study of the direct effects of ethanol on the dopamine reward system originating in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). In addition, recent evidence suggests that acetaldehyde formed in the brain or periphery may be a crucial factor in the central effects of ethanol. This paper examines the actions of ethanol and acetaldehyde on neurons of the ventral tegmental area in vivo and in vitro. Ethanol has specific effects on dopamine neurons and there is recent evidence that some of the in vivo and in vitro effects of ethanol are mediated by acetaldehyde. Taken together, the evidence suggests that acetaldehyde is essential in the activating effects of ethanol on dopamine VTA neurons. The link between acetaldehyde and ethanol actions on brain reward pathways may provide a new avenue for development of agents to reduce alcohol craving.
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|Titolo:||ETHANOL, ACETALDEHYDE AND DOPAMINE NEURONS|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.5 Abstract in rivista|