Effects of allopregnanolone on the EEG of alcohol-preferring and alcohol-nonpreferring rats

Journal Article

Background: Alcohol preferring (P) and alcohol-nonpreferring (NP) rats have been shown to have differing behavioral and electrophysiological responses to drugs that are positive modulators of the γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA-A) receptor complex, such as ethanol and benzodiazepines. The neuroactive steroid allopregnanolone is also a positive modulator of GABA-A receptors; therefore, we hypothesized that P and NP rats would respond differently to intraperitoneally administered allopregnanolone. Methods: Male P and NP rats were implanted with screw electrodes that overlay the frontal and parietal cortices and with a depth electrode aimed at the amygdala. Allopregnanolone (0.0-10.0 mg/kg ip) was administered 10 min before recording the EEG. Results: Allopregnanolone increased high-frequency power (8-32 Hz) in the cortex and amygdala of both P rats and NP rats. In addition, allopregnanolone increased the predominant frequency of the cortical EEG in the 8 to 16 Hz bandwidth, decreased the predominant frequency in the 32 to 50 Hz bandwidth, and increased EEG variability (16-50 Hz). The effects of allopregnanolone were qualitatively similar in P and NP rats. However, P rats were more sensitive to low doses of allopregnanolone in cortex, whereas NP rats responded to lower doses of allopregnanolone in the amygdala. Conclusions: These data indicate that P and NP rats differ in their sensitivity to the EEG effects of allopregnanolone in the cortex and amygdala, which suggests that differences in GABAergic systems between P and NP rats may contribute to some of the differences observed in their behavioral repertoire.

Cited Authors

  • Slawecki, CJ; Purdy, RH; Li, TK; Walpole, T; Ehlers, CL

Published Date

  • 2000

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 24 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1369 - 1375

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0145-6008