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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Partial deletion of the cAMP response element-binding protein gene promotes alcohol-drinking behaviors.

The cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) gene transcription factor has been shown to play a role in the synaptic plasticity associated with drug addictive behaviors; however, the causal role of the CREB gene in alcohol-drinking behaviors is unknown. The present investigation evaluated alcohol-drinking behaviors in mice that are haplodeficient in CREB as a result of targeted CREB (alpha and Delta) gene disruption. It was found that CREB-haplodeficient (+/-) mice have higher preference for ethanol but not for sucrose solution than wild-type (+/+) littermates. The functional aspects of the CREB gene transcription factor were also investigated by measuring the protein levels of phosphorylated CREB (p-CREB) and the expression of cAMP-inducible genes such as neuropeptide Y ( NPY) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Deletion of the CREB (alpha and Delta) gene significantly decreases total CREB, p-CREB levels and the expression of NPY and BDNF in the brain structures of CREB-deficient (+/-) mice. It was also found that CREB-deficient (+/-) mice displayed more anxiety-like behaviors and that acute ethanol exposure produced anxiolytic effects and significantly increased protein levels of p-CREB and NPY in the central and medial but not in the basolateral amygdala of wild-type mice, but these effects are attenuated in CREB-deficient mice compared with wild-type mice. These results provide the first direct evidence that a haplodeficiency of the CREB gene is associated with increased alcohol-drinking behaviors. Furthermore, alcohol drinking and anxiety-like behaviors in CREB-haplodeficient mice may possibly be related to decreased expression of NPY and BDNF in the brains of these mice.[1]


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