Sex-dependent differences in ethanol inhibition of mouse lateral orbitofrontal cortex neurons.

Addiction Biology
Sudarat NimitvilaiJohn J Woodward

Abstract

Biological differences between males and females likely influence responses to alcohol and the propensity to engage in excessive drinking. In both humans and rodents, females escalate alcohol use and develop addiction-like behaviors faster than males, while males exhibit more severe withdrawal symptoms during abstinence. The mechanisms underlying these differences are not yet known but may reflect fundamental differences in the ethanol sensitivity of neurons in reward and control areas of the brain. To address this question, we recorded current-evoked spiking of lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) neurons in male and female C57BL/6J mice following acute and chronic exposure to ethanol. Ethanol (11-66 mM) reduced firing of lOFC neurons but produced less inhibition in neurons from female mice. As previously reported for male mice, the glycine receptor blocker strychnine blocked ethanol inhibition of spiking of lOFC neurons from female mice and prevented the ethanol-induced increase in tonic current. Following chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure, current-evoked spiking of lOFC neurons was significantly enhanced with a greater effect observed in males. After CIE treatment, acute ethanol had no effect on spiking in neurons f...Continue Reading

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