Short-term exposure to ethanol causes a differential response between nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor ligand/receptor systems in the mouse cerebellum
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Alcohol ingestion affects both neuropsychological and motor functions. We hypothesized that one of the key factors involved in such functions are neurotrophins and their receptors. We have therefore examined the effects of short-term ethanol exposure on the mRNA expression and protein levels of neurotrophin ligands and receptors in the cerebellum using real-time RT-PCR and Western blotting techniques. Male BALB/C mice were fed a liquid diet containing 5% (v/v) ethanol. The pair-fed control mice were fed an identical liquid diet except that sucrose was substituted isocalorically for ethanol. The cerebellum of mice exhibiting intoxication signs of stage 1 or 2 were used in the present study. We found that exposure to ethanol resulted in elevated levels of nerve growth factor (NGF) and TrkA mRNA expression but a decreased level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA expression. The expression of TrkB and p73 mRNA was unchanged. Changes in the level of these proteins were found to mirror these mRNA expression levels. We conclude that exposure to ethanol for a short period can cause a differential responsive in the various neurotrophin ligand/receptor systems. The functional consequences of these changes are unknown at present.
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