Ethanol prevents NMDA receptor reduction by maternal separation in neonatal rat hippocampus
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We measured the effects of ethanol on glutamate receptor levels in the hippocampus of neonatal Wistar rats using a vapor chamber model. Two control groups were used; a normal suckle group and a maternal separation group. Levels of NMDA receptors were not significantly altered in ethanol-treated animals compared to the normal suckle control group, as shown by [3H]MK-801 binding and Western blot analysis. However, MK-801 binding and NR1 subunit immunoreactivity were greatly reduced in the hippocampus of separation control animals. Neither ethanol treatment nor maternal separation altered levels of GluR1 or GluR2(4). These results have serious implications for the importance of maternal contact for normal brain development. Copyright © 2007 Elsevier
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