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mGlu5-dependent modulation of anxiety during early withdrawal from binge-drinking in adult and adolescent male mice


Binge alcohol-drinking elicits symptoms of negative affect such as anxiety upon cessation, which is a source of negative reinforcement for perpetuating this pattern of alcohol abuse. Binge-induced anxiety during early (24 h) withdrawal is associated with increased expression of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) within the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) of adult male mice, but was unchanged in anxiety-resilient adolescents. Herein, we determined the role of mGlu5 signaling in withdrawal-induced anxiety via pharmacological manipulation using the mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator MTEP and the positive allosteric modulator CDPPB. Adult (PND 56) and adolescent (PND 28) male C57BL/6J mice binge-drank for 14 days under 3-bottle-choice procedures for 2 h/day; control animals drank water only. Approximately 24 h following the final alcohol presentation, animals were treated with 30 mg/kg IP MTEP, CDPPB, or vehicle and then tested, thirty minutes later, for behavioral signs of anxiety. Vehicle-treated binge-drinking adults exhibited hyperanxiety in all paradigms, while vehicle-treated binge-drinking adolescents did not exhibit withdrawal-induced anxiety. In adults, 30 mg/kg MTEP decreased alcohol-induced anxiety across paradigms, while 3 mg/kg MTEP was anxiolytic in adult water controls. CDPPB was modestly anxiogenic in both alcohol- and water-drinking mice. Adolescent animals showed minimal response to either CDPPB or MTEP, suggesting that anxiety in adolescence may be mGlu5-independent. These results demonstrate a causal role for mGlu5 in withdrawal-induced anxiety in adults and suggest age-related differences in the behavioral pharmacology of the negative reinforcing properties of alcohol.

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