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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Influence of Cross-Fostering on Alcohol Consumption and Depressive-Like Behaviors in HA and LA Mice: The Role of the Endogenous Opioid System


The development of alcohol dependence and depression is determined by various genetic and environmental factors. In the presented study, we used high analgesia (HA) and low analgesia (LA) mouse lines, characterized by different endogenous opioid system activity and divergent blood-brain barrier permeability, to determine the influence of cross-fostering of these lines raised by surrogate mothers on ethanol consumption and development of depressive-like behaviors. We also investigated ethanol drinking by biological parents or surrogate mothers. Furthermore, we investigated whether these parental changes would alter the effect of naloxone on ethanol intake and depressive-like behaviors in offspring. Our results reveal that cross-fostering of HA and LA raised by surrogate mothers has a greater impact on depressive-like behaviors than ethanol consumption. Ethanol intake by biological parents substantially affected depressive-like behaviors and ethanol consumption in offspring. Moreover, ethanol intake by biological parents or an adoptive mother modified the effect of naloxone on ethanol consumption and preference and depressive-like behaviors in the HA offspring only. Together, these results indicate that cross-fostering differentially affects the effect of naloxone on alcohol consumption and the development of depression.

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