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Activation of amylin receptors attenuates alcohol-mediated behaviours in rodents.

Journal article
Authors Aimilia Lydia Kalafateli
Daniel Vallöf
Elisabeth Jerlhag
Published in Addiction biology
Volume 24
Issue 3
Pages 388-402
ISSN 1369-1600
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Pharmacology
Pages 388-402
Language en
Subject categories Neuroscience, Neurosciences


Alcohol expresses its reinforcing properties by activating areas of the mesolimbic dopamine system, which consists of dopaminergic neurons projecting from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens. The findings that reward induced by food and addictive drugs involve common mechanisms raise the possibility that gut-brain hormones, which control appetite, such as amylin, could be involved in reward regulation. Amylin decreases food intake, and despite its implication in the regulation of natural rewards, tenuous evidence support amylinergic mediation of artificial rewards, such as alcohol. Therefore, the present experiments were designed to investigate the effect of salmon calcitonin (sCT), an amylin receptor agonist and analogue of endogenous amylin, on various alcohol-related behaviours in rodents. We showed that acute sCT administration attenuated the established effects of alcohol on the mesolimbic dopamine system, particularly alcohol-induced locomotor stimulation and accumbal dopamine release. Using the conditioned place preference model, we demonstrated that repeated sCT administration prevented the expression of alcohol's rewarding properties and that acute sCT administration blocked the reward-dependent memory consolidation. In addition, sCT pre-treatment attenuated alcohol intake in low alcohol-consuming rats, with a more evident decrease in high alcohol consumers in the intermittent alcohol access model. Lastly, sCT did not alter peanut butter intake, blood alcohol concentration and plasma corticosterone levels in mice. Taken together, the present data support that amylin signalling is involved in the expression of alcohol reinforcement and that amylin receptor agonists could be considered for the treatment of alcohol use disorder in humans.

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