Chronic Ethanol Consumption Alters Presynaptic Regulation of Dorsal Striatal Dopamine Release in C57BL/6J Mice

Armando G. Salinas*, Jacob A. Nadel, Yolanda Mateo, Thanh Huynh, Shana M. Augustin, Karel Pacak, David M. Lovinger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is characterized by escalating alcohol consumption, preoccupation with alcohol, and continued alcohol consumption despite adverse consequences. Dopamine has been implicated in neural and behavioral processes involved in reward and reinforcement and is a critical neurotransmitter in AUD. Clinical and preclinical research has shown that long-term ethanol exposure can alter dopamine release, though most of this work has focused on nucleus accumbens (NAc). Like the NAc, the dorsal striatum (DS) is implicated in neural and behavioral processes in AUD. However, little work has examined chronic ethanol effects on DS dopamine dynamics. Therefore, we examined the effect of ethanol consumption and withdrawal on dopamine release and its presynaptic regulation with fast-scan cyclic voltammetry in C57BL/6J mice. We found that one month of ethanol consumption did not alter maximal dopamine release or dopamine tissue content. However, we did find that D2 dopamine autoreceptors were sensitized. We also found a decrease in cholinergic control of dopamine release via β2-containing nAChRs on dopamine axons. Interestingly, both effects were reversed following withdrawal, raising the possibility that some of the neuroadaptations in AUD might be reversible in abstinence. Altogether, this work elucidates some of the chronic alcohol-induced neurobiological dysfunctions in the dopamine system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number10994
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • acetylcholine
  • addiction
  • alcohol use disorder
  • dopamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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