Effects of (R)-(-)-5-methyl-1-nicotinoyl-2-pyrazoline on glutamate transporter 1 and cysteine/glutamate exchanger as well as ethanol drinking behavior in male, alcohol-preferring rats
Alcohol consumption is largely associated with alterations in the extracellular glutamate concentrations in several brain reward regions. We recently showed that glutamate transporter 1 (GLT-1) is downregulated following chronic exposure to ethanol for 5 weeks in alcohol-preferring (P) rats and that upregulation of the GLT-1 levels in nucleus accumbens and prefrontal cortex results, in part, in attenuating ethanol consumption. Cystine glutamate antiporter (xCT) is also downregulated after chronic ethanol exposure in P rats, and its upregulation could be valuable in attenuating ethanol drinking. This study examines the effect of a synthetic compound, (R)-(-)-5-methyl-1-nicotinoyl-2-pyrazoline (MS-153), on ethanol drinking and expressions of GLT-1 and xCT in the amygdala and the hippocampus of P rats. P rats were exposed to continuous free-choice access to water, 15% and 30% ethanol, and food for 5 weeks, after which they received treatments of MS-153 or vehicle for 5 days. The results show that MS-153 treatment significantly reduces ethanol consumption. It was revealed that GLT-1 and xCT expressions were downregulated in both the amygdala and the hippocampus of ethanol-vehicle-treated rats (ethanol-vehicle group) compared with water-control animals. MS-153 treatment upregulated GLT-1 and xCT expressions in these brain regions. These findings demonstrate an important role for MS-153 in these glutamate transporters for the attenuation of ethanol-drinking behavior.