Estradiol protects against cerebellar damage and motor deficit in ethanol-withdrawn rats

Marianna E. Jung, Shao H. Yang, Anne Marie Brun-Zinkernagel, James W. Simpkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

On the basis of findings obtained from this study, we hypothesize that the female sex steroid 17β-estradiol (E2) protects against cerebellar neuronal damage and behavioral deficit in rats withdrawn from chronic ethanol exposure. Ovariectomized rats implanted with E2 or an oil pellet received liquid ethanol (7.5% [wt./vol.]) or dextrin diet for 5 weeks, followed by 2 weeks of ethanol withdrawal. On termination of diet administration, rats were tested for both overt withdrawal signs and latency (seconds) to fall from an accelerating rotarod in six consecutive sessions (the longer the latency, the better the performance). The initial latency was measured separately to assess motoric capacity before learning occurred. Rats were then killed, and cerebella were prepared for accessing of Purkinje cell damage. The study revealed three specific findings. (1) In the absence of E2, the ethanol withdrawal group showed higher total ethanol withdrawal sign scores than those for the dextrin group, whereas the score for the ethanol withdrawal group was lower in the presence of E2. (2) In the absence of E2, the ethanol withdrawal group showed shorter rotarod latency than that for the dextrin group, whereas the latency for the ethanol withdrawal group increased in the E2-treated group. In ethanol withdrawal groups, E2 treatment also resulted in a longer latency than that observed with oil treatment in the initial session and in subsequent sessions. (3) Purkinje cell numbers in the ethanol withdrawal group without E2 were lower than those in dextrin groups and in the ethanol withdrawal group with E2 treatment. These findings support the suggestion that E2 exerts protective effects against withdrawal signs, cerebellar neuronal damage, and motoric impairment in subjects exposed to, and withdrawn from, chronic ethanol exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-93
Number of pages11
JournalAlcohol
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 May 2002

Keywords

  • 17β-Estradiol
  • Cerebellum
  • Chronic ethanol toxicity
  • Ethanol withdrawal
  • Motor deficit
  • Neuroprotection
  • Purkinje cells
  • Rotarod

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