Alcohol intoxication and withdrawal: The role of nitric oxide

Michael L. Adams, Theodore J. Cicero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nitric oxide is an important messenger in the central nervous system and several types of evidence suggest that it mediates various alcohol effects. Treatment with a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor enhances the acute central depressant or anesthetic effect of alcohol and decreases some stimulatory effects of alcohol withdrawal after chronic alcohol treatment. Conversely, treatment with a nitric oxide donor inhibits the anesthetic effect of alcohol, blocks the effect of the nitric oxide synthase inhibitor on alcohol anesthesia, and enhances the severity of some alcohol withdrawal signs. These results indicate that changes in nitric oxide synthesis mediate some aspects of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal and that nitric oxide systems represent an important therapeutic target for the development of agents to treat alcoholism and alcohol intoxication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalAlcohol
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1998

Keywords

  • Alcohol anesthesia
  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Alcohol physical dependence
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Alcoholism
  • Nitric oxide

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