Ethanol administration to rats by ethanol vapor inhalation (14 days) results in a 40-50% reduction in the level of γ-aminobutyric acid(A) (GABA(A)) receptor α1 subunit mRNAs [4.4 and 4.8 kilobases (kb)] in the cerebral cortex. The level of α2 subunit mRNA (8.0 kb) was also reduced by 29%, whereas there was no effect of prolonged ethanol exposure on the level of α3 subunit mRNA (3.1 kb). Ethanol exposure did not alter the steady state levels of cerebral cortical glutamic acid decarboxylase or β-actin mRNAs. Moreover, no alterations in the levels of total RNA, poly(A)+ RNA, or rRNA were observed, suggesting that the ethanol-induced reductions in GABA(A) receptor α1 and α2 subunit mRNAs were not the result of a generalized effect of ethanol administration on transcription or mRNA turnover. These ethanol-induced reductions in GABA(A) receptor α subunit mRNAs may underlie alterations in GABA(A) receptor function or number observed following prolonged ethanol exposure in rats.
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1991|