Effects of alcohol on c-Myc protein in the brain

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Abstract

Alcoholism is a disorder categorized by significant impairment that is directly related to persistent and extreme use of alcohol. The effects of alcoholism on c-Myc protein expression in the brain have been scarcely studied. This is the first study to investigate the role different characteristics of alcoholism have on c-Myc protein in the brain. We analyzed c-Myc protein in the hypothalamus and amygdala from five different animal models of alcohol abuse. c-Myc protein was increased following acute ethanol exposure in a mouse knockout model and following chronic ethanol consumption in vervet monkeys. We also observed increases in c-Myc protein exposure in animals that are genetically predisposed to alcohol and methamphetamine abuse. Lastly, c-Myc protein was increased in animals that were acutely exposed to methamphetamine when compared to control treated animals. These results suggest that in substance abuse c-Myc plays an important role in the brain’s response.

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