Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Neuroscience & Behavior

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2012

Month Degree Awarded

September

Keywords

Alcohol, Adolescence, Corticotropin-Releasing Factor, Anxiety, Stress, Addiction

Abstract

Alcohol is one of the most common drugs of choice among adolescents. Normally, the method of consumption is drinking large quantities of alcohol in short periods of time, otherwise known as “binge drinking.” Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) stress peptide producing cells in central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) has been implicated in behavioral responses to stress and addiction. The goals of this thesis were to determine the effects of voluntary binge drinking in adolescence and vapor-induced alcohol dependence in adulthood on CRF cells in the CeA. These studies were done using an operant model of voluntary binge drinking in rodents in which adolescent animals are allowed to orally self-administer sweetened alcohol intermittently (or sweetened water for controls) during early adolescence. The current findings demonstrate that binge drinking during adolescence decreases the number of CRF-ir cells in the CeA. This decrease in cell number is long-term, lasting well into adulthood and dependence does not exacerbate this effect. A second goal was to determine whether certain behaviors could be used as a predictive measure for adolescent binge drinking. The current findings indicated that frequency of self-grooming, can be used as a predictive measure for adolescent binge drinking. Specifically, increased frequency of self-grooming predicts lower alcohol self administration during adolescence.

First Advisor

Heather N Richardson

Share

COinS