Tyrosine Hydroxylase Activity and mRNA in Rat Locus Coeruleus and Adrenals Following Chronic Ethanol Treatment and Acute Cold Stress

  • Lee, Yong-Kyu (Department of Food Engineering, Dongseo University) ;
  • Park, Dong-Ha (Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Cornell Medical College, The Burke Rehabilitation Center)
  • Received : 1996.01.23
  • Published : 1996.09.30


Sprague-Dawley male rats (150 g) were chronically treated with 5 v/v % ethanol admixed with nutritionally complete liquid diet and fed ad libitum for 3 weeks. Controls were pair fed with the isocaloric sucrose liquid diet. One half of each group was exposed to cold stress at $4^{\circ}C$ either for 24 h (for determination of mRNA by in situ hybridization) or for 48 h (for determination of enzyme activity). Chronic ethanol treatment (ethanol) did not affect tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA level in locus coeruleus (LC) of brain and adrenal medulla (AM) compared to controls. Cold stress showed strong increase of TH mRNA level in LC and AM compared to controls. Pretreated ethanol reduced the increased TH mRNA level by cold stress in LC and AM. Ethanol did not affect TH activity in LC and adrenal glands (adrenals). Cold stress increased TH activity in LC but not in adrenals. Pretreated ethanol did not reduce the increased TH activity by cold stress in LC but this result was not shown in adrenals. It is suggested that ethanol does not affect the message level and enzyme protein level for TH in LC and AM in normal rat. It is also hypothesized that pretreated ethanol reduces the magnitude of acute cold stress response, that is induction of TH mRNA in LC and AM, and does not reduce the increased TH enzyme protein that is also acute cold stress response in LC.


cold stress;ethanol;tyrosine hydroxylase activity;tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA


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