Advisor(s)

Phillip R. Zoladz, PhD
Ohio Northern University
Psychology, Health & Behavioral Sciences
p-zoladz@onu.edu

Document Type

Poster

Start Date

23-4-2021 9:00 AM

Description

Trauma is frequently associated with alcohol use, yet limited work has examined the impact of alcohol ingestion on the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. In two separate experiments, we examined the effects of acute and chronic alcohol administration on the development of PTSD-like symptoms in rats exposed to predator stress. In Experiment 1, rats were injected with alcohol or water 30 minutes before being exposed to an adult, female cat for 1 hour. One week later, the rats were tested for anxiety-like behavior and hyperarousal. Stressed males, but not stressed females, treated with alcohol prior to stress displayed heightened anxiety and a trend toward larger startle responses, relative to stressed rats treated with vehicle. In Experiment 2, rats were injected with alcohol or water on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for 7 weeks. On the Monday of the 7th week, the rats were injected 30 minutes prior to cat exposure. During the 8th week, the rats were tested for anxiety-like behavior and hyperarousal. Stressed males and females given alcohol exhibited greater anxiety, and stressed females given alcohol displayed exaggerated startle responses. These findings suggest that acute and chronic peri-traumatic alcohol ingestion sex-dependently increases the risk of developing PTSD-like symptoms.

Award

First place recipient of the School of Health and Behavioral Sciences Choice Award

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Apr 23rd, 9:00 AM

Acute and Chronic Ethanol Administration Exacerbate the Long-Term Behavioral Effects of Predator Stress

Trauma is frequently associated with alcohol use, yet limited work has examined the impact of alcohol ingestion on the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. In two separate experiments, we examined the effects of acute and chronic alcohol administration on the development of PTSD-like symptoms in rats exposed to predator stress. In Experiment 1, rats were injected with alcohol or water 30 minutes before being exposed to an adult, female cat for 1 hour. One week later, the rats were tested for anxiety-like behavior and hyperarousal. Stressed males, but not stressed females, treated with alcohol prior to stress displayed heightened anxiety and a trend toward larger startle responses, relative to stressed rats treated with vehicle. In Experiment 2, rats were injected with alcohol or water on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for 7 weeks. On the Monday of the 7th week, the rats were injected 30 minutes prior to cat exposure. During the 8th week, the rats were tested for anxiety-like behavior and hyperarousal. Stressed males and females given alcohol exhibited greater anxiety, and stressed females given alcohol displayed exaggerated startle responses. These findings suggest that acute and chronic peri-traumatic alcohol ingestion sex-dependently increases the risk of developing PTSD-like symptoms.