Ethanol effects on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis.

Wills TA, Winder DG
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2013 3 (4): a012161

PMID: 23426579 · PMCID: PMC3684001 · DOI:10.1101/cshperspect.a012161

The extended amygdala is a series of interconnected, embryologically similar series of nuclei in the brain that are thought to play key roles in aspects of alcohol dependence, specifically in stress-induced increases in alcohol-seeking behaviors. Plasticity of excitatory transmission in these and other brain regions is currently an intense area of scrutiny as a mechanism underlying aspects of addiction. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors (NMDARs) play a critical role in plasticity at excitatory synapses and have been identified as major molecular targets of ethanol. Thus, this article will explore alcohol and NMDAR interactions first at a general level and then focusing within the extended amygdala, in particular on the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST).

MeSH Terms (11)

Amygdala Animals Anxiety Central Nervous System Depressants Ethanol Humans Rats Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Septal Nuclei Stress, Psychological Synapses

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