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FOSB proteins in the orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices of human alcoholics

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The transcription factor ΔFosB is accumulated in the addiction circuitry, including the orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortices of rodents chronically exposed to ethanol or other drugs of abuse, and has been suggested to play a direct role in addiction maintenance. To address this hypothesis in the context of substance dependence in humans, we compared the immunoreactivities of FOSB proteins in the orbitofrontal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (OFC and DLPFC respectively) between controls and alcoholics using semiquantitative immunoblotting. In both structures, we detected three forms of FOSB, one of which was ΔFOSB, but in neither case did their immunoreactivities differ between the groups. Our results indicate that the ΔFOSB immunoreactivity in the human brain is very low, and that it is not accumulated in the OFC and DLPFC of human alcoholics, suggesting that it may not be directly involved in addiction maintenance, at least not in ethanol dependence.

Keywords: Alcoholics; FOSB; dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; ethanol dependence; orbitofrontal cortex; ΔFOSB

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, 2: Department of Neuroscience, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA and 3: Discipline of Pathology, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: July 1, 2009


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