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FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTATION: POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS IN ALCOHOL USE

Cain, Rebecca (2018) FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANTATION: POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS IN ALCOHOL USE. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

According to a recent survey, over half of adult Americans are current alcohol consumers of alcohol. Alcohol use is thought to alter the intestinal microbiota and increase the permeability of the intestinal epithelial barrier in a way that elicits a gut-mediated inflammatory response. This inflammatory response is associated with heightened levels of alcohol craving. Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been shown to successfully reestablish a balanced, healthy gut microbiota in human patients with gastrointestinal disorders. FMT may restore the damaged microbiota in alcohol users, prevent gut-mediated inflammation, and ultimately reduce alcohol cravings. In the present study, adult, male, Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to alcohol during multiple repetitions of a voluntary consumption, drinking-in-the-dark (DID) paradigm shown to induce relevant levels of alcohol consumption. Following DID, omeprazole was administered to increase bacterial survival in the stomach prior to FMT containing either donor fecal matter or their own. Subsequently, rats were given a two-bottle choice paradigm with water and 10% alcohol solution to determine their alcohol consumption levels. Due to the known relationship between anxiety and alcohol consumption as well as the known effects of anxiety on the gut microbiota, anxiety-like behavior was measured on an elevated plus-maze (EPM) apparatus. A 2 x 2 repeated-measures factorial ANOVA was used to test the hypothesis that alcohol consumption levels in previously alcohol-exposed rats who received donor FMT would be significantly lower than in similar rats who received their own fecal matter. Findings revealed that there was a significant effect of day (1-14) and a significant effect of cohort (first and second) on consumption levels. There was no main effect of alcohol or FMT on two-bottle choice alcohol consumption, nor was there an interaction between FMT and alcohol. Additionally, analysis of time spent in the open arms of the elevated plus-maze failed to reveal a main effect of alcohol, FMT, or an interaction on anxiety-like behavior. The results of the present study indicate a need for further research into the interactions between the gastrointestinal microbiota and alcohol consumption, with specific focus on underlying biological factors and future clinical applications. Future research along this line may yield a more thorough understanding of interactions between organ systems, the pathology of alcohol dependence, and effective treatments for alcohol dependence and other psychological disorders.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Rebecca Cain
Date Deposited: 31 May 2019 16:13
Last Modified: 31 May 2019 16:13
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/476

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