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Effects of Alcohol and Fecal Microbiota Transplantation on Corticotropin-Releasing Factor

Hayes, Dayna M. and Caughron, Joyce E. and Pierce, Thomas W. (2020) Effects of Alcohol and Fecal Microbiota Transplantation on Corticotropin-Releasing Factor. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

The human gut microbiome is composed of trillions of microorganisms that represent a diverse population of microbes in healthy individuals (Ghaisas et al., 2016). Microbial representation in the gut plays an important role in general health and illness. The gut has a special relationship with the brain via the gut-brain axis (GBA), allowing bi-directional communication between the gut and brain. However, disruption in the gut can clearly lead to interruptions in the brain and vice versa. For example, alcohol is known to directly influence the brain through activation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis and to release corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). However, alcohol may also indirectly impact the gut via the gut-brain axis. When alcohol consumption persists, CRF becomes dysregulated. Fecal microbiota transplanatation (FMT) has been shown to be successful in rebalancing the gut microbiome, and ultimaltely re-plenishing the GBA. In an effort to investigate the mechanism that drives the relationship between these factors, the present study examined the effects of alcohol consumption and FMT on CRF expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and central nucleus of the amygdala. Adult male, Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to alcohol during a semi-force consumption model, drinking-in-the-dark paradigm, for three repetitions. After DID, omeprazole was administered to reduce gastric acid secretion and to ensure a successful FMT. FMT was administered via oral gavage using fecal samples obtained from healthy donor rats or themselves. Following FMT, the animals were exposed to a two-bottle choice paradigm with water and a 10% ethanol solution for 14 days to measure alcohol craving. Additionally, an elevated plus maze was used to measure anxious behavior in all animals. Brian tissue was collected, sliced, and stained using immunohistochemistry techniques. CRF was quantified using densotimetric calculations. A factorial ANOVA was used to determine the effects of alcohol and FMT on CRF expression. The results revealed no significant effect of alcohol consumption or FMT on CRF stain density in the PVN of the hypothalamus or the CeA. An unexpected significant cohort effect was observed. Though results did not yield significant results, it underscores the necessity of continuing to investigate the complicated mechanisms involved in alcohol consumption, FMT, and CRF.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Carline Bien-Aime
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2020 14:22
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2020 14:22
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/610

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