Markus Heilig

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BACKGROUND A history of alcohol dependence recruits increased voluntary alcohol intake and sensitivity to stress. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) has been implicated in this transition, but underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. METHODS A postdependent state was induced using intermittent alcohol exposure. Experiments were carried out(More)
NPY antagonizes behavioral consequences of stress through actions within the brain. Behavioral anti-stress actions of NPY are noteworthy in that (1) their magnitude surpasses that of other endogenous compounds; (2) they are produced across a wide range of animal models, normally thought to reflect different aspects of emotionality. This suggests that NPY(More)
Alcoholism is a chronic relapsing disorder with substantial heritability. Uncovering gene-environment interactions underlying this disease process can aid identification of novel treatment targets. Here, we found a lowered threshold for stress-induced reinstatement of alcohol seeking in Marchigian-Sardinian Preferring (msP) rats genetically selected for(More)
Prolonged exposure of the brain to ethanol is a prerequisite for developing ethanol dependence, but the underlying neural adaptations are unknown. Here we demonstrate that rats subjected to repeated cycles of intoxication and withdrawal develop a marked and long-lasting increase in voluntary ethanol intake. Exposure-induced but not spontaneous alcohol(More)
Evidence from animal and human studies suggests that neuropeptide Y (NPY) may be a potent endogenous anxiolytic. The anatomic structures mediating this action of the peptide remain unknown. Furthermore, in addition to its anxiolytic-like effects, intracerebroventricular administration of NPY induces food intake through hypothalamic mechanisms, making the(More)
Recent data indicate that alcohol dependence induces long-term neuroadaptations that recruit a negative emotional state. This leads to excessive alcohol ingestion motivated by relief of negative emotionality. A key mechanism in this transition to negative reinforcement is a recruitment of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) signaling within the amygdala.(More)
Two prominent actions of centrally administered neuropeptide Y (NPY) are to reduce experimental anxiety and to increase food intake. Agonist administration studies suggest the former effect to be mediated by NPY-Y1 receptors in the amygdala, while the receptor specificity of the latter action is not entirely understood. Antisense inhibition of Y1 receptor(More)
Effects of intracerebroventircular (ICV), neuropeptide Y (NPY) (0.2–5.0 nmol) and its C-terminal 13–36 amino acid (AA) fragment (0.4–2.0 nmol) have been examined with respect to anxiolytic properties in two rat anxiety models, Montgomery's conflict test (MT), and Vogel's drinking conflict test (VT). In the MT, 1.0 and 5.0 nmol NPY abolished the normal(More)
Excessive alcohol use, a major cause of morbidity and mortality, is less well understood than other addictive disorders. Dopamine release in ventral striatum is a common element of drug reward, but alcohol has an unusually complex pharmacology, and humans vary greatly in their alcohol responses. This variation is related to genetic susceptibility for(More)
The stomach-derived hormone ghrelin interacts with key CNS circuits regulating energy balance and body weight. Here we provide evidence that the central ghrelin signaling system is required for alcohol reward. Central ghrelin administration (to brain ventricles or to tegmental areas involved in reward) increased alcohol intake in a 2-bottle (alcohol/water)(More)