Neurogenesis in hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) and subventricular zone (SVZ) matures during adolescence to adult levels. Binge drinking is prevalent in adolescent humans, and could alter brain neurogenesis and maturation in a manner that persists into adulthood. To determine the impact of adolescent binge drinking on adult neurogenesis, Wistar rats received adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE) exposure (5.0 g/kg/day, i.g., 2 days on/2 days off from postnatal day, P25–P54) and sacrificed on P57 or P95. Neural progenitor cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and maturation using immunohistochemistry was determined in the DG and SVZ.
Serotonergic neurons of the raphe nucleus regulate sleep, mood, endocrine function, and other processes that mature during adolescence. Alcohol abuse and binge drinking are common during human adolescence. We tested the novel hypothesis that adolescent intermittent ethanol exposure would alter the serotonergic system that would persist into adulthood.