Oliver George, Ph.D.,
Remi Martin-Fardon, Ph.D.
The Animal Models/Biochemical Measurement Core of The Scripps Research Institute Alcohol Research Center (TSRI-ARC) provides a variety of behavioral and bioanalytical services to meet the specific needs of the Center at large. The first goal of the Core is to provide animals engaged in excessive drinking or have a history of excessive drinking using the intermittent access to ethanol drinking (IAE) model or chronic ethanol-induced dependence (CEID) model to TSRI-ARC and Center at Large investigators (Specific Aim 1). In addition, the Core also supervises all changes in equipment and procedures and any refinement of the current animal models to ensure that standardized procedures are used across all laboratories. The second goal of the Core is to perform biochemical measurements, such as blood alcohol, cortisol/corticosterone, and ACTH levels and brain amino acid and endocannabinoid content, in support of all Center-related projects by establishing state-of-the-art techniques and an efficient, user-friendly website to schedule services, monitor progress, and receive data (Specific Aim 2). Finally, the last goal of the Core is to further characterize the animal models of excessive drinking to be utilized by the TSRI-ARC, including exploring the effect of excessive drinking on the transition to dependence and the effect of excessive drinking on the brain stress system by characterizing the consequence of a history of binge drinking (IAE model) on the brain stress system and the transition to alcohol dependence. Translational dependent measures also used in the Clinical Neurobehavioral Research Component will be employed (Specific Aim 3). The Animal Models/Biochemical Measurement Core will enable Center investigators to enrich the interpretational power of their experiments through investigations of behavioral, neurochemical, neuroendocrine, and pharmacokinetic processes contributing to alcohol dependence.