Mice increased target biting behaviors 24h after co-administration of alcohol and fluoxetine.
Brain Res. 2017 05 1 ;1662:110-115. Epub 2017 Feb 11. PMID: 28193480
Ping Chao Mamiya
Increased alcohol consumption and heightened aggression have been linked to social isolation. Furthermore, animals treated with alcohol following social separation showed higher aggression together with lower serotonin transmission. Although reduced serotonin transmission in the brain may be related to alcohol-induced heightened aggression and fluoxetine has been used to reduce alcohol intake and aggression, it remains unclear whether there are specific brain regions where changes in serotonin transmission are critical for animal aggression following the alcohol treatment. In the present study, we isolated mice for 4-6weeks and injected them with alcohol, fluoxetine and alcohol with fluoxetine. We studied their aggression by using two types of behavioral paradigms: isolation-induced attack behavior towards a naïve mouse in a neutral cage, or shock-induced target biting aggression. We observed that alcohol administered at 500mg/kg significantly increased animal attack behaviors towards naïve mice 30min after injections. This dose of alcohol co-administered with a low dose of fluoxetine (2mg/kg) further increased the attack behaviors, but with higher doses of fluoxetine, the attack behaviors were decreased. Alcohol administered at a dose of 1,000mg/kg significantly decreased the shock-induced target biting rates 24h after injections. Interestingly, 24h after injections, we observed a significant increase in target biting rates when alcohol was co-administered with fluoxetine at a dose of 16mg/kg. We also observed the same heightened target biting rates when animals were injected with fluoxetine alone. This heightened biting attack engendered by the fluoxetine (alone or in combination with thealcohol) occurred at a time when brain serotonin activity was reduced by these drugs in the frontal cortex and hypothalamus. These observations, in concordance with previous findings reported by others, indicate that heightened biting attack behavior may be associated with reduced serotonergic activity in brain regions regulating aggression.