Lesion-Induced Sprouting in the Rat Dentate Gyrus Is Inhibited by Repeated Ethanol Administration

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Science  19 Nov 1982:
Vol. 218, Issue 4574, pp. 808-810
DOI: 10.1126/science.218.4574.808


The effect of ethanol on hippocampal axonal sprouiting was studied with a histochemical technique for identifying acetylcholinesterase. Unilateral lesion of the entorhinal cortex in adult rats produced an increase in the density of acetylcho-linesterase staining in the outer molecular layer and a concomitant increase in the width of the pale-staining commissural-associational zone of the dentate gyrus. Other rats were given ethanol (11.3 ± 0.45 grams per kilogram) for 2 weeks before and 9 days after receiving the lesion. Ethanol abolished the expansion of the commissural-associational zone. The effect of ethanol on sprouting axons suggests that it may inhibit recovery of function after brain injury.