Voluntary alcohol binge-drinking in adolescent C57Bl6 mice induces delayed appearance of behavioral defects in both males and females
Linked to https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.08.11.245878 Adolescence is a developmental period characterized by significant changes in brain architecture and behavior. The immaturity of the adolescent brain is associated with heightened vulnerability to exogenous agents, including alcohol. Alcohol is the most consumed drug among teenagers, and binge-drinking during adolescence is a major public health concern. Studies have suggested that adolescent alcohol exposure may interfere with the maturation of frontal brain regions and lead to long-lasting behavioral consequences. In this study, by using a slightly modified version of the Drinking in the Dark paradigm, adolescent C57Bl6 mice reach high blood alcohol concentration after voluntary binge-drinking. In order to assess short- and long-term consequences of AAE, a battery of behavioral tests was performed during late adolescence and during adulthood. We showed that AAE had no short-term effect on young mice behavior but rather increased anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors, as well as alcohol consumption during adulthood. Moreover, alcohol binge-drinking during adolescence dramatically decreased recognition memory performances and behavioral flexibility in both adult males and females. Furthermore, we showed that voluntary consumption of alcohol during adolescence did not trigger any major activation of the innate immune system in the prefrontal cortex. Together, our data suggest that voluntary alcohol binge-drinking in adolescent mice induces a delayed appearance of behavioral impairments in adulthood.