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Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 deficiency may directly contribute to excess acetaldehyde (AcH) accumulation after ethanol (EtOH) drinking and AcH mediates some of the behavioral effects of EtOH. Apolipoprotein E has been suggested to be involved in the alteration of attention and memory. We have chosen Aldh2-knockout (Aldh2-KO), ApoE-KO, and their wild-type (WT) control mice to examine the effects of EtOH and AcH on spatial memory and to compare the possible relationship between genetic deficiency and memory using two behavioral assessments. Mice were trained for 4 days, with EtOH (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 g/kg) being given intraperitoneally on day 4. A probe trial was given on day 5 in the non-EtOH state in the Morris water maze (MWM). The results showed that 2.0 g/kg EtOH increased errors, indicating memory impairment on the eight-arm radial maze (RAM) for all the mice studied. One gram per kilogram EtOH impaired the performance of Aldh2-KO and ApoE-KO mice, but not WT mice. We found similar effects of EtOH on the MWM performance, with 2.0 g/kg EtOH increasing the latencies. One gram per kilogram EtOH increased the latencies of Aldh2-KO and WT mice, but not ApoE-KO mice. The 2.0 g/kg EtOH-induced memory impairment in Aldh2-KO mice was greater, suggesting an AcH effect. Furthermore, time spent on the probe trial was shorter in mice that had previously received 2.0 g/kg EtOH. ApoE-KO mice learned more slowly, while Aldh2-KO mice learned more quickly. Both the RAM and MWM results suggest that high EtOH and AcH impair spatial memory in mice, while lower doses do not have consistent memory effects. In addition, we conclude that genetic differences might underlie some of EtOH's effects on memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Mostofa Jamal, Kiyoshi Ameno, Takanori Miki, Naoko Tanaka, Junichiro Ono, Gotaro Shirakami, Ruby Sultana, Nakamura Yu, Hiroshi Kinoshita. High ethanol and acetaldehyde impair spatial memory in mouse models: opposite effects of aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 and apolipoprotein E on memory. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior. 2012 May;101(3):443-9

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PMID: 22361447

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