Neuroinflammation has been implicated as a factor in alcohol-induced neurodegeneration, but the role of the neuroimmune system in alcohol consumption has only recently come to the forefront. The drinking in the dark paradigm (DID) is an alcohol use disorder model that is uniquely suited to study the consummatory mechanisms of binge drinking. Our recent work has characterized the neuroimmune response following ethanol consumption in the DID. Our results indicate that a history of binge-like ethanol drinking promotes a proinflammatory cytokine response in the amygdala and hippocampus. Importantly, direct administration of anti-inflammatory cytokines can reduce ethanol consumption. These findings highlight the reciprocal relationship between alcohol abuse and the neuroimmune response. Alcohol misuse dysregulates cytokine concentrations but manipulating the neuroimmune response may curb excessive consumption.
1. Understand that binge drinking can alter neuroimmune cells and function
2. Describe how manipulation of cytokines reduces binge drinking