Effects of alcohol on c-Myc protein in the brain

Behav Brain Res. 2017 Mar 1:320:356-364. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.11.009. Epub 2016 Nov 8.


Alcoholism is a disorder categorized by significant impairment that is directly related to persistent and extreme use of alcohol. The effects of alcoholism on c-Myc protein expression in the brain have been scarcely studied. This is the first study to investigate the role different characteristics of alcoholism have on c-Myc protein in the brain. We analyzed c-Myc protein in the hypothalamus and amygdala from five different animal models of alcohol abuse. c-Myc protein was increased following acute ethanol exposure in a mouse knockout model and following chronic ethanol consumption in vervet monkeys. We also observed increases in c-Myc protein exposure in animals that are genetically predisposed to alcohol and methamphetamine abuse. Lastly, c-Myc protein was increased in animals that were acutely exposed to methamphetamine when compared to control treated animals. These results suggest that in substance abuse c-Myc plays an important role in the brain's response.

Keywords: Alcoholism; Phosphorylation; Preference; Withdrawal; c-Myc.

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / genetics
  • Alcoholism / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / pharmacology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Methamphetamine / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / deficiency
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / genetics


  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 8
  • Ethanol
  • Methamphetamine