Distribution of opioid peptide gene expression in the limbic system of Fawn-Hooded (alcohol-preferring) and Wistar-Kyoto (alcohol-non-preferring) rats

Brain Res. 1998 Jun 15;796(1-2):323-6. doi: 10.1016/s0006-8993(98)00432-6.


Preprodynorphin and preproenkephalin mRNA expression was examined in the CNS of two rat strains, the alcohol-preferring Fawn-Hooded (FH) and the alcohol-non-preferring Wistar-Kyoto (WKY), using in situ hybridisation histochemistry. Relative to the WKY, the FH showed significantly lower levels of preproenkephalin mRNA in the striatum and nucleus accumbens (-24% and -17% respectively), but a higher level of preprodynorphin mRNA in the hippocampus (+33%). The depressed level of preproenkephalin mRNA in the nucleus accumbens may be implicated in alcohol-seeking behaviour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Dynorphins / genetics*
  • Enkephalins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression / physiology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Limbic System / physiopathology*
  • Protein Precursors / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Rats, Inbred WKY
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Enkephalins
  • Protein Precursors
  • RNA, Messenger
  • pre-prodynorphin
  • Dynorphins
  • preproenkephalin