IL-1β expression is increased and regulates GABA transmission following chronic ethanol in mouse central amygdala.Brain Behav Immun. 2019 01; 75:208-219.BB
The interleukin-1 system (IL-1) is a prominent pro-inflammatory pathway responsible for the initiation and regulation of immune responses. Human genetic and preclinical studies suggest a critical role for IL-1β signaling in ethanol drinking and dependence, but little is known about the effects of chronic ethanol on the IL-1 system in addiction-related brain regions such as the central amygdala (CeA). In this study, we generated naïve, non-dependent (Non-Dep) and dependent (Dep) male mice using a paradigm of chronic-intermittent ethanol vapor exposure interspersed with two-bottle choice to examine 1) the expression of IL-1β, 2) the role of the IL-1 system on GABAergic transmission, and 3) the potential interaction with the acute effects of ethanol in the CeA. Immunohistochemistry with confocal microscopy was used to assess expression of IL-1β in microglia and neurons in the CeA, and whole-cell patch clamp recordings were obtained from CeA neurons to measure the effects of IL-1β (50 ng/ml) or the endogenous IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra; 100 ng/ml) on action potential-dependent spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs). Overall, we found that IL-1β expression is significantly increased in microglia and neurons of Dep compared to Non-Dep and naïve mice, IL-1β and IL-1ra bi-directionally modulate GABA transmission through both pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms in all three groups, and IL-1β and IL-1ra do not alter the facilitation of GABA release induced by acute ethanol. These data suggest that while ethanol dependence induces a neuroimmune response in the CeA, as indicated by increased IL-1β expression, this does not significantly alter the neuromodulatory role of IL-1β on synaptic transmission.