• Adenosine;
  • Ethanol;
  • Motor Incoordination;
  • Striatum;
  • Rotorod

Several reports from our laboratory have suggested the involvement of the brain adenosinergic system in ethanol-induced motor incoordination (EIMI). This study is an extension of the previous work and pertains to the evaluation of the role of the striatal adenosine in EIMI in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Using the motor incoordination induced by 1.5 g/kg of ethanol (ip) as a test response, the possible behavioral interactions between ethanol and adenosine agonists and antagonists in the striatum were investigated. Intrastriatal (IST) administration of adenosine A1-, A1= A2-, and A2-selective agonists, R(-)N6-(2-phenylisopropyl)adenosine (R-PIA), 5′-N-ethylcarbox-amido-adenosine (NECA), and 5′-(N-cyclopropyl)-carboxamidoad-enosine, respectively, significantly and dose-dependently accentuated EIMI when evaluated by rotorod test, suggesting the striatal adenosinergic modulation of EIMI. No significant change in normal motor coordination was noted, even when the highest IST doses of adenosine agonists were followed by saline instead of ethanol, suggesting that the observed behavioral interactions of these drugs were selective to ethanol. Hippocampus, which is known not to be involved in the normal motor functions, was selected as a control brain area because of the presence of high density of adenosine receptors, as well as the high levels of adenosine. Intrahippocampal NECA failed to alter EIMI, indicating the specific role of striatal and not hippocampal adenosinergic system in the modulation of EIMI. The potentiating effects of adenosine agonists N6-cyclohexyladenosine (CHA) and CGS-21680 on EIMI were blocked by adenosine A1- and A2-selective antagonists, 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxan-thine and 3,7-dimethyl-1-propargylxanthine, respectively, suggesting the participation of specific adenosine receptors in this functional interaction. A role for the adenosine A1 receptor in the striatal adenosinergic modulation of EIMI was favored based on the rank-order potency of adenosine agonists. IST pretreatment with pertussis toxin (PT), but not with PT β-oligomer, nearly completely eliminated the accentuation of EIMI by CHA, further supporting the favored role of adenosine A1 receptors in EIMI. Histological and IST [3H]R-PIA distribution data confirmed that the observed behavioral effects were caused by exclusive striatal distribution of intrastriatally microinjected drugs. Data obtained suggested modulation of acute EIMI by striatal adenosine receptor-mediated mechanism(s) and the coupling of these adenosine receptors to the PT-sensitive G1 protein.