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Chronic Smoking and Alcoholism Change Expression of Selective Genes in the Human Prefrontal Cortex

Authors

  • Traute Flatscher-Bader,

    1. From the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, University of Queensland, QLD, Australia
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  • Peter A. Wilce

    1. From the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, University of Queensland, QLD, Australia
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Reprint request: Traute Flatscher-Bader, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, University of Queensland, QLD 4072 Australia. Fax: +0064 7 33654273; E-mail: s4033784@student.uq.edu.au

Abstract

Background: Alcoholism is commonly associated with chronic smoking. A number of gene expression profiles of regions within the human mesocorticolimbic system have identified potential alcohol-sensitive genes; however, the influence of smoking on these changes was not taken into account. This study addressed the impact of alcohol and smoking on the expression of 4 genes, previously identified as alcoholism-sensitive, in the human prefrontal cortex (PFC).

Methods: mRNA expression of apolipoprotein D, tissue inhibitor of the metalloproteinase 3, high-affinity glial glutamate transporter and midkine, was measured in the PFC of alcoholic subjects and controls with and without smoking comorbidity using real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Results: The results show that alcohol affects transcription of some of these genes. Additionally, smoking has a marked influence on gene expression.

Conclusion: This study emphasizes the need for careful case selection in future gene expression studies to delineate the adaptive molecular process associated with smoking and alcohol.

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