Adolescent binge drinking leads to long-lasting changes in cortical microcircuits in mice

Avery R. Sicher, William D. Starnes, Keith R. Griffith, Nigel C. Dao, Grace C. Smith, Dakota F. Brockway, Nicole A. Crowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Adolescent drug consumption has increased risks to the individual compared to consumption in adulthood, due to the likelihood of long-term and permanent behavioral and neurological adaptations. However, little is known about how adolescent alcohol consumption influences the maturation and trajectory of cortical circuit development. Here, we explore the consequences of adolescent binge drinking on somatostatin (SST) neuronal function in superficial layers of the prelimbic (PL) cortex in male and female SST-Ai9 mice. We find that adolescent drinking-in-the-dark (DID) produces sex-dependent increases in intrinsic excitability of SST neurons, with no change in overall SST cell number, persisting well into adulthood. While we did not find evidence of altered GABA release from SST neurons onto other neurons within the circuit, we found a complementary reduction in layer II/III pyramidal neuron excitability immediately after binge drinking; however, this hypoexcitability rebounded towards increased pyramidal neuron activity in adulthood in females, suggesting long-term homeostatic adaptations in this circuit. Together, this suggests that binge drinking during key developmental timepoints leads to permanent changes in PL microcircuitry function, which may have broad behavioral implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109561
StatePublished - Aug 15 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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