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Acetaldehyde and salsolinol in ethanol’s two-step mechanism of action: An overview

Angela Cavallaro, Gianluca Lavanco, Marco Giammanco, Emanuele Cannizzaro
  • Angela Cavallaro
    Department of Sciences for Health Promotion, Child & Maternal Care, "G. D'Alessandro", University of Palermo, Italy | angela.cavallaro3@gmail.com
  • Gianluca Lavanco
    Department of Sciences for Health Promotion, Child & Maternal Care, "G. D'Alessandro", University of Palermo, Italy
  • Marco Giammanco
    Department of Experimental Biomedicine and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
  • Emanuele Cannizzaro
    Department of Sciences for Health Promotion, Child & Maternal Care, "G. D'Alessandro", University of Palermo, Italy

Abstract

In the last years, numerous studies have supported the idea that, at least in part, motivational and neuropharmacological effects of ethanol are mediated by its first brain-derived metabolite, acetaldehyde, and its bioderivate salsolinol. This review aims at gathering and shaping as a whole the evidence on their role in the mechanism of action of ethanol. Acetaldehyde and salsolinol interact with the reward brain system and are involved as primum movens of motivational and addictive behaviour that can be especially relevant to ethanol use disorders. Understanding the neurobiology of acetaldehyde and salsolinol holds promising potential for the development of novel pharmacological approaches for reducing ethanol abuse.

Keywords

ethanol, acetaldehyde, salsolinol, reward

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Submitted: 2017-04-14 15:42:32
Published: 2018-02-12 14:46:35
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Copyright (c) 2018 Angela Cavallaro, Gianluca Lavanco, Marco Giammanco, Emanuele Cannizzaro

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