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Items of Interest

Drink now, pay later?
Faculty Spotlights: Linda Spear
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Do I Drink Too Much?
BBC interview with Dr. Linda Spear

Wine During Pregnancy: Potential Risks
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Recently funded grants

Linda Spear - Impact of adolescent intermittent ethanol on adult social reward and anxiety. U01

Linda Spear - Developmental exposure alcohol research center. P50 Faculty members - Upstate: Rick Matthews, Frank Middleton, Steve Youngentob. Binghamton: Michael Nihznikov, Linda Spear, Norman Spear, Elena Varlinskaya. Cortland: Dave Berger, John Lombardo. Maryland: Sandra Mooney.

Steven Youngentob - Fetal nicotine exposure and chemosensory plasticity. R21

Sandra Mooney - Effects of developmental ethanol exposure on brain development. R01

Rick Matthews - The role of RPTPzeta in models of congenital muscular dystrophies. R01

News & Events

Special Issue of Physiology & Behavior highlights developmental effects of alcohol.

A Closer Look at
Dave Werner's Research

DEARC Call for Pilot Proposals
Letter of Intent due: January 15, 2016
Proposals due: February 15, 2016
More information

Research Society on Alcoholism
39th Annual Meeting
June 25 – 29, 2016
New Orleans, Louisiana
More information

Research Highlights

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microscope comparison

microscope comparison

microscope comparison

microscope comparison


Recent Publications from DEARC members


Bordner K, Deak T (2015). Endogenous opioids as substrates for ethanol intake in the neonatal rat: The impact of prenatal ethanol exposure on the opioid family in the early postnatal period. Physiology & Behavior, 148: 100-10. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.02.013. PMID: 25662024 PDF

Deak T, Hunt PS (2015). Early ontogeny as a unique developmental epoch for learning, memory and consequences of alcohol exposure: a Festschrift to honor the work of Dr. Norman E. Spear. Physiology & Behavior, 148:1-5. PMID: 26066730 doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.03.020. PDF

Doremus-Fitzwater TL, Gano A, Paniccia JE, Deak T (2015). Male adolescent rats display blunted cytokine responses in the CNS after acute ethanol or lipopolysaccharide exposure. Physiology & Behavior, 148: 131-44. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.02.032. PMID: 25708278 PDF

Ignacio C, Hicks SD, Burke P, Lambert L, Szombathyne-Meszaros Z & Middleton FA (2015). Alterations in serum microRNA in humans with alcohol use disorders impact cell proliferation and cell death pathways and predict structural and functional changes in brain. BMC Neuroscience, 16:55. doi: 10.1186/s12868-015-0195-x. PMID: 26341662 PMCID: PMC4560885 PDF

Savage LM (2015). Alcohol related brain damage and neuropathology. Chapter 7, In (Eds: Svanberg J, Withall A, Draper B & Bowden S). Alcohol and the Adult Brain, Taylor & Francis, Psychological Press, East Sussex, UK. 108-125.

Spear LP (2015). Adolescent alcohol exposure: Are there separate vulnerable periods within adolescence? Physiology & Behavior, 148: 122-30. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.01.027. PMID: 2564108 PDF


Olson EC (2014). Analysis of preplate splitting and early cortical development illuminates the biology of neurological disease. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 2:121. Doi: 10.3389/fped.2014.00121. PMCID: PMC4227491 PDF

Camargo MD, Ignacio C, Burke P, Middleton FA (2015). Alcohol intake and apoptosis: A review and examination of molecular mechanisms in the central nervous system. In V. Patel (Ed) Molecular Nutrition: Alcohol, Elsevier, New York.

Ignacio C, Mooney SM, Middleton FA (2014). Effects of acute prenatal exposure to ethanol on microRNA expression are ameliorated by social enrichment. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 2:13. doi: 10.3389/fped.2014.00103. PMCID: PMC 4173670 PDF

Mantella NM, Youngentob SL (2014). Prenatal alcohol exposure increases postnatal acceptability of nicotine odor and taste in adolescent rats. PLoS One, 9(7):e10225. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102255. PMCID: PMC41000884 PDF

Anderson RI & Spear LP. (2014). Age differences in ethanol discrimination: acquisition and ethanol dose generalization curves following multiple training conditions in adolescent and adult rats.  Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 38(1): 186-94.  (

Fabio MC, Nizhnikov ME, Spear NE & Pautassi RM. (2014).  Binge ethanol intoxication heightens subsequent ethanol intake in adolescent, but not adult, rats.  Dev Psychobiol, 56(3): 574-83.  (

Morales M, Schatz KC, Anderson RI, Spear LP & Varlinskaya EI. (2014). Conditioned taste aversion to ethanol in a social context: Impact of age and sex.  Behav Brain Res, 261: 323-27.  (

Nizhnikov ME, Pautassi RM, Carter JM, Landin JD, Varlinskaya EI, Bordner KA, Werner DF & Spear NE. (2014).  Brief prenatal ethanol exposure alters behavioral sensitivity to the kappa opioid receptor agonist (U62, 066E) and antagonist (Nor-BNI) and reduces kappa opioid receptor expression.  Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 38(6): 1630-38.  (

Miranda-Morales RS, Nizhnikov ME & Spear NE. (2014).  Prenatal exposure to ethanol during late gestation facilitates operant self-administration of the drug in 5-day-old rats.  Alcohol, 48(1): 25-33.  (

Spear LP. (2013). Adolescents and alcohol: Acute sensitivities, enhanced intake, and later consequences.  Neurotoxicol, Teratol, 41: 51-59.  (

Fabio MC, March SM, Molina JC, Nizhnikov ME, Spear NE & Pautassi RM. (2013).  Prenatal ethanol exposure increases ethanol intake and reduces C-fos expression in infralimbic cortex of adolescent rats.  Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 103(4): 842-52.  (

Morales M, Varlinskaya EI & Spear LP. (2013). Anxiolytic effects of the GABAa receptor partial agonist, L-838,417: Impact of age, test context familiarity, and stress.  Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 109: 31-37.  (


Acevedo MB, Nizhnikov M, Spear NE, Molina JC & Pautassi RM. (2013).  Ethanol-induced locomotor activity in adolescent rats and relationships with ethanol-induced conditioned place preference and conditioned taste aversion.  Dev Psychobiol, 55(4): 429-42.  (

Anderson RI, Morales M, Spear LP & Varlinskaya EI.  (2013). Pharmacological activation of kappa opioid receptors: aversive effects in adolescent and adult male rats.  Psychopharmacology (Berl), 231(8): 1687-93.  (

Morales M, Anderson RI, Spear LP & Varlinskaya EI.  (2013). Effects of the kappa opioid receptor antagonist, nor-binaltorphimine, on ethanol intake: impact of age and sex.  Dev Psychobiol, 56(4): 700-12.  (

Kozlov AP, Nizhnikov ME, Kramskaya TA, Varlinskaya EI & Spear NE. (2013).  Mu-opioid blockade reduces ethanol effects on intake and behavior of the infant rat during short-term but not long-term social isolation.   Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 103(4): 773-782.  (

Morales M, Varlinskaya EI & Spear LP. (2013). Low doses of the NMDA receptor antagonists, MK-801, PEAQX, and ifenprodil, induces social facilitation in adolescent male rats.  Behav Brain Res, 250: 18-22.  (

Nichols A., OÕDell R., Powrozek TA & Olson EC.  (2013). Ex utero electroporation and whole hemisphere explants: a simple method for studies of early cortical development.  J Vis Exp, 3: 74.  (

Morales M & Spear LP. (2013). the effects of an acute challenge with the NMDA receptor antagonists, MK-801, PEAQX, and ifenprodil, on social inhibition in adolescent and adult male rats.  Psychopharmacology, (

Anderson RI, Bush PC & Spear LP. (2013). Environmental manipulations alter age differences in attribution of incentive salience to reward-paired cues.  Behav Brain Res, 257: 83-89. (


Acevedo MB, Nizhnikov ME, Spear NE, Molina JC & Pautassi RM.  (2012). Ethanol-induced locomotor activity in adolescent rats and the relationship with ethanol-induced conditioned place preference and conditioned taste aversion.  Dev Psychobiol, 55(4): 429-42.  (

Powrozek TA & Olson EC. (2012). Ethanol-induced disruption of Golgi apparatus morphology, primary neurite number and cellular orientation in developing cortical neurons.  Alcohol, 46: 619-27.  (

Pautassi RM, Nizhnikov ME, Fabio MC & Spear NE.  (2012). Early maternal separation affects ethanol-induced conditioning in a nor-BNI insensitive manner, but does not alter ethanol-induced locomotor activity.  Pharmacol Biochem Behav,100(3): 630-638.  (

Anderson RI, Agoglia AE, Morales M, Varlinskaya EI & Spear LP. (2012). Stress, kappa manipulations, and aversion effects of ethanol in adolescent and adult male rats.  Neuroscience, 249: 214-22.  (

Pautassi RM, Nizhnikov ME & Spear NE.  (2012). Ethanol-mediated appetitive conditioning in infant rats, but not corticosterone release, is dependent on route of ethanol administration. Dev Psychobiol, 54(1): 98-104.  (

Pautassi RM, Nizhnikov ME, Spear NE & Molina JC.  (2012). Prenatal ethanol exposure leads to greater ethanol-induced appetitive reinforcement.    Alcohol, 46(6): 585-593. (

Cameron DA, Middleton FA, Chenn A & Olson EC. (2012). Hierarchical clustering of gene expression patterns in the Eomes + lineage of excitatory neurons during early neocortical development.  BMC Neurosci, 13(1): 90.  (

Glendinning JI, Simons YM, Youngentob L & Youngentob SL.  (2012). Fetal ethanol exposure attenuates aversive oral effects of TrpV1, but not TrpA1 agonists in rats.  Exp Biol Med (Maywood), 237(3): 236-240.  (.pdf, 905kb)

Hicks SD, Lewis L, Ritchie J, Burke P, Abdul-Malak Y, Adackpara N, Canfield K, Shwarts E, Gentile K, Meszaros ZS & Middleton FA.  (2012). Evaluation of cell proliferation, apoptosis, and dna-repair genes as potential biomarkers for ethanol-induced cns alterations.  BMC Neurosci, 13(1): 128. (.pdf, 1.9mb)

Kozlov AP, Nizhnikov ME, Varlinskaya EI, & Spear NE. (2012). The role of social isolation in ethanol effects on the preweanling rat.  Behav Brain Res, 227(1): 43-57. (.pdf, 2.6mb)

Meszaros ZS, Dimmock JA, Ploutz-Snyder R, Chauhan SV, Abdul-Malak Y, Middleton FA & Batki SL. (2012). Accuracy of self-reported medical problems in patients with alcohol dependence and co-occurring schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.  Schizophr Res, 132(2-3): 190-193. (.pdf, 303kb)

Middleton FA, Varlinskaya EI &Mooney SM. (2012).  Molecular substrates of social avoidance seen following prenatal ethanol exposure and its reversal by social enrichment.   Dev Neurosci ,34(2-3): 115-128.  (

Middleton FA, Varlinskaya EI & Mooney SM. (2012).  Behavioral and molecular effects of acute prenatal exposure to ethanol are altered by social enrichment.  Alcohol Clin Exp Res Supplement.

Miranda-Morales RS, Molina JC, Spear NE & Abate P.  (2012). Naloxone attenuation of ethanol-reinforced operant responding in infant rats in a re-exposure paradigm.  Psychopharmacology (Berl) 219(1): 235-246. (

Pautassi RM, Nizhnikov ME, Acevedo MB & Spear NE. (2012). Early role of the kappa opioid receptor in ethanol-induced reinforcement.  Physiol Behav 105(5): 1231-1241. (

Nizhnikov ME, Pautassi RM, Varlinskaya EI, Rahmani P, & Spear NE. (2012). Ontogenetic differences in ethanol's motivational properties during infancy.  Alcohol, 46(3): 225-234. (

Powrozek TA & Olson EC. (2012). Ethanol-induced disruption of Golgi apparatus morphology, primary neurite number and cellular orientation in developing cortical neurons. .  Alcohol, 46(7): 619-627, 2012. (

Varlinskaya EI, Vogt BA & Spear LP. (2012). Social context induces two unique patterns of c-Fos expression in adolescent and adult rats.   Dev Psychobiol, 55(7): 684-97, 2012.  (

Youngentob SL, Kent PF & Youngentob LM.  (2012). Gestational naltrexone ameliorates fetal ethanol exposures enhancing effect on the postnatal behavioral and neural response to ethanol.  Exp Biol Med (Maywood), 237(10): 1197-1208. (.pdf, 558kb)


Arias C & Spear NE. (2011). Mianserin, but not ondansetron, reduces the locomotor stimulating effect of ethanol in preweanling rats.  Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 100(1): 81-85. (.pdf, 643kb)

Mooney SM & Varlinskaya EI. (2011). Acute prenatal exposure to ethanol and social Behav Brain Res, 216(1): 358-364. (.pdf, 610kb)

Pautassi RM, Myers M, Spear LP, Molina JC & Spear NE. (2011). Ethanol induces second-order aversive conditioning in adolescent and adult rats.  Alcohol, 45(1): 45-55. (.pdf, 422kb)

Pautassi RM, Nizhnikov ME, Acevedo MB & Spear NE. (2011).  Naloxone blocks ethanol-mediated appetitive conditioning and locomotor activation in adolescent rats.  Behav Brain Res, 216(1): 262-269.  (.pdf, 94kb)

Pautassi RM, Nizhnikov ME, Fabio MC & Spear NE. ( 2011).  An acetaldehyde-sequestering agent inhibits appetitive reinforcement and behavioral stimulation induced by ethanol in preweanling rats.  Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 97(3): 462-469. (.pdf, 352kb)

Pautassi RM, Nizhnikov ME, Truxell E, Varlinskaya EI & Spear NE. (2011).  Ontogeny of ethanol intake in alcohol preferring (P) and alcohol nonpreferring (NP) rats.  Dev Psychobiol, 53(3): 234-245. (.pdf, 1.2mb)

Ponce LF, Pautassi RM, Spear NE & Molina JC. (2011). Maternal care alterations induced by repeated ethanol leads to heightened consumption of the drug and motor impairment during adolescence: a dose-response analysis.    Physiol Behav, 103(5): 477-486. (

Pueta M, Rovasio RA, Abate P, Spear NE & Molina JC. (2011). Prenatal and postnatal ethanol experiences modulate consumption of the drug in rat pups, without impairment in the granular cell layer of the main olfactory bulb.   Physiol Behav, 102(1): 63-75. (.pdf, 2.2mb)

Ramirez RL, Varlinskaya EI & Spear LP.  (2011).  Effect of the selective NMDA NR2B antagonist, ifenprodil, on acute tolerance to ethanol-induced motor impairment in adolescent and adult rats.  Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 35(6): 1149-1159. (.pdf, 479kb)

Spear LP. (2011).  Rewards, aversions and affect in adolescence: emerging convergences across laboratory animal and human data.  Dev Cogn Neurosci, 1(4): 392-400. (.pdf, 345kb)

Robinson DL, Zitzman DL, Smith KJ & Spear LP.  (2011). Fast dopamine release events in the nucleus accumbens of early adolescent rats. Neuroscience, 176:296-307.  (.pdf, 230kb)

Pautassi RM, Myers M, Spear LP, Molina JC & Spear NE.(2011).  Ethanol induces second-order aversive conditioning in adolescent and adult rats. Alcohol, 45:45-55. (.pdf, 409kb)

Broadwater M, Varlinskaya EI & Spear LP. (2011). Chronic intermittent ethanol exposure in early adolescent and adult male rats: effects on tolerance, social behavior, and ethanol intake. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 35:1392-1403. (.pdf, 1.4mb)


Varlinskaya EI, Doremus-Fitzwater TL & Spear LP. (2010). Repeated restraint stress alters sensitivity to the social consequences of ethanol in adolescent and adult rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 96:228-235. (.pdf, 2.1mb)

Ramirez RL & Spear LP. (2010). Ontogeny of ethanol-induced motor impairment following acute ethanol: assessment via the negative geotaxis reflex in adolescent and adult rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 95:242-248. (.pdf, 510kb)

Doremus-Fitzwater TL & Spear LP. (2010). Age-related differences in amphetamine sensitization: effects of prior drug or stress history on stimulant sensitization in juvenile and adult rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav, 96:198-205. (

Hennessy MB, Deak T & Schiml-Webb PA. (2010). Early attachment-figure separation and increased risk for later depression: potential mediation by proinflammatory processes. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 34:782-790.  (

Nichols AJ & Olson EC. (2010).  Reelin promotes neuronal orientation and dendritogenesis during preplate splitting. Cereb Cortex, 20:2213-2223. (.pdf, 3.1mb)

Siebert JR, Middleton FA & Stelzner DJ.(2010).  Long descending cervical propriospinal neurons differ from thoracic propriospinal neurons in response to low thoracic spinal injury. BMC Neuroscience, 11:148-165. (.pdf, 2.2mb)

Arias C, Pautassi RM, Molina JC & Spear NE (2010).  A comparison between taste avoidance and conditioned disgust reactions induced by ethanol and lithium chloride in preweanling rats.. Dev Psychobiol, 52:545-557. (

Morales RS, Molina JC, Spear NE & Abate P. (2010).  Participation of the endogenous opioid system in the acquisition of a prenatal ethanol-related memory: effects on neonatal and preweanling responsiveness to ethanol. Physiol Behav, 10:153-160. (.pdf, 93kb)

Acevedo MB, Molina JC, Nizhnikov ME, Spear NE & Pautassi RM. (2010).  High ethanol dose during early adolescence induces locomotor activation and increases subsequent ethanol intake during late adolescence. Dev Psychobiol, 52:424-440. (.pdf, 841kb)

Eade AM, Sheehe PR & Youngentob SL. (2010).  Ontogeny of the enhanced fetal-ethanol-induced behavioral and neurophysiological olfactory response to ethanol odor.  Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 34: 1705-13.  (

Miller SS & Spear NE. (2010).  Mere odor exposure learning in the rat neonate immediately after birth and 1 day later. Dev Psychobiol, 52:343-351. (

Eade AM & Youngentob SL.  (2010). The interaction of gestational and postnatal ethanol experience on the adolescent and adult odor-mediated responses to ethanol in observer and demonstrator rats.  Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 34: 1705-13.  (

Arias C, Molina JC & Spear NE. (2010).  Differential role of micro, delta and kappa opioid receptors in ethanol-mediated locomotor activation and ethanol intake in preweanling rats. Physiol Behav, 99:348-354. (

Varlinskaya EI & Spear LP. (2010). Sensitivity to ethanol and other hedonic stimuli in an animal model of adolescence: implications for prevention science? Dev Psychobiol, 52:236-243.  (

Doremus-Fitzwater TL, Varlinskaya EI & Spear LP. (2010). Motivational systems in adolescence: possible implications for age differences in substance abuse and other risk-taking behaviors. Brain Cogn, 72:114-123.  (

Varlinskaya EI & Spear LP. (2010). Sensitization to social anxiolytic effects of ethanol in adolescent and adult Sprague-Dawley rats after repeated ethanol exposure. Alcohol, 44:99-110. (.pdf, 49kb)

Laiosa MD, Mills JH, Lai Z-W, Singh KP, Middleton FA, Gasiewicz TA & Silverstone AE. (2010),  Identification of stage specific gene modulation during early thymocyte development by whole genome profiling analysis following Aryl hydrocarbon receptor activation. Mol Pharmacol, 77:773-783.  (

Last Updated: 11/3/11