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OP-11.- ALCOHOL, MEDICINAL PLANTS  AND AGGRESSION

OP-11.1.-YOUTH VIOLENCE AND ALCOHOL AVAILABILITY IN PREDOMINANTLY MEXICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES IN THE UNITED STATES

Alaniz, M.L.
Prevention Research Center, Berkeley, Jose State University, San Jose, CA, USA

The Mexican American Youth Violence and Alcohol Study investigates the relationship between alcohol availability (density of alcohol outlets) and Mexican American youth violence (police crime data) in three cities in California. The study was funded by the National Institutes on Health - National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism and  the California Wellness Foundation (1993 - 1998). Previous studies show that the relationship between alcohol availability and youth violence is statistically significant. In most urban communities in the U.S., alcohol outlets are concentrated in areas where there is also a high concentration of economically disadvantaged and racial/ethnic minority populations. Quantitative and qualitative techniques were used to examine the link between availability and violence through the use of U.S. census data, police crime data, State of California alcohol outlet listing, observation, document analysis and interviews. The results of our study are consistent with previous studies that show a high concentration of Mexican Americans in poor, segregated communities with a high concentration of alcohol outlets. In one of the cities we studied, there are two census block groups (smallest census unit of analysis/closely approximates a neighbourhood) where there is an overlap of Whites, poverty, and alcohol outlet density. In the same city, there are 29 census block groups where there is an overlap of Mexican Americans, poverty and alcohol outlet density. Multiple regression was used to measure the relationship between alcohol availability and youth violence. There is a statistically significant relationship between alcohol outlet density and Mexican American youth violence in each of the three cities and also in an aggregate model. In terms of the environment, there are five times more alcohol advertisements in Mexican American neighbourhoods. In one city, children are exposed to 10 - 61 advertisements on a walk from home to school. The high density of alcohol outlets in Mexican American communities is a significant contributor to high rates of violent crime. The proliferation of alcohol advertisements contribute to a permissive environment where alcohol consumption is encouraged and reinforced.

OP-11.2.-INHIBITION OF ALCOHOL-HEIGHTENED AGGRESSION BY ACTION AT POST-SYNAPTIC 5-HT1B RECEPTORS IN MALE MICE

de Almeida, R.M.M., Faccidomo, S., Fish, E. and Miczek, K.A.
Tufts University, Medford, USA

The 5-HT1B receptor subtype appears to be critical in the serotonergic inhibition of aggressive behavior, as indicated by studies using knockout mice and selective pharmacological agents. The objectives of the present study are to extend the observation of anti-aggressive effects will the 5-HT1B agonist CP-94,253, to the clinically used 5-HT1B/D agonist zolmitriptan. In addition,  to investigate the effects of this agonist on aggression that was heightened as a result of  treatment. In this experiment, male CFW mice (n=20) were administered with zolmitriptan (1-17 mg/kg) or its vehicle intraperitoneally 15 minutes prior to a 5 minute confrontation with a male intruder in their home cage. After the animals were co-treated with an antagonist to the 5-HT1B/1D receptor (GR 127935; 10 mg/kg IP). In the second experiment, the animals (n=37) were injected with alcohol (1 g/kg, PO) and with zolmitriptan (1-17 mg/kg, IP) 15 minutes before the confrontation with an intruder. The measures of aggressive behavior  were the frequency of pursuit, sideways threat, bite, and tail rattle and  motor behaviors comprised walking, contact, grooming and rearing. Like CP-94,253, zolmitriptan (5.6; 10.0 and 17.0 mg/kg) decrease aggressive behavior in male mice without sedation. The effect of zolmitriptan on aggression was blocked when given with GR127935. Zolmitriptan (5.6-17 mg/kg) decreased aggression in individuals that show high levels of aggressive behavior after consumption of alcohol. The current results indicate that the 5-HT1B/D receptor is critically involved in the modulation of aggression in a behaviorally specific manner.

OP-11.3.-EFFECTS OF APPLICATIONS OF SOME MEDICINAL PLANT EXTRACTS USED IN JORDAN ON SOCIAL AGGRESSION AND GONADAL FUNCTION IN MALE MICE.

Homady, M.H., Hussain*, H.H., Tarawneh, K.A., Shakhanbeh, J.M., Al_Raheil** I.A. and Brain***, P.F.
Department of Biology, *Chemistry, and **Physics, College of Science, Mutah University, Al-karak-Jordan.***School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales Swansea, U.K

The effects of ingestion of aqueous solutions of freshly-prepared ethanolic extracts of four plants much used in folkloric medicine in Jordan were investigated on social aggression as well as on the histology of the testes and preputial gland of intact male mice. The plants studied were Eruca sativa (claimed to treat sterility and to improve male sexual desire); cinnamomum camphora (said to calm excessive sexual activity); Nigella sativa respiratory infections ) and Salvia fructicosa (used to treat male sterility). The extracts were given daily for 30 days by intra-gastric application and compared with physiological saline-treated controls. C. camphora extract significantly suppressed attack on subjects by aggressive residents. This treatment in these mice also reduced preputial activity and resulted in testicular aspermatozoia. In contrast, the administration of E. sativa or N. sativa extracts dramatically increased the attack to which the mice were subjected as well as enhancing the maturation and differentiation of testicular spermatoza and augmenting the activity of the preputials. The later histological effects were most evident with E. sativa extracts. S. fructicosa treatment also increased attack to which mice were subjected but did not have consistent effects on the gonadal system. The broad effects of these herbal remedies are consistent with their effects on mice, suggesting that the test can be used as a rapid screen for interesting complex plant-derived material. Some of these preparations seem worthy of further investigation.