Alcohol-related disorders are areas of major public health and socio-economic concern.
Research aim ed at preventing addiction and organ damage, especially alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD), must be underpinned by a sound knowledge of the biology of alcohol misuse at a cellular level. Such research is dependent on access to high quality, extensively characterized tissue from individuals with alcohol use disorders and matched controls. The NSW Brain Tissue Resource Center (BTRC) is a brain bank that was established to facilitate research into alcohol addiction and ARBD. It provides human post-mortem brain tissue, and associated clinical information, to researchers worldwide. Tissues are collected from individuals with alcohol use disorders and controls through a prospective donor program or from people undergoing forensic autopsy. Collection of tissue is closely monitored using a range of inclusion and exclusion criteria so as to maintain tissue quality for application to a wide variety research techniques. Tissues are prepared so that fresh frozen, formalin fixed and formalin fixed, paraffin embedded samples are available to researchers. Cases undergo a thorough neuropathologic examination and are assigned DSMIV and DSM 5 diagnoses following review of medical records and medical, family history and lifestyle information provided by the donor and/or their family. Cohorts of alcoholics and controls with and without complicating factors (e.g. comorbid cigarette smoking, liver disease or depression) are then established to allow researchers to tailor their study design to address questions of importance for alcohol misuse and alcoholism. Access to tissue is open to any researcher with institutional ethics approval. Requests for tissue are reviewed by an NIAAA convened Scientific Review Board to ensure appropriate and efficient use of the resource. The BTRC holds institutional ethics approval to collect, hold and distribute tissues and associated clinical data. Its operations are overseen by a Director, Professor Jillian Kril, Deputy Director, Dr Greg Sutherland, and Manager, Ms Donna Sheedy, all of whom have extensive experience in biobanking and have, over their careers, contributed more than 70 publications in the area of alcohol research. A Management Committee appointed by the University of Sydney provides oversight and guidance to the BTRC. The University of Sydney provides the infrastructure to house and operate the bank. Since its inception in 2000 the BTRC has facilitated over 110 research projects that have resulted in 207 publications on various aspects of alcohol misuse and alcoholism. In addition, projects have contributed to the research degrees of 194 students. The BTRC also contributes tissue and data to research projects on other aspects of neurological and psychiatric disease that have resulted in an addition 300+ publications.

Public Health Relevance

The NSW Brain Tissue Resource Center provides well characterized, high quality tissues and associated clinical and lifestyle information to researchers worldwide. Human post-mortem brain tissue is an essential resource to study the molecular and cellular basis of addiction and alcohol-related brain damage. In addition, tissue based studies augment clinical and preclinical studies and facilitate translation of research findings into better diagnosis and treatment of patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R28)
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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Initial Review Group (AA)
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Chin, Hemin R
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University of Sydney
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de la Monte, Suzanne M; Kay, Jared; Yalcin, Emine B et al. (2018) Imaging mass spectrometry of frontal white matter lipid changes in human alcoholics. Alcohol 67:51-63
Lum, Jeremy S; Millard, Samuel J; Huang, Xu-Feng et al. (2018) A postmortem analysis of NMDA ionotropic and group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors in the nucleus accumbens in schizophrenia. J Psychiatry Neurosci 43:102-110
Vetreno, Ryan P; Lawrimore, Colleen J; Rowsey, Pamela J et al. (2018) Persistent Adult Neuroimmune Activation and Loss of Hippocampal Neurogenesis Following Adolescent Ethanol Exposure: Blockade by Exercise and the Anti-inflammatory Drug Indomethacin. Front Neurosci 12:200
Hansson, Anita C; Koopmann, Anne; Uhrig, Stefanie et al. (2018) Oxytocin Reduces Alcohol Cue-Reactivity in Alcohol-Dependent Rats and Humans. Neuropsychopharmacology 43:1235-1246
Fröhlich, Dominik; Suchowerska, Alexandra K; Voss, Carola et al. (2018) Expression Pattern of the Aspartyl-tRNA Synthetase DARS in the Human Brain. Front Mol Neurosci 11:81
Bazov, Igor; Sarkisyan, Daniil; Kononenko, Olga et al. (2018) Dynorphin and ?-Opioid Receptor Dysregulation in the Dopaminergic Reward System of Human Alcoholics. Mol Neurobiol 55:7049-7061
Coleman Jr, Leon G; Zou, Jian; Qin, Liya et al. (2018) HMGB1/IL-1? complexes regulate neuroimmune responses in alcoholism. Brain Behav Immun 72:61-77
Bazov, Igor; Sarkisyan, Daniil; Kononenko, Olga et al. (2018) Downregulation of the neuronal opioid gene expression concomitantly with neuronal decline in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of human alcoholics. Transl Psychiatry 8:122
Tsai, Shan-Yuan; Catts, Vibeke S; Fullerton, Janice M et al. (2018) Nuclear Receptors and Neuroinflammation in Schizophrenia. Mol Neuropsychiatry 3:181-191
Gatta, Eleonora; Auta, James; Gavin, David P et al. (2017) Emerging Role of One-Carbon Metabolism and DNA Methylation Enrichment on ?-Containing GABAA Receptor Expression in the Cerebellum of Subjects with Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD). Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 20:1013-1026

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