Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Michael F. Miles


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a prevalent neuropsychiatric disease with profound health, social, and economic consequences. With an estimated 50% heritability, identifying genes that engender risk and contribute to the underlying neurobiological mechanisms represents an important first step in developing effective treatments. Gene expression studies are an important source of candidate genes for studying AUD, providing windows into the molecular machinery engaged by the brain in response to ethanol. Published studies have identified chloride intracellular channel 4 (Clic4) as an ethanol-regulated gene in brain capable of modulating sensitivity to sedation in multiple species. The functions of Clic4 are not well understood but have been associated with diverse biological processes including ion channel activity, cellular stress, cytoskeleton remodeling, intracellular trafficking, and oxidoreductase reactions. In this series of studies, we have characterized gene expression changes specific to frontal cortex synapses after acute and repeated ethanol exposures. We additionally identified genes differentially regulated in response to knockdown of Drosophila ortholog Clic and deletion of Clic4 in mice, both implicating oxidation-reduction-related processes as potentially mechanistic to their involvement in ethanol sedation sensitivity. Lastly, we show that CLIC4 is robustly expressed in oligodendrocytes where deletion of Clic4 produces altered ethanol consumption and anxiety-like behaviors in mice. Considering its abundant expression in oligodendrocytes, induction by acute ethanol, and function in modulating ethanol consumption, our work here suggests that Clic4 has an important role in the molecular response to ethanol in brain and development of maladaptive ethanol-related behaviors.


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Table S4.1.xlsx (597 kB)
Differentially Expressed Genes

Table S4.2.xlsx (29 kB)
Enriched Gene Ontology Terms

Table S4.3.xlsx (14 kB)
GeneWeaver Ethanol Gene Sets

Table S6.1.xlsx (107 kB)
Differentially Expressed Genes

Table S6.2.xlsx (83 kB)
Enriched Gene Ontology Terms

Table S6.3.xlsx (84 kB)
GeneWeaver Ethanol Gene Sets