Intravenous ethanol/cocaine self-administration initiates high intake of intravenous ethanol alone.
ABSTRACT Evidence suggests that ethanol (EtOH) preexposure influences the rewarding valence of subsequent EtOH use. This study was conducted to determine if EtOH preexposure through EtOH/cocaine self-administration facilitates the motivational effects of EtOH alone. Rats self-administered intravenous (iv) EtOH/cocaine combinations (EtOH/Cocaine Fading group; EtOH 125.0 mg/kg/inj+Cocaine 0.1-0.75 mg/kg/inj) during a preexposure period. Consequently, these rats self-administered intravenous EtOH alone (62.5, 125.0, 250.0 and 500.0 mg/kg/inj) significantly more than a control group with prior cocaine self-administration experience (0.1-0.75 mg/kg/inj). In addition, at equal EtOH intake levels, locomotor activity was significantly enhanced in the EtOH/Cocaine Fading group but not the Cocaine Control animals (P=.01). The amount of EtOH self-administered in the EtOH/Cocaine Fading group during 1-h sessions (approximately 0.5-2.0 g/kg) corresponded with blood alcohol levels (BAL) ranging from 44 to 221 mg/dl. The highest BALs reported here have not previously been demonstrated after voluntary EtOH intake through any route of administration. These data suggest that preexposure to EtOH during EtOH/cocaine self-administration sessions modified neural substrates underlying both the reinforcing and locomotor responses to EtOH alone. Further studies utilizing intravenous EtOH self-administration will allow identification of various long-term behavioral and neural consequences of voluntary high EtOH intake.
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ABSTRACT: The study of alcohol abuse traditionally has placed great emphasis on the development of tolerance and dependence as key factors. However, animal models of ethanol self-administration in dependent rats have been difficult to establish, caused in part by ethanol's aversive taste cues and subsequent aversive effects (i.e., "hangover" malaise) that prevent substantial ethanol consumption. In this study, this problem was addressed in animals trained to self-administer ethanol (10% w/v) in a sweetened-solution fading procedure before induction of dependence and repeated exposure to withdrawal. Once stable rates of responding for ethanol were achieved, a palatable liquid diet containing 8.7% (v/v) ethanol was introduced as the sole source of calories and fluid for one group of rats [ethanol diet (ED) group]. A second group of rats received a control diet with sucrose isocalorically substituted for ethanol (CD group). After 14-17 days of liquid diet exposure, the rats were withdrawn once a week for 4 weeks and 8 hr into each withdrawal session were allowed to self-administer ethanol or water for 60 min. As compared with CD rats, ED rats showed significantly greater intake of ethanol, but not water. No significant differences were found when separate groups of ED/CD rats were allowed to self-administer an alternate reinforcer (0.0075% saccharin solution). Rats who consistently had blood alcohol levels (BALs) above 100 mg% at the time of withdrawal sustained high levels of ethanol self-administration throughout the four withdrawal sessions. In contrast, rats who had an average BAL at withdrawal below 100 mg% showed progressive decreases in ethanol self-administration during repeated withdrawal episodes. The results demonstrated that chronic exposure to ethanol and repeated periods of abstinence are accompanied by elevated rates of ethanol intake in certain animals, and the persistence of elevated self-administration behavior of individual rats is predicted by their BAL at the time of withdrawal.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 03/1996; 20(1):164-71. · 3.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Experiments were conducted to determine whether muscarinic receptors within the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are involved in regulating ethanol drinking behavior in the alcohol-preferring P line of rats. Female P rats were given limited access (2 h/day) to 10% (v/v) ethanol and 0.0125% (g/100 ml) saccharin solutions. Food was available ad libitum. Cholinergic agents were microinjected unilaterally into the PPN or VTA immediately prior to ethanol access. Intra-PPN carbachol (1-4 microg/0.5 microl), which can inhibit cholinergic neuronal activity within the PPN, decreased ethanol (70% decrease at the highest dose; p < 0.05) and saccharin (90% decrease at the highest dose; p < 0.05) intake in a dose-dependent manner within the first 30 min. Intra-PPN scopolamine (5-15 microg/0.5 microl), which can stimulate cholinergic neuronal activity within the PPN, decreased ethanol intake in a dose-dependent manner within the first 30 min (65% decrease at the highest dose; p < 0.05) without reducing saccharin intake. Intra-VTA methylscopolamine (1-10 microg/0.5 microl), a muscarinic antagonist, significantly (p < 0.05) reduced ethanol (60% decrease at the highest dose) and saccharin (50% decrease at the highest dose) intakes during the 2-h access period. Intra-VTA carbachol, a cholinergic agonist (1 and 2 microg/0.5 microl) decreased ethanol consumption in a dose-dependent manner within the first 60 min (50% decrease at the highest dose) without reducing saccharin intake. Overall, these results support an involvement of the cholinergic PPN-VTA system in regulating alcohol drinking and general consummatory behaviors of the P line of rats.Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 10/1997; 58(2):497-504. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In the present study the involvement of voltage-operated calcium channels (VOCCs) in the acquisition and maintenance of operant i.v. ethanol (EtOH) self-administration was investigated in rats. Rats readily learned to self-administer EtOH (unit dose range: 0.5-4% v/v) within five daily 2-h sessions, when infusions were made contingent upon nose-poking in a hole containing infrared sensors. Response rate was related to the EtOH concentration in an inverted U-shaped manner, the maximal rate and intake being observed at a unit dose of 1% v/v (0.27 mg EtOH/infusion). Self-administration of EtOH appeared to be behaviorally specific, as responding in the reinforced hole did not coincide with increased responding in a nonreinforced hole. Daily treatment with the dihydropyridine VOCC blocker nimodipine (2.5-20 mg/kg, i.p., t-15 min) dose-dependently attenuated acquisition of EtOH self-administration; the 5 mg/kg dose resulting in a partial, and the 10 and 20 mg/kg doses in a complete prevention of i.v. self-administration behavior. The effects of nimodipine (2.5-5.0 mg/kg) were considered to be relatively specific, as an inhibition of the reinforced responding could be demonstrated in the absence of a significant effect on nonreinforced responding. When tested in rats showing stable self-administration behavior (unit dose: 1% v/v EtOH), nimodipine showed biphasic dose-response effects; with 2.5 and 5 mg/kg resulting in a mild increase, and 10 and 20 mg/kg resulting in a decrease of self-administration behavior, respectively. The present study suggests that blockade of VOCCs attenuates the reinforcing stimulus effects of EtOH; and, as such, the data may offer an explanation for the previously reported EtOH intake-reducing effects of dihydropyridine calcium channel ligands obtained in two-bottle choice paradigms. Dihydropyridine derivatives, such as nimodipine, may therefore offer an interesting approach to the pharmacotherapy of alcoholism.European Neuropsychopharmacology 04/1999; 9(3):197-203. · 4.60 Impact Factor