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Alcohol. 1999 Apr;17(3):185-94.

Operant ethanol reward in C57BL/6 mice: influence of gender and procedural variables.

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  • 1Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425-0742, USA. middauld@musc.edu


Food-deprived C57BL/6 (C57) mice of either sex responded for oral ethanol rewards delivered on ratio schedules of reinforcement, thus extending to female C57 mice effects previously reported only for male members of the strain. Lever responding for ethanol reward was influenced by thirst motivation (post- vs. preprandial tests), time of access to ethanol reward, ethanol concentration, and reinforcement schedule. A particularly high response output for 12% ethanol delivered on a PR2 schedule (e.g., approximately 1400/15 min test session) indicates its efficacy as a reinforcer for C57 mice. Estimated consumption of ethanol differed from lever responding when reward access time was relatively long (10 s) and response demand of the reinforcement schedule was low, but paralleled lever responding when reward access time was restricted (3 s) and response demands were greater. Gender influenced lever responding for ethanol reward and its consumption, the difference depending upon reward access time and reinforcement schedule. When the response demands were low and the reward access time long, females tended to respond more than males for ethanol reward; with greater response demands and shorter reward access time, males tended to respond more. In conjunction with our companion report, the present study helps define the behavioral conditions under which ethanol is rewarding for C57 mice and establish the conditions under which ethanol reward differs for male and female mice.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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