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Alcohol. 2008 Aug;42(5):417-24. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2008.04.006. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

Wheel running, voluntary ethanol consumption, and hedonic substitution.

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  • 1Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research, Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA. ozburna@mail.utexas.edu

Abstract

Few studies have examined the relationship between naturally rewarding behaviors and ethanol drinking behaviors in mice. Although natural and drug reinforcers activate similar brain circuitry, there is behavioral evidence suggesting food and drug rewards differ in perceived value. The primary goal of the present study was to investigate the relationships between naturally reinforcing stimuli and consumption of ethanol in ethanol preferring C57BL/6J mice. Mouse behaviors were observed after the following environmental manipulations: standard or enhanced environment, accessible or inaccessible wheel, and presence or absence of ethanol. Using a high-resolution volumetric drinking monitor and wheel running monitor, we evaluated whether alternating access to wheel running modified ethanol-related behaviors and whether alternating access to ethanol modified wheel running or subsequent ethanol-related behaviors. We found that ethanol consumption remains stable with alternating periods of wheel running. Wheel running increases in the absence of ethanol and decreases upon reintroduction of ethanol. Upon reintroduction of ethanol, an alcohol deprivation effect was seen. Collectively, the results support theories of hedonic substitution and suggest that female C57BL/6J mice express ethanol seeking and craving under these specific conditions.

PMID:
18579336
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2575879
Free PMC Article
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