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Pharmacology. 2009;83(6):379-84. doi: 10.1159/000219488. Epub 2009 May 20.

Effects of mecamylamine on alcohol consumption and preference in male C57BL/6J mice.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA.


Alcohol and nicotine (in the form of tobacco) are 2 commonly used recreational drugs and studies show a high correlation between tobacco use and alcohol consumption. In the present study, using C57BL/6J mice, we investigated the ability of mecamylamine (a nicotinic antagonist) to reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol preference with free 24-hour access using a 2-bottle choice test drinking procedure. Male C57BL/6J mice were individually housed and acclimatized to 10% alcohol. Immediately following the last day of alcohol acclimatization, the mice (n = 5/group) received subcutaneous injections of mecamylamine (0.5, 1 and 2 mg/kg) or saline consisting of either intermittent (3 injections given every other day) or daily (injections on all 5 days) exposures. Fluid consumption (alcohol and water) was recorded daily. The results showed that mecamylamine significantly reduced alcohol consumption and alcohol preference in both phases of intermittent and daily drug exposures, while the total fluid consumption was unchanged. These results provide further support that mecamylamine is effective in reducing alcohol consumption and preference, and nicotinic-receptor-based drugs could further be explored as potential treatments for alcoholism.

Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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