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Addict Biol. 2013 Nov;18(6):921-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2011.00412.x. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Pharmacologically relevant intake during chronic, free-choice drinking rhythms in selectively bred high alcohol-preferring mice.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA.


Multiple lines of high alcohol-preferring (HAP) mice were selectively bred for their intake of 10% ethanol (v/v) during 24-hour daily access over a 4-week period, with the highest drinking lines exhibiting intakes in excess of 20 g/kg/day. We observed circadian drinking patterns and resulting blood ethanol concentrations (BECs) in the HAP lines. We also compared the drinking rhythms and corresponding BECs of the highest drinking HAP lines to those of the C57BL/6J (B6) inbred strain. Adult male and female crossed HAP (cHAP), HAP replicate lines 1, 2, 3 and B6 mice had free-choice access to 10% ethanol and water for 3 weeks prior to bi-hourly assessments of intake throughout the dark portion of the light-dark cycle. All HAP lines reached and maintained a rate of alcohol intake above the rate at which HAP1 mice metabolize alcohol, and BECs were consistent with this finding. Further, cHAP and HAP1 mice maintained an excessive level of intake throughout the dark portion of the cycle, accumulating mean BEC levels of 261.5 ± 18.09 and 217.9 ± 25.02 mg/dl, respectively. B6 mice drank comparatively modestly, and did not accumulate high BEC levels (53.63 + 8.15 mg/dl). Free-choice drinking demonstrated by the HAP1 and cHAP lines may provide a unique opportunity for modeling the excessive intake that often occurs in alcohol-dependent individuals, and allow for exploration of predisposing factors for excessive consumption, as well as the development of physiological, behavioral and toxicological outcomes following alcohol exposure.

© 2011 The Authors, Addiction Biology © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction.


Alcoholism; circadian rhythms; ethanol; rodent model; selective breeding; self-administration

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