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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2004 Oct;28(10):1492-8.

Neuropeptide Y in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus increases ethanol intake in high- and low-alcohol-drinking rats.

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Department of Psychology, Program in Psychobiology of Addictions, Purdue School of Science, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.



The behavioral effects of neuropeptide Y (NPY) attributed to its actions in the hypothalamus are complex and include effects on feeding, sedation, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. NPY infused into the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) increases ethanol intake in unselected rats. High-alcohol-drinking (HAD1) and low-alcohol-drinking (LAD1) rats differ in basal NPY levels in the PVN, and HAD1, but not LAD1, rats exhibit decreases in ethanol intake after infusion of NPY into the ventricles. This study examined whether NPY infused into the PVN alters ethanol intake in HAD1 and LAD1 rats.


Female HAD1 (n = 14) and LAD1 (n = 18) rats were given 24-hr free-choice continuous access to 15% (v/v) ethanol and water for 6 weeks and then implanted bilaterally with cannulas aimed at the PVN. Two weeks later, rats received a series of microinfusions, each separated by 1 week, that included four doses of NPY (0.0, 0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 microg). Ethanol, water, and food were available ad libitum after infusions. All rats received a final microinfusion of 1.0 microg of NPY, after which ethanol and water, but no food, were made available for 2 hr.


During the 2 hr after infusion, NPY yielded dose-dependent increases in both water and food consumption. With food concurrently available, the 0.25- and 1.0-microg doses of NPY did not alter baseline ethanol intake, whereas the 0.5-microg dose increased ethanol intake. Infusion of 1.0 microg of NPY in the absence of food yielded a decrease in water intake and an increase in ethanol intake relative to the same dose in the presence of food. Twenty-four hours after infusion, there were no effects of NPY on water and food intake, and increases in ethanol intake were no longer apparent.


Increases in ethanol intake after infusion of NPY into the PVN may depend on NPY dose and whether food is concurrently available.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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