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Alcohol. 2006 Nov;40(3):143-50.

Delta receptor antagonism, ethanol taste reactivity, and ethanol consumption in outbred male rats.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Kansas State University, 492 Bluemont Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506-5302, USA.

Abstract

Naltrexone, a nonspecific opioid antagonist, produces significant changes in ethanol responsivity in rats by rendering the taste of ethanol aversive as well as producing a decrease in voluntary ethanol consumption. The present study investigated the effect of naltrindole, a specific antagonist of delta opioid receptors, on ethanol taste reactivity and ethanol consumption in outbred rats. In the first experiment, rats received acute treatment of naltrexone, naltrindole, or saline followed by the measurement of ethanol consumption in a short-term access period. The second experiment involved the same treatments and investigated ethanol palatability (using the taste-reactivity test) as well as ethanol consumption. Results indicated that treatment with 3 mg/kg naltrexone significantly affected palatability (rendered ethanol more aversive, Experiment 2) and decreased voluntary ethanol consumption (Experiments 1 and 2). The effects of naltrindole were inconsistent. In Experiment 1, 8 mg/kg naltrindole significantly decreased voluntary ethanol consumption but this was not replicated in Experiment 2. The 8 mg/kg dose produced a significant increase in aversive responding (Experiment 2) but did not affect ingestive responding. Lower doses of naltrindole (2 and 4 mg/kg) were ineffective in altering rats' taste-reactivity response to and consumption of ethanol. While these data suggest that delta receptors are involved in rats' taste-reactivity response to ethanol and rats' ethanol consumption, it is likely that multiple opioid receptors mediate both behavioral responses.

PMID:
17418693
DOI:
10.1016/j.alcohol.2007.01.003
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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