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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2008 Aug;32(8):1380-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2008.00713.x. Epub 2008 Jun 28.

The effects of neuropeptide S on ethanol drinking and other related behaviors in alcohol-preferring and -nonpreferring rats.

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Department of Psychology, IUPUI, School of Science, 402 North Blackford St., LD124, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.



Neuropeptide S (NPS) is a 20-amino-acid peptide, identified in the brain and periphery, that is reported to regulate arousal, anxiety, and feeding behavior. Studies were conducted to determine whether this peptide would alter ethanol intake, sucrose intake, anxiety, and general motor activity in alcohol-preferring (P) and -nonpreferring (NP) rats.


Experiment 1: P and NP rats were given 8 weeks of continuous access to ethanol (15% w/v) and water. All rats were implanted with a cannula aimed at either the left or right lateral ventricle and 1 week later were infused with NPS (0.075, 0.3, 1.2 nmol) or artificial cerebrospinal fluid (aCSF) and tested for ethanol, food, and water intake. Experiment 2: The same doses of NPS were administered to a group of P rats and intake of 2.5% (w/v) sucrose was measured. Experiment 3: Infusions of NPS (1.2 nmol) or aCSF were administered to P rats prior to a 5-minute test on an elevated plus maze. Experiment 4: Ethanol naive P and NP rats were infused with NPS (0.075, 0.15, 0.3, 0.6, and 1.2 nmol) or aCSF prior to a 20-minute test in activity monitors.


NPS reduced ethanol intake in P, but not in NP rats. It did not influence sucrose solution intake in P rats. However, an increase in food intake was seen in both rat lines following lower doses of the peptide. NPS did neither alter anxiety-like behavior in the elevated plus maze test nor was there an effect on general motor activity; however, there was an increase in the amount of time spent in the center of the activity monitors following infusions of 0.6 nmol of NPS in P, but not in NP rats, indicating anxioltyic actions of the peptide.


These data suggest a role for NPS in the modulation of ethanol drinking and possibly anxiety-like behavior in rats selectively bred for high alcohol drinking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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