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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2009 Dec;33(12):2113-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.01051.x. Epub 2009 Sep 9.

Operant behavior and alcohol levels in blood and brain of alcohol-dependent rats.

Author information

1
Committee on Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 N. Torrey Pines Rd., La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. nickg@scripps.edu

Erratum in

  • Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2010 Feb;34(2):382.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of the present investigation was to more clearly define blood-alcohol parameters associated with alcohol dependence produced by alcohol vapor inhalation and alcohol-containing liquid diet.

METHODS:

Alcohol levels in blood and brain were compared during and after 4 hours of acute alcohol vapor exposure; also, brain-alcohol levels were assessed in alcohol-exposed (14-day alcohol vapor) and alcohol-naïve rats during and after 4 hours of acute alcohol vapor exposure. A separate group of rats were implanted with i.v. catheters, made dependent on alcohol via vapor inhalation, and tested for operant alcohol responding; blood-alcohol levels (BALs) were measured throughout operant alcohol drinking sessions during alcohol withdrawal. A final group of rats consumed an alcohol-liquid diet until they were dependent, and those rats were then tested for operant behavior at various withdrawal time points; BALs were measured at different withdrawal time points and after operant sessions.

RESULTS:

Blood- and brain-alcohol levels responded similarly to vapor, but brain-alcohol levels peaked at a higher point and more slowly returned to zero in alcohol-naïve rats relative to alcohol-exposed rats. Alcohol vapor exposure also produced an upward shift in subsequent operant alcohol responding and resultant BALs. Rats consumed large quantities of alcohol-liquid diet, most of it during the dark cycle, sufficient to produce high blood-alcohol levels and elevated operant alcohol responding when tested during withdrawal from liquid diet.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results emphasize that the key determinants of excessive alcohol drinking behavior are the BAL range and pattern of chronic high-dose alcohol exposure.

PMID:
19740131
PMCID:
PMC2789881
DOI:
10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.01051.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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