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Alcohol. 1990 May-Jun;7(3):221-5.

Oral self-administration of ethanol and not experimenter-administered ethanol facilitates rewarding electrical brain stimulation.

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Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02118.


The effects of ethanol on brain-stimulation reward (BSR) were investigated in rats orally self-administering ethanol. Electrodes were stereotaxically implanted in the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) of male F-344 rats. A rate free threshold procedure was used. Animals demonstrated significant threshold-lowering effects after considerable ethanol self-administration experience. To elucidate the significance of the contingent nature of the route of administration in the threshold-lowering effects of ethanol on BSR, a comparison of animals self-administering ethanol to yoked animals receiving it passively through a gastric cannula was made. Significant threshold-lowering effects were only found in the animals self-administering ethanol and not those receiving it noncontingently. Thus, to the extent that brain-stimulation reward is a model of drug-induced euphoria, these results suggest that the reinforcing effects of ethanol are dependent to a greater degree on an interaction between experimental, environmental and pharmacological factors, than other abused drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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