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Alcohol. 1997 Nov-Dec;14(6):581-4.

Effect of ethanol drinking and naltrexone on subsequent drinking in rats.

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Center for Studies in Addiction and Alcoholism, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.


The effects of several days of oral ethanol drinking paired with naltrexone (NTX) on subsequent ethanol drinking were investigated in rats. We hypothesized that repeated pairings of NTX combined with forced oral ethanol intake would extinguish ethanol drinking so that when NTX injections were terminated, voluntary oral ethanol drinking would be suppressed. Thirty-two male. Long-Evans rats were provided with alternate days of either 8% ethanol solution or water as the sole source of fluid. Intraperitoneal injections of 0, 2.5, or 5.0 mg of NTX hydrochloride were administered on the ethanol days. Following the termination of injections, rats were returned to unrestricted access to water and ethanol and 24-h measurements of fluid intake were recorded. NTX decreased ethanol intake 4 h, but not 24 h, after NTX injections. Despite the consumption of significant amounts of ethanol during NTX treatment, there was no change in voluntary oral ethanol intake patterns after NTX injections were terminated (reinstatement of voluntary ethanol drinking). Thus, NTX's reduction in ethanol intake was limited in duration and did not result in long-term extinction of ethanol drinking behavior.

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