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Eur J Pharmacol. 1998 Jul 24;353(2-3):149-58.

Disruption of dopamine D1 receptor gene expression attenuates alcohol-seeking behavior.

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Department of Pharmacology and Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The role of the dopamine D1 receptor subtype in alcohol-seeking behaviors was studied in mice genetically deficient in dopamine D1 receptors (D1 -/-). In two-tube free choice limited (1-5 h) and continuous (24 h) access paradigms, mice were exposed to water and increasing concentrations of ethanol (3%, 6% and 12% w/v). Voluntary ethanol consumption and preference over water were markedly reduced in D1 -/- mice as compared to heterozygous (D1 +/-) and wild-type (D1 +/+) controls, whereas overall fluid consumption was comparable. When offered a single drinking tube containing alcohol as their only source of fluid for 24 h, D1 -/- mice continued to drink significantly less alcohol than D1 +/+ and D1 +/- mice. Dopamine D2 receptor blockade with sulpiride caused a small but significant reduction in alcohol intake and preference in D1 +/+ mice and attenuated residual alcohol drinking in D1 -/- mice. Dopamine D1 receptor blockade with SCH-23390 very effectively reduced alcohol intake in D1 +/+ and D1 +/- mice to the level seen in untreated D1 -/- mice. These findings suggest involvement of both dopamine D1 and D2 receptor mechanisms in alcohol-seeking behavior in mice; however, these implicate D1 receptors as having a more important role in the motivation for alcohol consumption.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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