Depression, eating disorders, and carbohydrate craving are frequently seen in alcoholics or recovering alcoholics. Accordingly, these disorders may share some mediating pathways. It is now well-established that there is a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. Through genetic means, our laboratory has developed an animal model of alcoholism. Free-fed Wistar rats were selectively bred for the traits of alcohol-preference (the P line) and non-preference (the NP line). After more than 20 generations of selection, the lines show a stable difference of more than six-fold in voluntary ethanol consumption. We have now shown that the P line satisfies all the perceived requirements of an animal model of alcoholism. One major discovered difference between the P and the NP line is the lowered content of serotonin in certain brain regions of the P rats. Interestingly, fluoxetine curbs the alcohol-seeking behavior of the P rats; variation in the carbohydrate content of the diet, however, does not modify voluntary ethanol intake. The P rats are similar in body weight to the NP rats, but are more active in a novel environment than the NP rats.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences|
|State||Published - Jun 1987|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- History and Philosophy of Science