Alcoholism: Is It a Model for the Study of Disorders of Mood and Consummately Behavior?

TING‐KAI ‐K LI, LAWRENCE LUMENG, WILLIAM J. McBRIDE, JAMES M. MURPHY

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume499
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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