Conditioned stimuli affect ethanol-seeking by female alcohol-preferring (P) rats: the role of repeated-deprivations, cue-pretreatment, and cue-temporal intervals

Sheketha R. Hauser, Gerald A. Deehan, Christopher P. Knight, Robert A. Waeiss, William A. Truitt, Philip L. Johnson, Richard L. Bell, William J. McBride, Zachary A. Rodd

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Abstract

Rationale: Evidence indicates that drug-paired stimuli can evoke drug-craving leading to drug-seeking and repeated relapse periods can influence drug-seeking behaviors. Objectives: The present study examined (1) the effect of an interaction between repeated deprivation cycles and excitatory conditioning stimuli (CS+) on ethanol (EtOH)-seeking; (2) the effects of EtOH-paired cue-exposure in a non-drug-paired environment on subsequent conditioning in a drug-paired environment; and (3) the temporal effects of conditioned cues on subsequent EtOH-seeking. Methods: Adult female alcohol-preferring (P) rats were exposed to three conditioned odor cues; CS+ associated with EtOH self-administration, CS− associated with the absence of EtOH (extinction training), and a neutral stimulus (CS0) presented in a neutral non-drug-paired environment. The rats underwent four deprivation cycles or were non-deprived, following extinction they were maintained in a home cage for an EtOH-free period, and then exposed to no cue, CS+, CS−, or CS0 to assess the effect of the conditioned cues on EtOH-seeking behavior. Results: Repeated deprivations enhanced and prolonged the duration of CS+ effects on EtOH-seeking. Presentation of the CS− in a non-drug-paired environment blocked the ability of a CS+ to enhance EtOH-seeking in a drug-paired environment. Presentation of the CS+ or CS− in a non-drug-paired environment 2 or 4 h earlier significantly altered EtOH-seeking. Conclusion: Results indicated an interaction between repeated deprivation cycles and CS+ resulted in a potentiation of CS+ evoked EtOH-seeking. In addition, a CS− may have therapeutic potential by providing prophylactic protection against relapse behavior in the presence of cues in the drug-using environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2835-2846
Number of pages12
JournalPsychopharmacology
Volume236
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

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Keywords

  • Alcohol relapse
  • Alcohol-preferring (P) rats
  • Drug deprivation
  • Drug relapse
  • Drug-craving
  • Drug-seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

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