Effects of concurrent access to multiple ethanol concentrations and repeated deprivations on alcohol intake of alcohol-preferring rats

Zachary A. Rodd-Henricks, Richard L. Bell, Kelly A. Kuc, James M. Murphy, William J. McBride, Lawrence Lumeng, Ting Kai Li

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107 Scopus citations


Background: The alcohol deprivation effect (ADE) is a temporary increase in the voluntary intake of ethanol solutions following a period of alcohol deprivation. Multiple deprivations can prolong the expression of an ADE. This study examined the effects of initial deprivation length, concurrent exposure to multiple ethanol concentrations, and number of deprivation exposures on the magnitude and duration of the ADE in alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Methods: Adult female P rats received 24-hr free-choice access to 10, 20, and 30% ethanol and water for 6 weeks. Rats were then randomly assigned to three groups; one group served as a nondeprived control, whereas the other two groups were initially deprived of ethanol for 2 or 8 weeks. The ethanol solutions were restored to both deprived groups for 2 weeks before the groups were deprived of ethanol for another 2 weeks. This cycle was repeated three times for a total of four deprivations. Results: After the initial ethanol deprivation period, both deprived groups displayed a similar 2-fold increased ethanol intake (g/Kg/day) during the initial 24-hr period when ethanol was restored. Both deprived groups showed greater than 2-fold increases in intake of the 20 and 30% ethanol solutions after re-exposure. Ethanol consumption returned to baseline levels within 2 weeks, before the subsequent deprivation period. Multiple deprivations increased the magnitude of the ADE over that observed in the first deprivation during the initial 24-hr period of re-exposure and prolonged the duration of the ADE. In addition, repeated deprivations increased ethanol intake in the first 2-hr period of re-exposure and produced blood ethanol levels in excess of 150 mg/100 ml. Conclusions: Alterations in the reinforcing and/or aversive effects of alcohol occurred after a single prolonged deprivation and were enhanced with repeated deprivations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1150
Number of pages11
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001


  • Alcohol deprivation effect
  • Alcohol relapse
  • Alcohol-preferring rats
  • Multiple deprivations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology

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