Effects of fluoxetine on the intragastric self-administration of ethanol in the alcohol preferring P line of rats

J. M. Murphy, M. B. Waller, G. J. Gatto, W. J. McBride, L. Lumeng, T. K. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Scopus citations


Rats of the alcohol-preferring P line (n=7) were trained to self-administer ethanol (20% v/v) and water via an intragastric IG catheter. Food was available ad lib. Ethanol intakes averaged approximately 5-6 g/kg body wt./day. Treatment with the serotonin (5-HT) uptake inhibitor fluoxetine (10 mg/kg/day; IG) for seven consecutive days produced a marked decrease in ethanol self-administration on the first day, which was sustained throughout the seven days of treatment to values as low as 1 g/kg/day. Concomitant with the decrease in ethanol intake, the self-infusion of water gradually increased during the period of fluoxetine treatment. Total caloric intake (ethanol plus food) was moderately reduced during fluoxetine treatment; the decrease in food consumption was consistent but not statistically significant. When fluoxetine treatment was terminated, ethanol self-administration quickly returned to the prefluoxetine levels, while water intake began to decrease. Since no ethanol was consumed orally, the IG ethanol was not self-administered for its taste or smell, but apparently for its postingestive pharmacological effects. The robust reduction of ethanol self-infusion that occurred with fluoxetine treatment suggests that the 5-HT systems are involved in the reinforcing effects of ethanol in the P line of rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-286
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988


  • Alcohol-preferring rats
  • Ethanol intake
  • Fluoxetine
  • Intragastric self-administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)

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