Involvement of CNS cholinergic systems in alcohol drinking of P rats

S. N. Katner, W. J. McBride, L. Lumeng, T. K. Li, J. M. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Experiments were undertaken to determine if CNS muscarinic- and nicotinic-cholinergic receptors are involved in regulating alcohol drinking of rats from the selectively-bred alcohol-preferring P line. Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) drug infusions were administered into the lateral ventricle of female P rats 15 minutes before ethanol access. The muscarinic antagonists pirenzepine and scopolamine were tested on limited access (4 hours/day) to a 10% (v/v) ethanol solution. Food and water were available ad libitum. Nicotine and the nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine were tested on limited access (4 hours/day) to 10% (v/v) ethanol and 0.0125% saccharin solutions. Food was available ad libitum and water was available during the remaining 20 hours. The baseline ethanol intakes ranged between an average of 3.0 ± 0.3 g/kg/4 hours and 3.4 ± 0.3 g/kg/4 hours. Administration of 40-100 μg pirenzepine (M1-selective antagonist) had no effect on ethanol, food or water consumption. However, 20-80 μg scopolamine, a non-selective muscarinic antagonist, dose-dependently decreased ethanol intake as much as 60% (p < 0.05) without altering food or water consumption. The nicotinic antagonist mecamylamine (20-120 μg) did not alter ethanol intake, but nicotine (40-80 μg) dose-dependently decreased ethanol drinking as much as 60% within the first 30 minutes (p < 0.05) without an effect on saccharin intake. The results suggest that: (a), muscarinic receptors, with the possible exception of the M1 subtype, are involved in regulating alcohol drinking and (b), activation of nicotinic receptors can reduce alcohol drinking of the P line of rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalAddiction Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Katner, S. N., McBride, W. J., Lumeng, L., Li, T. K., & Murphy, J. M. (1997). Involvement of CNS cholinergic systems in alcohol drinking of P rats. Addiction Biology, 2(2), 215-223.