Modeling binge-like ethanol drinking by peri-adolescent and adult P rats

Richard L. Bell, Zachary A. Rodd, Rebecca J. Smith, Jamie E. Toalston, Kelle M. Franklin, William J. McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Alcohol binge-drinking, especially among adolescents and young adults, is a serious public health concern. The present study examined ethanol binge-like drinking by peri-adolescent [postnatal days (PNDs 30-72)] and adult (PNDs 90-132) alcohol-preferring (P) rats with a drinking-in-the-dark-multiple- scheduled-access (DID-MSA) procedure used by our laboratory. Male and female P rats were provided concurrent access to 15% and 30% ethanol for three 1-h sessions across the dark cycle 5 days/week. For the 1st week, adolescent and adult female P rats consumed 3.4 and 1.6 g/kg of ethanol, respectively, during the 1st hour of access, whereas for male rats the values were 3.5 and 1.1 g/kg of ethanol, respectively. Adult intakes increased to ~ 2.0 g/kg/h and adolescent intakes decreased to ~ 2.5 g/kg/h across the 6 weeks of ethanol access. The daily ethanol intake of adult DID-MSA rats approximated or modestly exceeded that seen in continuous access (CA) rats or the selection criterion for P rats (≥ 5 g/kg/day). However, in general, the daily ethanol intake of DID-MSA peri-adolescent rats significantly exceeded that of their CA counterparts. BELs were assessed at 15-min intervals across the 3rd hour of access during the 4th week. Ethanol intake was 1.7 g/kg vs. 2.7 g/kg and BELs were 57 mg% vs. 100 mg% at 15- and 60-min, respectively. Intoxication induced by DID-MSA in female P rats was assessed during the 1st vs. 4th week of ethanol access. Level of impairment did not differ between the 2 weeks (106 vs. 97 s latency to fall, 120 s criterion) and was significant (vs. naïve controls) only during the 4th week. Overall, these findings support the use of the DID-MSA procedure in rats, and underscore the presence of age- and sex-dependent effects mediating ethanol binge-like drinking in P rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011


  • Adolescence
  • Adulthood
  • Alcohol drinking
  • Alcohol-preferring rats
  • Animal model
  • Intoxication
  • Motor ataxia
  • Selectively bred rats
  • Self-administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

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