Nicotinic receptor ligands reduce ethanol intake by high alcohol-drinking HAD-2 rats

Richard L. Bell, Bill J.A. Eiler, Jason B. Cook, Shafiqur Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are implicated in the reinforcing effects of many drugs of abuse, including ethanol. The present study examined the efficacy of cytisine, a nAChR partial agonist, and lobeline, a putative nAChR antagonist, on the maintenance of ethanol drinking by HAD-2 rats. Adult male HAD-2 rats were given access to ethanol (15 and 30%, with ad libitum access to water and food) 22 h/day for 12 weeks, beginning at 60 days of age, after which cytisine (0.0, 0.5, and 1.5 mg/kg) was tested for 3 consecutive days. The rats were given an 18-day washout period and were then tested with lobeline (0.0, 1.0, and 5.0 mg/kg) for 3 consecutive days. Ethanol intake was measured at 1, 4, and 22 h postinjection. Rats were injected intraperitoneally just before lights out (1200 h). There was a significant main effect of cytisine treatment on the second test day, with the 1.5 mg/kg dose significantly reducing ethanol intake at the 1- and 4-h time-points, relative to saline, and the 0.5 mg/kg dose inducing a significant reduction at the 4-h time-point. Conversely, lobeline treatment resulted in significant main effects of treatment for all three time-points within each test day, with the 5.0 mg/kg dose significantly reducing ethanol intake, relative to saline, at each time-point within each test day. These findings provide further evidence that activity at the nAChR influences ethanol intake and is a promising target for pharmacotherapy development for the treatment of alcohol dependence and relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-592
Number of pages12
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Cytisine
  • Drug addiction
  • Lobeline
  • Nicotinic receptor
  • Selectively bred rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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