Progress toward a voluntary oral consumption model of alcoholism

T. K. Li, L. Lumeng, W. J. McBride, M. B. Waller, T. D. Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

168 Scopus citations


With the goal of obtaining a suitable animal model for voluntary oral consumption of ethanol, the investigators selectively bred lines of alcohol-preferring and alcohol-nonpreferring rats, with preference considered as a function of the concentration of ethanol ingested. Studies with these animals showed that drinking is voluntary and not contingent on caloric restriction; that they will work to obtain ethanol even when food and water are freely available, and in so doing, show psychological or behavioral tolerance; that the amount of ethanol voluntarily consumed approaches their apparent maximum capacity for ethanol elimination. This amount of ethanol was capable of altering brain neurotransmitter content, thus exerting a CNS pharmocologic effect. In addition, the rats will bar-press for intravenous administration of ethanol, and with prolonged, free-choice consumption, ethanol intake increases to as much as 12 g per kg body weight per day without producing behavioral deficits, suggesting the development of tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43,45-60
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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    Li, T. K., Lumeng, L., McBride, W. J., Waller, M. B., & Hawkins, T. D. (1979). Progress toward a voluntary oral consumption model of alcoholism. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 4(1-2), 43,45-60.