Sex differences in cognitive performance and alcohol consumption in High Alcohol-Drinking (HAD-1) rats

N. Mittal, S. M. Fleming, A. Martinez, N. Thakore, R. L. Bell, W. T. Maddox, T. Schallert, C. L. Duvauchelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Excessive alcohol (ethanol) consumption negatively impacts social, emotional, as well as cognitive function and well-being. Thus, identifying behavioral and/or biological predictors of excessive ethanol consumption is important for developing prevention and treatment strategies against alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Sex differences in alcohol consumption patterns are observed in humans, primates, and rodents. Selectively bred high alcohol-drinking rat lines, such as the “HAD-1” lines are recognized animal models of alcoholism. The present work examined sex differences in alcohol consumption, object recognition, and exploratory behavior in male and female HAD-1 rats. Naïve male and female HAD-1 rats were tested in an object recognition test (ORT) prior to a chronic 24 h intermittent ethanol access procedure for five weeks. Object recognition parameters measured included exploratory behavior, object investigation, and time spent near objects. During the initial training trial, rearing, active object investigation and amount of time spent in the object-containing section was significantly greater in female HAD-1 rats compared to their male counterparts. During the subsequent testing trial, time spent in the object-containing section was greater in female, compared to male, rats; but active object investigation and rearing did not statistically differ between females and males. In addition, female HAD-1 rats consumed significantly more ethanol than their male counterparts, replicating previous findings. Moreover, across all animals there was a significant positive correlation between exploratory behavior in ORT and ethanol consumption level. These results indicate there are significant sex differences in cognitive performance and alcohol consumption in HAD-1 rats, which suggests neurobiological differences as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112456
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume381
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2 2020

Keywords

  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Attention
  • Exploratory behavior
  • Novel object recognition
  • Object recognition test
  • Selectively bred high alcohol-drinking rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sex differences in cognitive performance and alcohol consumption in High Alcohol-Drinking (HAD-1) rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Mittal, N., Fleming, S. M., Martinez, A., Thakore, N., Bell, R. L., Maddox, W. T., Schallert, T., & Duvauchelle, C. L. (2020). Sex differences in cognitive performance and alcohol consumption in High Alcohol-Drinking (HAD-1) rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 381, [112456]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2019.112456