The metabotropic glutamate 2/3 receptor agonist LY404039 reduces alcohol-seeking but not alcohol self-administration in alcohol-preferring (P) rats

Zachary A. Rodd, David L. McKinzie, Richard L. Bell, Victoria K. McQueen, James M. Murphy, Darryle D. Schoepp, William J. McBride

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67 Scopus citations


Metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors have been shown to mediate a number of behaviors including emotionality and responsivity to stress as demonstrated by efficacy in preclinical and clinical studies. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of the mGlu2/3 receptor agonist LY404039 (LY) on operant ethanol (EtOH) self-administration during alcohol seeking (pavlovian spontaneous recovery, PSR), alcohol relapse (alcohol deprivation effect, ADE), and maintenance responding for alcohol. Adult alcohol-preferring (P) rats were trained in 2-lever operant chambers to self-administer 15% EtOH (v/v) and water on a concurrent fixed-ratio 5-fixed-ratio 1 (FR5-FR1) schedule of reinforcement in daily 1 h sessions. After at least 10 weeks of daily 1 h sessions, rats underwent seven extinction sessions, followed by 2 weeks of no manipulation, and then rats were tested for the expression of an EtOH PSR for four sessions. Rats were then given a week in their home cage before being returned to the operant chambers with access to EtOH and water (alcohol relapse). Finally, the effects of LY upon maintenance EtOH and water responding were assessed once stable responding was reestablished. The mGlu2/3 receptor agonist LY404039 reduced responding on the EtOH in the PSR test. LY also reduced the expression of an alcohol deprivation effect (ADE) during relapse, but did not reduce EtOH responding under maintenance conditions. The results of this study demonstrate that activating mGlu2/3 receptors inhibits the expression of alcohol seeking and relapse behavior without altering alcohol self-administration behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-215
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 10 2006



  • Alcohol-seeking
  • Ethanol relapse
  • Ethanol self-administration
  • LY404039
  • Metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist
  • Pavlovian spontaneous recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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