The reinforcing properties of ethanol are quantitatively enhanced inadulthood by peri-adolescent ethanol, but not saccharin, consumption in female alcohol-preferring (P) rats

Jamie E. Toalston, Gerald A. Deehan, Sheketha R. Hauser, Eric A. Engleman, Richard L. Bell, James M. Murphy, William J. McBride, Zachary A. Rodd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alcohol drinking during adolescence is associated in adulthood with heavier alcohol drinking and an increased rate of alcohol dependence. Past research in our laboratory has indicated that peri-adolescent ethanol consumption can enhance the acquisition and reduce the rate of extinction of ethanol self-administration in adulthood. Caveats of the past research include reinforcer specificity, increased oral consumption during peri-adolescence, and a lack of quantitative assessment of the reinforcing properties of ethanol. The current experiments were designed to determine the effects of peri-adolescent ethanol or saccharin drinking on acquisition and extinction of oral ethanol self-administration and ethanol seeking, and to quantitatively assess the reinforcing properties of ethanol (progressive ratio). Ethanol or saccharin access by alcohol-preferring (P) rats occurred during postnatal day (PND) 30-60. Animals began operant self-administration of ethanol or saccharin after PND 85. After 10 weeks of daily operant self-administration, rats were tested in a progressive ratio paradigm. Two weeks later, self-administration was extinguished in all rats. Peri-adolescent ethanol consumption specifically enhanced the acquisition of ethanol self-administration, reduced the rate of extinction for ethanol self-administration, and quantitatively increased the reinforcing properties of ethanol during adulthood. Peri-adolescent saccharin consumption was without effect. The data indicate that ethanol consumption during peri-adolescence results in neuroadaptations that may specifically enhance the reinforcing properties of ethanol during adulthood. This increase in the reinforcing properties of ethanol could be a part of biological sequelae that are the basis for the effects of adolescent alcohol consumption on the increase in the rate of alcoholism during adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-518
Number of pages6
JournalAlcohol
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Alcoholism
  • Operant
  • Progressive ratio
  • Self-administration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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