Use of Selectively Bred Alcohol-Preferring Rats to Study Alcohol Abuse, relapse and Craving

Richard L. Bell, Z. A. Rodd, James M. Murphy, William J. McBride

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter describes the use of selectively bred alcohol-preferring rats for studying alcohol abuse, relapse, and craving. Five selectively bred lines of rats have been developed to study the alcohol drinking behavior. These are the ALKO/ Alcohol (AA), alcohol-preferring (P), high alcohol-drinking (HAD-1 and HAD-2 replicates), Sardinian alcohol-preferring (sP), and the University of Chile B lines of rats. Findings thus far indicate that only the P line of rats meets the criteria established for a valid animal model of alcoholism, with progress having been made in characterizing the AA, HAD, and sP lines of rats. The Alcohol Deprivation Effect (ADE) is a major model system used to assess relapse behavior. The P line of rat displays a robust ADE after prolonged abstinence under both free-drinking and operant access conditions, whereas the AA, HAD, and sP lines do not display an ADE under these conditions. However, the HAD replicate lines display an ADE after repeated deprivations. Recently, a paradigm investigating craving for ethanol was established in the P line, using a Pavlovian Spontaneous Recovery (PSR) procedure. The PSR refers to an increase in responding, in the absence of reinforcement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComprehensive Handbook of Alcohol Related Pathology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780080502311
ISBN (Print)9780125643702
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Bell, R. L., Rodd, Z. A., Murphy, J. M., & McBride, W. J. (2005). Use of Selectively Bred Alcohol-Preferring Rats to Study Alcohol Abuse, relapse and Craving. In Comprehensive Handbook of Alcohol Related Pathology (Vol. 3-3, pp. 1515-1533). Elsevier Inc..