Author(s): Orr A, Fujani D, Cassina C, Conti M, Di Clemente A,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract RATIONALE: With its high palatability, near-beer has been successfully used in rats as a vehicle to induce ethanol oral self-administration. OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to develop an operant model of oral alcoholic beer self-administration promoting a stable intake of pharmacologically relevant amounts of ethanol in free-feeding C57BL/6J mice. It also aimed to assess the model's predictive validity by evaluating the influence of baclofen, a GABA(B) agonist, and BHF177, a GABA(B) positive allosteric modulator, on alcoholic beer self-administration. METHODS: Mice were trained to self-administer, under a fixed ratio three schedule of reinforcement, 10 μl of beer containing increasing ethanol concentrations (0-18\% v/v) in daily 30-min sessions. The effects on motor coordination (rotarod), locomotor activity (open field, automated cages) and anxiety-like behavior (elevated plus maze, EPM) were examined. Baclofen (1.25-5 mg/kg, intraperitoneal, i.p.) and BHF177 (3.75-30 mg/kg, i.p.) were used to see the effects on 9\% alcoholic beer and near-beer self-administration. RESULTS: Near-beer stably maintained operant oral self-administration in mice. Adding ethanol to near-beer reduced the number of active lever presses, while the corresponding amount of ethanol self-administration increased (0.8-1.0 g/kg/session). Motor impairment was observed when more than 1.3 g/kg/session of ethanol was self-administered with beer and slight but consistent hyperlocomotion with more than 0.9-1.0 g/kg/session. BHF177 (15 mg/kg) preferentially reduced 9\% alcoholic beer self-administration, while the higher dose (30 mg/kg)-like baclofen 5 mg/kg-also reduced near-beer self-administration. CONCLUSIONS: The operant model of oral alcoholic beer self-administration in C57BL/6J mice should prove useful for studying ethanol-reinforced behaviors and to identify candidate compounds for the pharmacological management of alcohol addiction.
This article was published in Psychopharmacology (Berl)
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals