UNIT 9.29 Vapor Inhalation of Alcohol in Rats

  1. Nicholas W. Gilpin,
  2. Heather N. Richardson,
  3. Maury Cole,
  4. George F. Koob

Published Online: 1 JUL 2008

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0929s44

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Gilpin, N. W., Richardson, H. N., Cole, M. and Koob, G. F. 2008. Vapor Inhalation of Alcohol in Rats. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 44:9.29:9.29.1–9.29.19.

Author Information

  1. Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUL 2008
  2. Published Print: JUL 2008


Alcohol dependence constitutes a neuroadaptive state critical for understanding alcoholism, and various methods have been utilized to induce alcohol dependence in animals, one of which is alcohol vapor exposure. Alcohol vapor inhalation provides certain advantages over other chronic alcohol exposure procedures that share the ultimate goal of producing alcohol dependence in rats. Chronic alcohol vapor inhalation allows the experimenter to control the dose, duration, and pattern of alcohol exposure. Also, this procedure facilitates testing of somatic and motivational aspects of alcohol dependence. Chronic exposure to alcohol vapor produces increases in alcohol-drinking behavior, increases in anxiety-like behavior, and reward deficits in rats. Alcohol vapor inhalation as a laboratory protocol is flexible, and the parameters of this procedure can be adjusted to accommodate the specific aims of different experiments. This unit describes the options available to investigators using this procedure for dependence induction, when different options are more or less appropriate, and the implications of each. Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 44:9.29.1-9.29.19. © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • alcohol dependence;
  • ethanol vapor;
  • withdrawal;
  • abstinence;
  • blood-alcohol level;
  • rat;
  • inhalation