There is emerging evidence that the adenosinergic system might be involved in drug addiction and alcohol dependence. We have already demonstrated the involvement of A2A receptors (A2AR) in ethanol-related behaviours in mice. Here, we investigated whether the A2AR agonist CGS 21680 can reduce ethanol operant self-administration in both non-dependent and ethanol-dependent Wistar rats. To rule out a potential involvement of the A1R in the effects of CGS 21680, we also tested its effectiveness to reduce ethanol operant self-administration in both heterozygous and homozygous A1R knockout mice. Our results demonstrated that CGS 21680 (0.065, 0.095 and 0.125 mg/kg, i.p.) had a bimodal effect on 10% ethanol operant self-administration in non-dependent rats. The intermediate dose was also effective in reducing 2% sucrose self-administration. Interestingly, the intermediate dose reduced 10% ethanol self-administration in dependent animals more effectively (75% decrease) when compared with non-dependent animals (57% decrease). These results suggest that the A2AR are involved in CGS 21680 effects since the reduction of ethanol self-administration was not dependent upon the presence of A1R in mice. In conclusion, our findings demonstrated the effectiveness of the A2AR agonist CGS 21680 in a preclinical model of alcohol addiction and suggested that the adenosinergic pathway is a promising target to treat alcohol addiction.