Present address: Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80303, USA.
PRECLINICAL STUDY: FULL ARTICLE: Repeated ethanol administration modifies the temporal structure of sucrose intake patterns in mice: effects associated with behavioral sensitization
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 15, Issue 3, pages 324–335, July 2010
How to Cite
Pastor, R., Kamens, H. M., McKinnon, C. S., Ford, M. M. and Phillips, T. J. (2010), PRECLINICAL STUDY: FULL ARTICLE: Repeated ethanol administration modifies the temporal structure of sucrose intake patterns in mice: effects associated with behavioral sensitization. Addiction Biology, 15: 324–335. doi: 10.1111/j.1369-1600.2010.00229.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2010
- behavioral sensitization;
- GABAB receptor;
Neuroadaptations supporting behavioral sensitization to abused drugs are suggested to underlie pathological, excessive motivation toward drugs and drug-associated stimuli. Drug-induced sensitization has also been linked to increased appetitive responses for non-drug, natural reinforcers. The present research investigated whether ethanol (EtOH)-induced neural changes, inferred from psychomotor sensitization, can modify consumption and intake dynamics for the natural reinforcer, sucrose. The effects of EtOH-induced sensitization in mice on the temporal structure of sucrose intake patterns were measured using a lickometer system. After sensitization, sucrose intake dynamics were measured for 1 hour daily for 7 days and indicated more rapid initial approach and consumption of sucrose in EtOH-sensitized groups; animals showed a shorter latency to the first intake bout and an increased number of sucrose bottle licks during the initial 15 minutes of the 1-hour sessions. This effect was associated with increased frequency and size of bouts. For the total 1-hour session, sucrose intake and bout dynamics were not different between groups, indicating a change in patterns of sucrose intake but not total consumption. When sensitization was prevented by the γ-aminobutyric acid B receptor agonist, baclofen, the increased rate of approach and consumption of sucrose were also prevented. Thus, EtOH-induced sensitization, and not the mere exposure to EtOH, was associated with changes in sucrose intake patterns. These data are consistent with current literature suggesting an enhancing effect of drug-induced sensitization on motivational processes involved in reinforcement.