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Development of an Oral Operant Nicotine/Ethanol Co-Use Model in Alcohol-Preferring (P) Rats
Article first published online: 6 APR 2012
Copyright © 2012 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 36, Issue 11, pages 1963–1972, November 2012
How to Cite
Hauser, S. R., Katner, S. N., Deehan, G. A., Ding, Z.-M., Toalston, J. E., Scott, B. J., Bell, R. L., McBride, W. J. and Rodd, Z. A. (2012), Development of an Oral Operant Nicotine/Ethanol Co-Use Model in Alcohol-Preferring (P) Rats. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 36: 1963–1972. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01800.x
- Issue published online: 29 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 6 APR 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Received: 14 JUL 2011
- NIAAA. Grant Numbers: AA07611, AA07462, AA13522, AA019366
- EtOH + Nicotine-Seeking;
- Pavlovian Spontaneous Recovery;
- Alcohol-Preferring P Rat
Alcohol abuse is frequently associated with nicotine (Nic) use. The current experiments were conducted to establish an oral operant ethanol + Nic (EtOH + Nic) co-use model and to characterize some aspects of EtOH + Nic co-use.
Rats were allowed to choose between EtOH alone or EtOH + Nic solutions. Additionally, alcohol-preferring (P) rats were allowed to concurrently self-administer 3 distinct EtOH solutions (10, 20, and 30%) with varying amounts of Nic (0.07, 0.14, or 0.21 mg/ml) under operant conditions. P rats were also allowed to concurrently self-administer 2 distinct amounts of Nic (0.07 and 0.14 mg/ml) added to saccharin (Sacc; 0.025%) solutions.
During acquisition, P rats responded for the EtOH + Nic solutions at the same level as for EtOH alone, and responding for EtOH + Nic solutions was present throughout all drinking conditions. P rats also readily maintained stable self-administration behaviors for Nic + Sacc solutions. The results demonstrated that P rats readily acquired and maintained stable self-administration behaviors for EtOH + 0.07 and EtOH + 0.14 mg/ml Nic solutions. Self-administration of EtOH + 0.21 mg/ml Nic was established in only 50% of the subjects. P rats readily expressed seeking behaviors for the EtOH + Nic solutions and reacquired EtOH + Nic self-administration during relapse testing. In addition, tail blood samples indicated that EtOH + Nic co-use resulted in pharmacologically relevant levels of both EtOH and Nic in the blood.
Overall, the results indicate that P rats readily consume EtOH + Nic solutions concurrently in the presence of EtOH alone, express drug-seeking behaviors, and will concurrently consume physiologically relevant levels of both drugs. These results support the idea that this oral operant EtOH + Nic co-use model would be suitable for studying the development of co-abuse and the consequences of long-term chronic co-abuse.