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Peri-adolescent Alcohol Consumption Enhances the Reinforcing and Stimulatory Properties of Ethanol within the Adult Mesolimbic Dopamine System in Alcohol Preferring P Rats

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) / Research in the alcohol preferring (P) rat has indicated that peri-adolescent alcohol (EtOH) consumption enhances the acquisition of oral operant EtOH self-administration, inhibits the extinction of responding for EtOH, augments EtOH-seeking behaviors, and increases relative reward value of EtOH during adulthood. Experiment 1 was conducted to determine if these adult effects of peri-adolescent EtOH intake could be observed using an Intracranial Self-Administration (ICSA) model. It was hypothesized that an increased sensitivity to the rewarding actions of EtOH would be manifested in peri-adolescent-EtOH-exposed subjects compared to naive subjects when the opportunity to self-administer EtOH to the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA) is available in adulthood. The pVTA is a primary site for EtOH’s reinforcing and rewarding properties in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system. Experiment 2 was a dose-response examination of the effects of EtOH administered to the pVTA on downstream DA efflux in the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) via a joint Microinjection-Microdialysis (MicroMicro) procedure.
Male P rats were given 24-h free-choice exposure to 15% volume/volume EtOH from postnatal day (PD) 30 to PD 60, or remained experimentally naive, with ad lib food and water. By the end of the periadolescent exposure period, average consumption was 7.3 g/kg/day of EtOH. After PD 75, periadolescent-EtOH-exposed and naïve rats were either implanted with an injector guide cannula aimed at the right pVTA for ICSA (Experiment 1), or two cannulae, one aimed at the right pVTA (injector) and one at the ipsilateral AcbSh (microdialysis) for MicroMicro (Experiment 2). Following one week of recovery from surgery, ICSA subjects were placed in standard two-lever (active and inactive) operant chambers. Test sessions were 60 min in duration and occurred every other day for a total of 7 sessions. Rats were randomly assigned to one of 5 groups (n=4-9/group) that self-infused (FR1 schedule) either aCSF (vehicle, 0 mg%), 50, 75, 100, or 150 mg% EtOH during 4 sessions, aCSF only for sessions 5 and 6 (extinction), and the initial concentration again for session 7 (reinstatement). MicroMicro subjects received six days of recovery from surgery, probe implantation the day before testing, and then continuous microdialysis for DA with 15 min microdialysis samples collected before, during, and then two hrs after 10-min pulse microinjection of either aCSF (vehicle, 0 mg%), 50, 75, 100, or 150 mg% EtOH.
Neither EtOH-exposed nor naive groups of P rats self-infused the aCSF or 50 mg% EtOH concentration. While the naive group did not self-infuse the 75 or 100 mg% EtOH concentrations, the peri-adolescent EtOH-exposed group of P rats did readily discriminate the active lever from the inactive lever at these concentrations. Both groups self-infused the 150 mg% EtOH concentration. Pulse microinjections of EtOH during the MicroMicro procedure revealed that 75 and 100 mg% concentrations of EtOH increased downstream DA in the AcbSh of EtOH-exposed, but not naïve, subjects. 150 mg% EtOH increased downstream DA in both adolescent treatment groups.
Overall, the results indicate that consumption of EtOH by P rats during peri-adolescence increases the reinforcing properties of EtOH in the pVTA in adulthood. The results also indicate that there were differential effects of peri-adolescent EtOH exposure on DA efflux in the AcbSh. This provides evidence that peri-adolescent EtOH-exposure produces long-lasting alterations in neural circuitry involved in EtOH-reinforcement, during adulthood.
Date07 August 2012
CreatorsToalston, Jamie E.
ContributorsMurphy, James M., Neal-Beliveau, Bethany S., Bell, Richard L., Kinzig, Kimberly P.
Source SetsIndiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Detected LanguageEnglish

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