A model of alcoholism should demonstrate self-administration of alcohol by the animal and a withdrawal syndrome when the animal no longer has access to the drug. A mouse model is described that meets these criteria and enables the induction of "alcoholism" in a large number of animals within a short period of time. Mice were injected daily with pyrazole, an inhibitor of alcohol dehydrogenase. The animals self-administered ethanol by inhaling vapour containing a relatively constant concentration of ethanol. Self-administration was voluntary: the mice could move to a chamber without ethanol vapour. During the first six days of each experiment, the animals were prompted to select the ethanol chamber by darkening that chamber. Most mice continued to self-administer ethanol without any prompting for at least 3 days; thereafter, preference for ethanol waned. Self-administration led to measurable levels of ethanol in blood and to the development of withdrawal when infusion of vapour was stopped.
- Alcohol dependence
- Animal model
- Inhalation of ethanol
- Self-administration of ethanol
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience