Allopregnanolone influences the consummatory processes that govern ethanol drinking in C57BL/6J mice

Matthew M. Ford, Gregory P. Mark, Jeffrey D. Nickel, Tamara J. Phillips, Deborah A. Finn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although systemic allopregnanolone (ALLO; a positive modulator of GABAA receptors) has been shown to enhance ethanol-reinforced responding and to modulate drinking patterns in rodents, the effects of centrally administered ALLO on ethanol intake are not known. The current work examined the effects of intracranial ALLO on operant ethanol self-administration in food- and water-satiated mice, with a procedure designed to estimate ALLO's influence on appetitive versus consummatory processes. Male C57BL/6J (B6) mice were trained to press an ethanol-appropriate lever by being reinforced with 30-min of continuous access to a 10% ethanol solution. Following surgical implantation of a guide cannula aimed at the lateral ventricle and subsequent habituation to vehicle infusions, ALLO (50-400 ng; ICV) was delivered immediately prior to session start. ALLO doses of 100 and 400 ng were further evaluated for their effects on locomotor behavior within activity chambers. ALLO selectively modulated ethanol intake patterns associated with the onset and maintenance of self-administration, while leaving appetitive (i.e., ethanol seeking) measures unaltered. The effects of ALLO on drinking patterns were dissociable from changes in locomotor behavior, as evidenced by the absence of ALLO's influence on response frequency and horizontal distance traveled. These findings support the premise that manipulations in brain ALLO levels may influence the regulatory processes governing ethanol consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Volume179
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 16 2007

Keywords

  • Alcohol intake
  • Animal model
  • Drinking patterns
  • Lickometer
  • Locomotor activity
  • Neurosteroid
  • Operant
  • Reinforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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