Electrolytic lesions of the medial nucleus accumbens shell selectively decrease ethanol consumption without altering preference in a limited access procedure in C57BL/6J mice

Ronnie Dhaher, Deborah A. Finn, Denesa L. Oberbeck, Naomi Yoneyama, Christopher C. Snelling, Weiran Wu, Robert J. Hitzemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


The central extended amygdala (cExtA) is a limbic region proposed to play a key role in drug and alcohol addiction and to contain the medial nucleus accumbens shell (MNAc shell). The aim of this study was to examine the involvement of the MNAc shell in ethanol and sucrose consumption in a limited and free access procedure in the C57BL/6J (B6) mouse. Separate groups of mice received bilateral electrolytic lesions of the MNAc shell or sham surgery, and following recovery from surgery, were allowed to voluntarily consume ethanol (15% v/v) in a 2 h limited access 2-bottle-choice procedure. Following 1 week of limited access ethanol consumption, mice were given 1 week of limited access sucrose consumption. A separate group of lesioned and sham mice were given free access (24 h) to ethanol in a 2-bottle choice procedure and were run in parallel to the mice receiving limited access consumption. Electrolytic lesions of the MNAc shell decreased ethanol (but not sucrose) consumption in a limited access procedure, but did not alter free access ethanol consumption. These results suggest that the MNAc shell is a component of the underlying neural circuitry contributing to limited access alcohol consumption in the B6 mouse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-342
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009



  • C57BL/6J
  • Electrolytic lesions
  • Ethanol consumption
  • Extended amygdala
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Sucrose consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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