Ethanol-induced conditioned place preference is expressed through a ventral tegmental area dependent mechanism

Anita J. Bechtholt, Christopher Cunningham

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The authors examined the role of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) in the expression of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). After cannulas were implanted, male DBA/2J mice underwent an unbiased Pavlovian-conditioning procedure for ethanol-induced CPP. Before preference testing, the mice were injected intra-VTA (Experiments 1 and 3) or intra-NAc (Experiment 2) with the nonselective opioid antagonist methylnaloxonium (0-ng, 375-ng, or 750-ng total infusion; Experiments 1 and 2) or the gamma aminobutyric acid (GABAB) agonist baclofen (0-ng, 25-ng, or 50-ng total infusion; Experiment 3). Intra-VTA methylnaloxonium or baclofen decreased ethanol-induced CPP, whereas intra-NAc methylnaloxonium had no effect. These findings indicate that the conditioned rewarding effect of ethanol is expressed through a VTA-dependent mechanism that involves both opioid and GABAB receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology

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