Repeated cycles of binge-like ethanol drinking in C57BL/6J mice augments subsequent voluntary ethanol intake but not other dependence-like phenotypes Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
  • Cox, Benjamin
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Background: Recently, procedures have been developed to model specific facets of human alcohol abuse disorders, including those that model excessive binge-like drinking (i.e., drinking in the dark, or DID) and excessive dependence-like drinking (i.e., resulting from intermittent ethanol vapor exposure). Similar neuropeptide systems modulate excessive ethanol drinking stemming from both procedures, raising the possibility that both paradigms are actually modeling the same phenotypes and triggering the same central neuroplasticity. Therefore, the goal of the present project was to study the effects of a history of binge-like ethanol drinking, using DID procedures, on phenotypes that have previously been described with procedures to model dependence-like drinking. Methods: Male C57BL/6J mice first experienced 0 to 10 4-day binge-like drinking episodes (3 days of rest between episodes). Beginning 24-h after the final binge-like drinking session, mice were tested for anxiety-like behaviors (with elevated plus maze (EPM) and open-field locomotor activity tests), ataxia with the rotarod test, and sensitivity to handling-induced convulsions (HICs). One week later, mice began a 40-day 2-bottle (water versus ethanol) voluntary consumption test with concentration ranging from 10 to 20% (v/v) ethanol. Results: A prior history of binge-like ethanol drinking significantly increased subsequent voluntary ethanol consumption and preference, effects most robust in groups that initially experienced 6 or 10 binge-like drinking episodes and completely absent in mice that experienced 1 binge-like episode. Conversely, a history of binge-like ethanol drinking did not influence anxiety-like behaviors, ataxia, or HICs. Conclusions: Excessive ethanol drinking stemming from DID procedures does not initially induce phenotypes consistent with a dependence-like state. However, the subsequent increases of voluntary ethanol consumption and preference that become more robust following repeated episodes of binge-like ethanol drinking may reflect the early stages of ethanol dependence, suggesting that DID procedures may be ideal for studying the transition to ethanol dependence.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Thiele, Todd
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2013

This work has no parents.