Differential rearing conditions and alcohol-preferring rats: consumption of and operant responding for ethanol.

Abstract

Exposing rats to differential rearing conditions during early postweaning development has been shown to produce changes in a number of behaviors displayed during adulthood. The purpose of the present studies was to investigate whether rearing alcohol-preferring (P) and nonpreferring (NP) rats in an environmental enrichment condition (EC), a social condition (SC), or an impoverished condition (IC) would differentially affect self-administration of 10% ethanol. In Experiment 1, rats were tested for consumption of 10% ethanol in limited- and free-access tests. For Experiment 2, rats were trained to respond in an operant chamber for ethanol and then provided concurrent access to 10% ethanol and water. Each solution was presented in a separate liquid dipper after meeting the schedule of reinforcement on distinct levers. After concurrent access tests, the water lever/dipper was inactivated and a progressive ratio (PR) schedule was initiated. Three successive solutions (10% ethanol, 15% ethanol, and 10% sucrose) were tested under the PR. For P rats, rearing in an EC reduced ethanol consumption, preference, and motivation to obtain ethanol, relative to P rats reared in an IC. Thus, exposure to a novel environment immediately after weaning acted to decrease the reinforcing properties of ethanol in an animal model for alcoholism.

DOI: 10.1037/a0022627

Cite this paper

@article{Deehan2011DifferentialRC, title={Differential rearing conditions and alcohol-preferring rats: consumption of and operant responding for ethanol.}, author={Gerald A. Deehan and Matthew I. Palmatier and Mary Eileen Cain and Stephen W. Kiefer}, journal={Behavioral neuroscience}, year={2011}, volume={125 2}, pages={184-93} }