The behavioral pharmacology of zolpidem: evidence for the functional significance of α1-containing GABAA receptors
Multiple (10x) treatment of zolpidem (1.0 or 2.0 mg/kg, orally, p.o.) led to different effects in chronically ethanol-treated and control rats. In control rats, after repeated zolpidem administration, a weaker, when compared to single administration, hypnotic effect of ethanol was observed, which may be the result of tolerance developed towards the inhibitory effect of zolpidem. However, in chronically ethanol-treated rats, the multiple zolpidem treatment led to prolongation of ethanol-induced sleep similar to the values observed in non-zolpidem-treated control animals. This suggests that zolpidem multiple administration may inhibit tolerance towards ethanol in chronically ethanol-treated rats. In the experiment with zolpidem, there were effects on performance in a memory test and the impairment of passive avoidance task after multiple drug treatment when compared to the effects after single administration in control rats. In contrast, in chronically ethanol-treated rats, amplification of latency (especially after 2.0 mg/kg) was observed. The possible relationship between ethanol-induced sedation and latency values would be consistent with a higher contribution of the inhibitory effect of zolpidem, than a direct influence on memory processes in chronically ethanol-treated rats.