, Volume 120, Issue 2, pp 177-185

The delta opioid receptor antagonist naltrindole attenuates both alcohol and saccharin intake in rats selectively bred for alcohol preference

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This study demonstrates that the selective delta receptor antagonists ICI 174864 and naltrindole (NTI) attenuate alcohol intake in a dose-dependent manner, without altering water intake, in rats selectively bred for alcohol preference. ICI 174864 had a very limited duration of action, as evidenced by the fact that suppression of alcohol intake lasted for only an hour following ICI 174864 administration. NTI, when administered in a dose of 10 mg/kg, suppressed alcohol intake by 28%. Increasing the dose of NTI to 15 mg/kg produced a 44% suppression of alcohol intake, but a further increase to 20 mg/kg did not produce greater suppression than was seen with a dose of 15 mg/kg (46% versus 44%, respectively). This suggests that NTI is maximally effective in suppressing alcohol intake at a dose of 15.0 mg/kg. NTI displayed a long duration of action, as evidenced by attenuation of alcohol drinking that lasted for at least 8 h following drug treatment. Administering the maximally effective dose of NTI (15 mg/kg) in two parts, separated by 4 h, served to prolong the duration of action of NTI and produced an attenuation of alcohol intake, but not water intake, that lasted for at least 28 h. The effect of NTI on alcohol intake was not specific for alcohol, as evidenced by the fact that NTI reduced the intake of saccharin solutions with and without alcohol.