, Volume 193, Issue 2, pp 171-178
Date: 29 Mar 2007

Reducing effect of the positive allosteric modulator of the GABAB receptor, GS39783, on alcohol self-administration in alcohol-preferring rats

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Abstract

Rationale and objectives

The positive allosteric modulator of the GABAB receptor, GS39783, has recently been found to suppress acquisition and maintenance of alcohol drinking behavior in selectively bred Sardinian alcohol-preferring (sP) rats exposed to the standard, homecage two-bottle “alcohol vs water” choice regimen. The present study was designed to extend the characterization of the “anti-alcohol” effects of GS39783 to oral self-administration of alcohol under an operant procedure.

Materials and methods

Two separate groups of male sP rats were trained to lever-press (on an FR4 schedule) to orally self-administer alcohol (15%, v/v) or sucrose (0.3%, w/v) in daily 30-min sessions. Once lever-pressing behavior reached stable levels, the effect of GS39783 (0, 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg, i.g.) on responding for alcohol and sucrose was determined.

Results

Pretreatment with GS39783 resulted in a significant, dose-dependent reduction in responding for alcohol; at the dose of 100 mg/kg GS39783, the number of lever responses for alcohol was reduced by approximately 50% in comparison to vehicle-treated rats. The effect of GS39783 on alcohol self-administration was specific, as responding for sucrose was completely unaffected by pretreatment with GS39783.

Conclusions

These data demonstrate the capability of GS39783 to attenuate the reinforcing properties of alcohol in alcohol-preferring rats. These data constitute a further piece of experimental evidence in support of the hypothesized role for the GABAB receptor in the control of alcohol drinking and reinforcement.