, Volume 33, Issue 10, pp 2166-2170

Electroacupuncture Reduces Voluntary Alcohol Intake in Alcohol-preferring Rats via an Opiate-sensitive Mechanism

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Electroacupuncture (EA) has been shown to modify the effects of various drugs of abuse, including alcohol. Inbred P rats were trained to drink alcohol voluntarily and then subjected to two periods of alcohol deprivation lasting 3 days. During the second deprivation, the rats received either EA or sham EA. The rats were pretreated with naltrexone (5 mg/kg) or saline 30 min before each of the EA or sham EA sessions. Approximately 6 h after the last naltrexone or saline treatment, the alcohol tubes were returned and alcohol and water intakes were recorded later at 2, 4, 6, and 24 h. Only EA led to a decrease in alcohol intake, which was most prominent at 6 and 24 h, and this inhibitory effect of EA was blocked by naltrexone, suggesting that activation of the endogenous opiate system may be responsible for EA’s effects on alcohol intake in the alcohol-dependent iP rats.

Special issue article in honor of Ji-Sheng Han.