Original Investigation

Psychopharmacology

, Volume 178, Issue 4, pp 471-480

A procedure to produce high alcohol intake in mice

  • Deborah A. FinnAffiliated withPortland Alcohol Research Center, VAMC Research and Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University Email author 
  • , John K. BelknapAffiliated withPortland Alcohol Research Center, VAMC Research and Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University
  • , Kim CroniseAffiliated withPortland Alcohol Research Center, VAMC Research and Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University
  • , Naomi YoneyamaAffiliated withPortland Alcohol Research Center, VAMC Research and Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University
  • , Andrea MurilloAffiliated withPortland Alcohol Research Center, VAMC Research and Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University
  • , John C. CrabbeAffiliated withPortland Alcohol Research Center, VAMC Research and Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University

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Abstract

Rationale

While prolonged access to ethanol (EtOH), or deprivations, or their combination have occasionally been shown to yield high levels of voluntary self-administration, in almost all cases, rodents do not self-administer alcohol to the degree that they will develop substantial, intoxicating blood alcohol levels and then continue to self-administer at these levels.

Objectives

The purpose of the present series of experiments was to modify a fluid restriction procedure to demonstrate consistent, high EtOH consumption.

Methods

Male and female mice from an alcohol preferring inbred strain (C57BL/6J; B6) as well as from a genetically heterogeneous strain (WSC) were given varying periods of access to fluid, ranging from 90 min to 10 h per day, for 12–21 days. Every 3rd or 4th day, separate groups of mice were offered a 5, 7 or 10% EtOH solution for either 10 min or 30 min, followed by water for the remainder of the time.

Results

In all studies, stable high EtOH doses were consumed by both B6 and WSC mice across the EtOH sessions, exceeding 2 g/kg in a 30-min session. Mean blood EtOH concentration exceeded 1 mg/ml (i.e. 100 mg%), with values in individual animals ranging from 0.6 mg/ml to 3.4 mg/ml. Notably, mice receiving 10 h of fluid/day continued to consume 2 g/kg doses of EtOH. While this procedure did not produce subsequent preference for EtOH in WSC mice, consumption remained high in some animals.

Conclusions

These data indicate that scheduling fluid intake produces high, stable EtOH consumption and BEC in male and female B6 and WSC mice.

Keywords

Ethanol consumption Genetically heterogeneous mice C57BL/6 Blood ethanol concentration Intoxication