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Acute tolerance to ethanol using drug discrimination and open-field procedures in rats

Abstract

This study examined the phenomenon of acute tolerance to ethanol (ETOH) using drug discrimination learning (DDL), and open-field (OF) procedures. In DDL, rats were trained to discriminate between ETOH (1.2 g/kg) and saline. Doses of ETOH lower (0.6 and 0.9 g/kg), or higher (1.8 and 2.4 g/kg) than the training dose were tested to examine possible influence of ETOH pretreatment doses on the expression of acute tolerance. To assess concentrations of ETOH in the organism, a rebreathed air procedure was used. Equal concentrations after different ETOH doses were achieved by postponing the tests until sufficient time had elapsed. Only doses of ETOH higher than the training dose produced acute tolerance in the DDL procedure. For the response-time data no acute tolerance was observed. In the OF experiment, the occurrence of acute tolerance was examined for different spontaneous behaviours in drug-naive animals. At equal ETOH concentrations, the group examined during the descending phase of intoxication (1.8 g/kg, 60 min post-injection), reared significantly more than the group tested during the ascending phase (1.5 g/kg, 10 min post-injection). Other OF behaviours did not differ significantly between the two time intervals. Thus, it is suggested that acute tolerance is seen both in ETOH naive and in ETOH pre-exposed rats. However, in DDL acute tolerance was observed only when doses higher than the training dose of ETOH were evaluated.

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Correspondence to Arto J. Hiltunen.

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Hiltunen, A.J., Järbe, T.U.C. Acute tolerance to ethanol using drug discrimination and open-field procedures in rats. Psychopharmacology 102, 207–212 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02245923

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Key words

  • Acute tolerance
  • ETOH
  • Drug discrimination
  • Open-field
  • Rats