Behavioral and neurochemical measures of brain 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) function in the Fawn-Hooded rat are abnormal relative to outbred strains of rats. Fawn-Hooded rats freely drink large amounts of 10% ethanol in the presence of water and have been proposed to be an animal model for studies related to alcoholism. In this study, Fawn-Hooded rats were given solutions of ethanol increasing in concentration from 3% to 30% (w/v in tap water) over 10 days with tap water in a second drinking tube and a third tube left empty. The solutions of ethanol that produced maximal drinking with a preference (ml ethanol/ml total fluid) near 50% ranged from 5% to 13%, which became: the fixed individual concentrations for each rat. After a 5-day baseline period the rats were offered a solution in the third drinking tube of either 0.5% aspartame or chocolate Ultra SlimFast (diluted with water 2: 1). The chocolate drink, but not aspartame, significantly reduced the consumption of alcohol by 73%. For the drug experiments, the rats were given successive 4-day periods of: baseline drinking; drug or saline injections b.i.d.; and a posttreatment period. Neither ipsapirone, a 5-HT 1a partial agonist, nor naltrexone injected inhibited the intakes of ethanol solutions. Treatment with 2.5 mg/kg of amperozide, a 5-HT 2 antagonist, decreased the consumption of ethanol by 38%, but also caused a decrease in consumption of food. These results show a pattern of drinking of increasing concentrations of ethanol different than other strains of rats. Because ethanol intakes of the Fawn-Hooded rat decline precipitously when offered palatable chocolate drink and fail to respond to drugs known to decrease human ethanol intake, this strain may not be a valid model for testing the effects of centrally acting drugs on the consumption of ethanol.
Alcohol – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 1995
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