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Alcohol familiarity facilitates the effectiveness of naltrexone in outbred rats


, : Alcohol familiarity facilitates the effectiveness of naltrexone in outbred rats. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 27(2): 2553

The familiarity of a taste solution has been shown to be an important factor for influencing rats' subsequent behavioral responses to that taste. In the present report, we examined the effects of alcohol familiarity on the ability of naltrexone to alter alcohol palatability and consumption. One group of rats was allowed continuous access to 10% alcohol and water for three weeks. A second group received only water. At the end of this time, groups were further subdivided and, 30 min prior to daily taste reactivity tests with 10% alcohol, injected with either 3 mg/kg naltrexone or saline (making a total of 4 groups; n=11 to 13 each). After reactivity testing, rats were placed on a schedule of restricted fluid access. After habituation to the schedule, rats were treated with either naltrexone or saline 10 min before a 20 min access period to 10% alcohol. Results showed that naltrexone effectively decreased ingestive responding and increased aversive responding, but only in the rats that had been familiarized with alcohol. In contrast, naltrexone effectively reduced alcohol consumption, regardless of whether 10% alcohol was familiar or "novel" (in the novel condition, rats had tasted 10% during the reactivity tests).

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