Lorcaserin, a selective 5-HT(2C) receptor agonist, decreases alcohol intake in female alcohol preferring rats.
Serotonergic systems in the brain have been found to be important in the addiction to alcohol. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a novel 5-HT2c receptor agonist, lorcaserin for reducing alcohol consumption in alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Adult female rats were allowed to drink water or alcohol (12%, v/v) using a standard two-bottle choice procedure. Once stable baselines were established, the acute (0, 0.3125, 0.625 and 1.25 mg/kg, s.c.), and chronic (0, 0.625 mg/kg, sc for 10 days) effects of lorcaserin on alcohol intake and preference were assessed at different time points. In a separate experiment, the effects of lorcaserin on locomotor activity were determined. Our results show that both 0.625 and 1.25 mg/kg lorcaserin significantly reduced alcohol intake at 2, 4 and 6 h. after the drug administration. The chronic administration of 0.625 mg/kg lorcaserin significantly reduced alcohol intake up to 6h every day after the injection and there was no sign of diminished efficacy of the drug during 10-day treatment. To determine the effects of lorcaserin on sucrose intake, rats were put on a two-bottle choice of water vs a solution of 7% sucrose. The high dose of lorcaserin (1.25 mg/kg, s.c.) reduced sucrose intake only for up to 2 h. When tested for locomotor activity, lorcaserin injected 20 min before testing significantly reduced locomotor activity at all doses. However, when it was injected 5.5h before the start of the 1-h session, neither dose had a significant effect on locomotor activity. These results show the efficacy of lorcaserin in reducing alcohol intake without a significant effect on water intake and locomotion suggesting the involvement of 5-HT2c receptors in alcohol seeking behavior. Further research is warranted to determine the possible efficacy of lorcaserin or similar drugs as treatments for the treatment of alcoholism.
Rezvani, AH; Cauley, MC; Levin, ED
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