Kainic acid lesioning of alkaloid-sensitive brain sites and ethanol ingestion in the rat.
A control alcohol (ethanol) preference test was first given to adult male Sprague-Dawley rats which were provided water together with alcohol increased in concentrations from 3 to 30% over 8 days. Then each rat was anesthetized and a two-stage, bilateral lesion was made stereotaxically by microinjection of kainic acid in a dose of 0.5 micrograms into the hippocampus, cingulate gyrus or periaqueductal gray. Specifically selected sites were based on earlier experiments in which the application of a tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloid was found to induce an increase in alcohol drinking. Two weeks later, the 8-day test of self-selection for alcohol was repeated. Although neurological signs of kainic acid lesions were apparent, no significant differences in alcohol drinking in terms of proportion or g/kg intake occurred after either the first or second stage of the lesion. These results show that local destruction of an alkaloid-sensitive site does not appear to be responsible for induction of aberrant drinking of alcohol.
Swartzwelder, HS; Myers, RD
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