Effects of ethanol consumption by adolescent alcohol-preferring P rats on subsequent behavioral performance in the cross-maze and slip funnel tests
Neonatal alcohol exposure during the first 1-2 weeks of age is known to produce subsequent behavioral hyperactivity in rats. However, little is known about the effects of alcohol exposure during adolescence on subsequent adult behavior. In the present study, male and female P rats had free access to 10% alcohol during adolescence (3-8 weeks of age). After 8 days of abstinence, their behavior was evaluated in the cross-maze and in the inescapable slip funnel tests during the 10th week of age. Two-way ANOVAs revealed significant effects of alcohol drinking on several variables. Compared to alcohol-naive rats, the alcohol-exposed group started exploration earlier (3.5 ± 0.3 vs. 5.4 ± 0.7 s, p = 0.03) and made fewer defecations. In the slip funnel test, the alcohol group spent more time immobile (130 ± 7 vs. 107 ± 5 s, p = 0.01) and less time attempting to escape out of the funnel (11 ± 2 vs. 28 ± 5 s, p = 0.002) than the control group. Overall, the results suggest that the effects of alcohol drinking by P rats during adolescence on subsequent behavior are to reduce novelty-induced anxiety (cross-maze test) and lower response to stress induced by an inescapable situation (slip-funnel test).
Salimov, RM; McBride, WJ; McKinzie, DL; Lumeng, L; Li, TK
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