Suppression of alcohol intake after administration of the Chinese herbal medicine, NPI-028, and its derivatives.
The Chinese herbal medicine, NPI-028, has been used for centuries in China to counteract alcohol intoxication. The present study used a number of different experimental conditions to determine whether NPI-028 and its derivatives might selectively influence alcohol intake in rodents that naturally exhibit high alcohol intakes. It was determined that intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections of NPI-028 (0.5, 0.75, and 1.0 g/kg) suppressed alcohol intake by up to 30% in both alcohol-preferring P and Fawn-Hooded (FH) rats during a continuous access schedule. These injections did not significantly affect food or water intakes, nor did the highest dose of NPI-028 (1 g/kg) alter blood ethanol levels after an i.p. injection of 2.5 g/kg of ethanol. In P rats, it was found that NPI-028 was orally active with the dose of 1.5 g/kg having a greater effect on ethanol intake than the 1.0 g/kg dose; once again, food and water intakes were not significantly altered. In FH rats maintained on a limited access schedule (1 hr/day), alcohol intake was completely abolished by 1.5 g/kg of NPI-028. Chronic i.p. administration of NPI-028 (0.75 g/kg) for four consecutive days in FH rats maintained on a continuous access schedule did not lead to any diminution of its alcohol-suppressant effects. Thus, NPI-028 has significant effects on alcohol intake without much effect on water and food intake, and tolerance does not readily develop to these effects. The i.p. administration of a partially purified extract (NPI-031) of NPI-028, obtained by countercurrent chromatography, also dose-dependently suppressed ethanol intake in FH rats, but the highest dose 200 mg/kg) also significantly decreased food intake. Finally, the i.p. administration of puerarin (NPI-31G), an isoflavone isolated from NPI-031 by countercurrent chromatography, significantly reduced ethanol intake in FH rats without affecting food or water intake. Therefore, NPI-028 and one of its pure components, NPI-031G, selectively reduced ethanol intake in alcohol-preferring rats.
Overstreet, DH; Lee, YW; Rezvani, AH; Pei, YH; Criswell, HE; Janowsky, DS
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