The long-range goals of this proposal are to better understand brain mechanisms underlying high alcohol- seeking behavior. The overall hypothesis to be tested is that the ventral tegmental area (VTA), nucleus accumbens (ACB), medial prefrontal cortex (MPF), basolateral amygdala (BLA) and ventral subiculum (vSUB) are involved in mediating alcohol-seeking behavior. Alcohol-seeking behavior is a result of chronic ethanol self-administration, which is expressed in the absence of alcohol, in response to cues, priming or stress. Different brain mechanisms may underlie drug-self-administration and drug-seeking behavior (reviewed in Kalivas and McFarland, 2003), although little has been done to address this difference with regard to ethanol (EtOH). Recent data from our laboratory and from other studies (Samson and Chappell 2004;Liu and Weiss 2004) support the idea that different CNS mechanisms may be regulating EtOH self- administration and EtOH-seeking behavior. The overall hypothesis will be tested using mainly the alcohol- preferring (P) line of rats;however, comparative studies will be conducted with high-alcohol-drinking (HAD) and Wistar rats. The P rat meets the criteria proposed by Cicero (1979) as a suitable animal model of alcoholism, and these rats express robust contextual cue-induced EtOH-seeking behavior (Rodd-Henricks et al, 2002a,b). Operant techniques will be used to measure EtOH self-administration and EtOH-seeking behavior.
In AIM 1, c-fos and fos-B immunocytochemistry will be used to identify CNS sites and neuronal populations involved in EtOH-seeking behavior.
In AIM 2, microinjection techniques in combination with operant measures of cue-induced EtOH-seeking behavior will be used to identify discrete CNS sub-regions and receptors (primarily dopamine and glutamate) involved in the expression of EtOH-seeking behavior.
In AIM 3, no-net-flux and conventional microdialysis techniques will be used to assess long-term effects of chronic EtOH self-administration on dopamine (DA) neurotransmission in different VTA pathways, and the relationship between the activity of these DA systems and expression of EtOH-seeking behavior. The results of this project will provide important and novel information on CNS sub-regions, neuronal pathways, and receptors involved in EtOH-seeking behavior, which could provide new avenues for developing unique pharmacotherapeutic treatments for reducing craving and preventing alcohol relapse.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Neurotoxicology and Alcohol Study Section (NAL)
Program Officer
Grakalic, Ivana
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
McBride, William J; Rodd, Zachary A; Bell, Richard L et al. (2014) The alcohol-preferring (P) and high-alcohol-drinking (HAD) rats--animal models of alcoholism. Alcohol 48:209-15
Ding, Zheng-Ming; Rodd, Zachary A; Engleman, Eric A et al. (2013) Alcohol drinking and deprivation alter basal extracellular glutamate concentrations and clearance in the mesolimbic system of alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Addict Biol 18:297-306
Jung, Young-Chul; Chanraud, Sandra; Sullivan, Edith V (2012) Neuroimaging of Wernicke's encephalopathy and Korsakoff's syndrome. Neuropsychol Rev 22:170-80
Hauser, Sheketha R; Getachew, Bruk; Oster, Scott M et al. (2012) Nicotine modulates alcohol-seeking and relapse by alcohol-preferring (P) rats in a time-dependent manner. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 36:43-54
Ding, Zheng-Ming; Oster, Scott M; Hauser, Sheketha R et al. (2012) Synergistic self-administration of ethanol and cocaine directly into the posterior ventral tegmental area: involvement of serotonin-3 receptors. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 340:202-9
Ding, Zheng-Ming; Engleman, Eric A; Rodd, Zachary A et al. (2012) Ethanol increases glutamate neurotransmission in the posterior ventral tegmental area of female wistar rats. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 36:633-40
Deehan Jr, Gerald A; McKinzie, David L; Carroll, F Ivy et al. (2012) The long-lasting effects of JDTic, a kappa opioid receptor antagonist, on the expression of ethanol-seeking behavior and the relapse drinking of female alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 101:581-7
Dhaher, Ronnie; Toalston, Jamie E; Hauser, Sheketha R et al. (2012) Effects of naltrexone and LY255582 on ethanol maintenance, seeking, and relapse responding by alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Alcohol 46:17-27
Getachew, Bruk; Hauser, Sheketha R; Dhaher, Ronnie et al. (2011) CB1 receptors regulate alcohol-seeking behavior and alcohol self-administration of alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 97:669-75
Hauser, Sheketha R; Ding, Zheng-Ming; Getachew, Bruk et al. (2011) The posterior ventral tegmental area mediates alcohol-seeking behavior in alcohol-preferring rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 336:857-65

Showing the most recent 10 out of 65 publications