The long-range goals of the Rat Animal Models Core (RAMC) are to better understand the molecular neurobiological events underlying the development and maintenance of excessive ethanol (EtOH) drinking, and how these neurobiological events contribute to the long-range consequences of excessive EtOH drinking. The overall hypotheses to be tested are that (a) a number of neurobiological events, associated with excessive EtOH drinking, occur within the extended amygdala (E-AMYG);(b) the use of excessive drinking procedures, outlined below, in alcohol-preferring, P, and high alcohol-drinking, HAD-1 and HAD-2 rats enables the detection of these events;(c) site-specific lesioning of structures [accumbens-shell (ACBsh), central amygdala (Ce-AMYG), and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST)], within the E-AMYG, alter the development and/or maintenance of excessive drinking;and (d) experience with these excessive drinking procedures, by P and HAD rats, results in behavioral and/or physiological alterations associated with criteria for a valid animal model of alcoholism (i.e., expression of intoxication, tolerance, and withdrawal signs, and changes in the amount of ethanol consumed and/or pattern of ethanol consumption). Excessive drinking is defined as repeatable and sustainable blood EtOH concentrations (BECs) in the range of 100 to 150 mg% or higher over a chronic period. Three protocols of excessive drinking induction will be used to reflect (a) binge-like drinking during the dark cycle [drinking-in-the-dark-multiple scheduled access (DIDMSA)], with rats receiving three 1-hr access periods spaced 2 hrs apart across the dark cycle;(b) dependence-induced excessive drinking using a prolonged repeated alcohol deprivation (PRAD) procedure, with rats receiving 6 weeks of initial EtOH access followed by multiple cycles of 2 weeks of deprivation from and 2 weeks of re-exposure to EtOH access;and (c) withdrawal-induced, via EtOH vapor inhalation, (excessive) drinking, with a 3 bottle-choice test procedure (WID-3BC) used to measure intake after each cycle of exposure to and withdrawal from EtOH vapor inhalation. Overall, the results of this project will provide valuable information on the complex molecular neurobiological changes that contribute to the development and consequences of excessive alcohol drinking, and aid in the development of interventions for the prevention, and/or treatment of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-DD (70))
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Egli, Mark
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Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
Schools of Medicine
United States
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