Ethanol-lead in the Sprague Dawley rat

Author(s): Brivet I, Chomard PH, Dumas P, Lallemant AM, Theven M


Adolescent alcohol use can lead to numerous consequences, including altered stress reactivity and higher risk for later anxiety and alcohol use disorders. Many studies have examined the consequences of heavy ethanol exposure in adolescence, but far less is understood about lower levels of intoxication. The present study examined moderate adolescent ethanol exposure as a possible factor in increasing stress reactivity in adulthood, measured through general and social anxiety-like behaviors, as well voluntary ethanol intake. Male and female Sprague–Dawley rats underwent an adolescent chronic intermittent ethanol (aCIE) vapor exposure during early adolescence, reaching moderate blood ethanol concentrations. Animals then underwent two days of forced swim stress in adulthood. We found that ethanol-exposed males consumed more ethanol than their air counterparts and an interesting stress and ethanol exposure interaction in males. There were no significant effects on voluntary drinking in females. However, the social interaction test revealed increased play-fighting behavior in ethanol-exposed females and reduced social preference in females after two days of stress exposure. Overall, this work provides evidence for sex-specific, long-term effects of moderate aCIE and susceptibility to acute stress in adulthood.

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