The effects of restraint stress on voluntary ethanol consumption in rats

Wendy J. Lynch, Matt G Kushner, Joyce M. Rawleigh, Joanna Fiszdon, Marilyn E Carroll

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70 Scopus citations


Sixty Wistar rats (Rattus norvegicus) were assigned to 4 groups of 15 rats each: ethanol stress (ES), ethanol no-stress (EN), isocaloric stress (IS) and isocaloric no-stress (IN). The effect of restraint stress on daily intake of ethanol and a 0.72% solution of glucose was examined in an ABA design (stress-no stress-stress). During the stress phases, 2 groups were subjected to daily 15-min restraint stress, whereas 2 groups were placed in different cages for 15 min as a control. All 4 groups were then given 6-hr access to their assigned liquid alone for 4 days followed by a choice between their assigned liquid and water on the 5th day. The ES group significantly increased their ethanol intake (g/kg) compared to the EN group on choice days but not on forced days. Percentage preference for ethanol was significantly greater and increased at a faster rate over the 75-day testing period compared with the EN group. However, total ethanol consumption (g/kg) and percentage preference did not vary as a function of phase. It is notable that the effects of restraint stress on ethanol self-administration persisted even after the stress schedule was removed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1999


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