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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X

Abstract

DA SILVA, G.E.; RAMOS, A.  and  TAKAHASHI, R.N.. Comparison of voluntary ethanol intake by two pairs of rat lines used as genetic models of anxiety. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2004, vol.37, n.10, pp.1511-1517. ISSN 1414-431X.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2004001000010.

The relationship between anxiety-related behaviors and voluntary ethanol intake was examined in two pairs of rat lines by the oral ethanol self-administration procedure. Floripa high (H) and low (L) rats selectively bred for contrasting anxiety responses in the open-field test, and two inbred strains, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Lewis rats which are known to differ significantly when submitted to several behavioral tests of anxiety/emotionality, were used (9-10 animals/line/sex). No differences in the choice of ethanol solutions (2%, days 1-4, and 4%, days 5-8, respectively) in a 2-bottle paradigm were detected between Floripa H and L rats (1.94 ± 0.37 vs 1.61 ± 0.37 g/kg for ethanol intake on day 8 by the Floripa H and L rat lines, respectively). Contrary to expectations, the less anxious SHR rats consumed significantly more ethanol than Lewis rats (respective intake of 2.30 ± 0.45 and 0.72 ± 0.33 g/kg on day 8) which are known to be both addiction-prone and highly anxious. Regardless of strain, female rats consumed more ethanol than males (approximately 46%). The results showed no relationship between high anxiety and voluntary intake of ethanol for Floripa H and L rats. A negative association between these two variables, however, was found for SHR and Lewis rat strains. Data from the literature regarding the association between anxiety and alcohol intake in animal models are not conclusive, but the present results indicate that factors other than increased inborn anxiety probably lead to the individual differences in ethanol drinking behavior.

Keywords : Anxiety; Ethanol intake; Spontaneously hypertensive rats; Lewis; Selected lines; Inbred strains.

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