University of Kentucky

Poster Title

Three Studies Examining the Effects of Prenatal or Adolescent Exposure to Alcohol and/or Nicotine in Rats: A Rodent Model to Study Adolescent Alcohol Abuse

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

Adolescents are at high risk for alcohol use and abuse, and the health and economic costs associated with adolescent alcohol abuse is high. Clearly, we need a better understanding of the factors that can influence adolescent drinking. We have recently developed a rat model in which rats will voluntarily drink alcohol and after being deprived of alcohol for a period of time, will show an increase in alcohol consumption when provided alcohol again. This “relapse” model has been demonstrated in adult rats but very little is known about whether rodent models would be useful to study adolescent drinking. In this study, juvenile rats showed a similar response to ethanol as adults, but adolescent rats showed a significantly higher level of alcohol consumption than either juvenile or adults and higher than would have been predicted thus suggesting differences in adolescence that may put them at increased risk for adolescent alcohol abuse.

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Three Studies Examining the Effects of Prenatal or Adolescent Exposure to Alcohol and/or Nicotine in Rats: A Rodent Model to Study Adolescent Alcohol Abuse

Adolescents are at high risk for alcohol use and abuse, and the health and economic costs associated with adolescent alcohol abuse is high. Clearly, we need a better understanding of the factors that can influence adolescent drinking. We have recently developed a rat model in which rats will voluntarily drink alcohol and after being deprived of alcohol for a period of time, will show an increase in alcohol consumption when provided alcohol again. This “relapse” model has been demonstrated in adult rats but very little is known about whether rodent models would be useful to study adolescent drinking. In this study, juvenile rats showed a similar response to ethanol as adults, but adolescent rats showed a significantly higher level of alcohol consumption than either juvenile or adults and higher than would have been predicted thus suggesting differences in adolescence that may put them at increased risk for adolescent alcohol abuse.