Acetaldehyde contributes to alcohol’s neuroactive effects through its own motivational properties. This chapter gathers current evidence on acetaldehyde psychoactive action, focusing on behavioral investigations able to unveil acetaldehyde rewarding effects and their pharmacological modulation in vivo.Acetaldehyde induces conditioned place preference for paired environment and cues and is dose-dependently self-administered in a two-bottle choice drinking paradigm. Acetaldehyde’s motivational properties are further highlighted by operant paradigms tailored to model several addiction-like behaviors, such as induction and maintenance of operant responding, drug-seeking in extinction, relapse following deprivation, and resistance to punishment. Acetaldehyde-related behaviors are sensitive to pharmacological manipulations of dopamine and endocannabinoid signaling, two systems that functionally interplay in controlling motivation. This evidence holds promising potential for the development of novel pharmacological approaches aimed at reducing alcohol abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeuroscience of Alcohol
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


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