Rats self-administer acetaldehyde(ACD), ethanol's first metabolite, directly into cerebral ventricles(1), and multiple ICV infusions of ACD produce conditioned place preference (2). ACD, such asalcohol and other substances of abuse, interacts with dopaminergic reward system (3) and itsreinforcing and addictive properties have been assessed through an operant-conflict conditioningprocedure (4). Since dopamine D2receptor over-expression in the Nacc attenuates alcohol intake(5), this study aims at exploring the effects of ropinirole administration during abstinence, on ACD relapse. The protocol has been scheduled into 3 different periods: training ( animals have beentrained to self-administer ACD solution 3,2%v/v in order to obtain the induction and maintenanceof an operant-drinking behavior), deprivation ( rats have undergone repeated 1-week ACDabstinence during and received ropinirole at 0,03 mg/kg/day i.p.); and relapse (rats increase theiroperant behavior following deprivation). Our results indicate that ropinirole is able to reducereinstatement of ACD operant-drinking behavior, confirming that hypo-dopaminergic activity isresponsible for drug seeking behavior and relapse following abstinence. Further investigationcould help considering ropinirole as a therapeutical tool for preventing alcohol drinking relapse.1.Brown et al.(1979) Psychopharmacology 64:271-276. 2. Smith et al. (1984) Alcohol 1:193-195. 3.Melis M et al (2007)Eur J Neurosci. 26:2824-2833. 4.Cacace S et al., AlcoholClinExpRes 2012;36(7):1278-87 5. Thanos et al. J Neurochem.2001;78:1094-1103.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages515
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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