Naltrexone and amperozide modify chocolate and saccharin drinking in high alcohol-preferring P rats.
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1998 Jun ;60(2):407-13. PMID: 9632223
Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.
Previous studies showed that the 5-HT2 receptor antagonist, amperozide, is somewhat more potent than the opiate antagonist, naltrexone, in reducing alcohol drinking in high alcohol-preferring (P) rats. The purpose of this study was to determine in the P rat whether the effect of either drug could be due, in part, to an alteration in gustatory function. In an unlimited, 24-h free choice paradigm, P rats were offered water simultaneously with either a highly palatable 0.1% saccharin solution or a 1:4 dilution of Nestlé Sweet Success chocolate drink. Throughout all phases of the study, the P rats always consumed significantly greater volumes of the chocolate drink than of the saccharin solution, i.e., 526 ml/kg vs. 181 ml/kg, respectively. Successive 12-day experimental periods consisted of three phases: a 4-daypredrug control interval; 4 days of administration of saline control vehicle or either drug; and a final 4 day postdrug interval. In a counterbalance design, saline, amperozide (1.0 or 5.0 mg/kg) or naltrexone (2.5 or 5.0 mg/kg) was administered subcutaneously twice daily at 1600 and 2200 h for 4 days. Amperozide and naltrexone significantly reduced the drinking of chocolate in a dose-dependent manner. Conversely, only the two higher doses of amperozide and naltrexone decreased the intake of saccharin significantly. Thus, these findings suggest that different populations of central serotoninand opioid receptors concurrently underpin, in part, the preferences for both palatable and/or nutrient fluids. Finally, because both the opiate and 5-HT2A antagonists reduce the ingestion of saccharin and chocolate solutions differentially, it is apparent that preferences for alternative palatablefluids should be examined when candidate drugs are screened for suppressing alcohol drinking and ultimately the treatment of alcohol abuse.