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Increased anxiety, voluntary alcohol consumption and ethanol-induced place preference in mice following chronic psychosocial stress
Published in
PMID: 23194312
Volume: 16
Issue: 4
Pages: 441 - 451
Stress exposure is known to be a risk factor for alcohol use and anxiety disorders. Comorbid chronic stress and alcohol dependence may lead to a complicated and potentially severe treatment profile. To gain an understanding of the interaction between chronic psychosocial stress and drug exposure, we studied the effects of concomitant chronic stress exposure on alcohol reward using two-bottle choice and ethanol-conditioned place preference (CPP). The study consisted of exposure of the chronic subordinate colony (CSC) mice "intruders" to an aggressive "resident" mouse for 19 consecutive days. Control mice were single housed (SHC). Ethanol consumption using two-bottle choice paradigm and ethanol CPP acquisition was assessed at the end of this time period. As expected, CSC exposure increased anxiety-like behavior and reduced weight gain as compared to SHC controls. Importantly, in the two-bottle choice procedure, CSC mice showed higher alcohol intake than SHC. When testing their response to ethanol-induced CPP, CSC mice achieved higher preference for the ethanol-paired chamber. In fact, CSC exposure increased ethanol-CPP acquisition. Taken together, these data demonstrate the long-term consequences of chronic psychosocial stress on alcohol intake in male mice, suggesting chronic stress as a risk factor for developing alcohol consumption and/or anxiety disorders. \textcopyright 2013 Informa UK Ltd.
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