Effects of bromocriptine on self-administration of sweetened ethanol solutions in rats

R. Nadal, G. Prat, M. Pallarés, M. Hernández-Torres, N. Ferré

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of bromocriptine (BRO), a D2 receptor agonist, on chronic oral ethanol (ETOH) self-administration was tested in a home-cage environment. Male Wistar rats (n = 77) were food deprived for 24 h. Then, a period of 15 days of limited-access (1 h/day) to food and to a sweetened ETOH solution was started [3% w/v of glucose and several concentrations of ETOH depending upon the group: 0% (control group), 1.5%, 5% or 10% v/v]. Later, another period started in which rats were maintained in a free-choice, two-bottle situation with food, tap-water and the sweetened solution available for 24 h/day, for 14 days. Following this period, BRO (5 mg/kg, SC) was administered, once daily, for 5 days, in the same continuous free-access conditions. ETOH consumption was also studied for 4 days after the last BRO injection. BRO increased ETOH self-administration throughout the 5-day period, regardless of the ETOH concentration available, in the rats with previous higher ETOH intake, without effect in the control animals. In the control rats, water intake was increased, whereas in the group that had access to the lowest ETOH concentration a decrease in water consumption was found. The enhanced ETOH drinking was maintained after BRO treatment for the animals with previous higher ETOH intake. BRO effects on water consumption were also maintained. These data suggest that BRO can potentiate ETOH intake and provide further support for the role of dopamine (DA) systems in mediating volitional oral intake of ETCH.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 1996


  • Bromocriptine
  • Dopamine agonist
  • Ethanol self-administration
  • Palatability
  • Two-bottle choice


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