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0 Q&A 255 Views Aug 5, 2023

The development of excessive alcohol (ethanol) and/or highly palatable food self-administration is an essential task to elucidate the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie these behaviors. Previous work has highlighted that ethanol self-administration is modulated by both the induction of aversive states (i.e., stress or frustration) and by the concurrent availability of appetitive stimuli (e.g., food). In our protocol, rats are food deprived for three days until they reach 82%–85% of their ad libitum weight. After that, rats are exposed daily for 10 days to a brief binge or control eating experience with highly sugary and palatable food (i.e., the ingestion of 11.66 and 0.97 kcal/3 min, respectively), which is followed by a two-bottle-choice test (ethanol vs. water) in their home cages for 90 min. This model induces robust binge eating, which is followed by a selective increase in ethanol self-administration. Therefore, this protocol allows to study: a) behavioral and neurobiological factors related to binge eating, b) different stages of alcohol use, and c) interactions between the latter and other addictive-like behaviors, like binge eating.

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