Self-Administration of both Ethanol and Nicotine in RatsMarshall C.E.a · Dadmarz M.a · Hofford J.M.b · Gottheil E.c · Vogel W.H.a
aDepartments of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Human Behavior, bDepartment of Medicine, and cDepartment of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa., USA
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Self-administration of either nicotine (NIC) or ethanol (ETH) has been extensively studied. This study addressed for the first time the self-administration of both substances when offered together. Male and female rats of different ages were offered NIC and ETH using the two- or three-bottle free-choice method. When NIC and ETH were offered together at different concentrations to young male rats (about 45 days old), intake of NIC increased with increasing NIC concentrations, and intake of ETH increased with decreasing ETH concentrations, but these effects were independent of the presence of the second drug. These rats also consumed the same amounts of NIC or ETH regardless of whether offered individually or together. A prior choice of only NIC or ETH did not affect a subsequent intake of both drugs offered together. A choice of both drugs for 24 h for several days followed by a choice for only 2 h for several days showed the same intake of NIC but a decreased intake of ETH for the shorter period. Young female rats (about 45 days old) and older male rats (about 75 days old) consumed the same amounts of NIC but less ETH than did the young male rats. These results show that young male rats voluntarily consume NIC and ETH independently of each other and that preexposure to one drug does not affect the subsequent intake of both drugs in combination. The data also suggest that these drugs act on different reward centers which have to be ‘satisfied’ independently of each other.
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