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prenatal alcohol exposure; preweanling rats; acute tolerance; opioid system; responsiveness; fetal; experience; adult; drug; consumption


Background: Prenatal exposure to ethanol and later socially mediated exposure predicts ethanol intake in human adolescents. Animal rat models indicate that brief interactions with an ethanol-intoxicated peer result in heightened preference for ethanol odor and ethanol intake. Methods: This study assessed preference for ethanol odor in adolescent male rats (observers) following social interaction with an ethanol intoxicated peer (demonstrators) as a function of prenatal ethanol exposure (gestational days 17-20, 1.0 g/kg, intragastric). Social behavior and locomotion during social interaction was also measured. Results: Social investigation was greater in observers that interacted with an intoxicated demonstrator in comparison to those that interacted with a sober peer. Social contact increased when the demonstrator was under the effects of ethanol, but only if the observer had experienced ethanol prenatally. Ethanol inhibited locomotion in the demonstrators. Finally, social interaction with an intoxicated peer during adolescence as well as prenatal ethanol experience increased preference for ethanol odor. Conclusions: Fetal exposure to ethanol mediated by maternal intoxication at late gestation or by interaction with an intoxicated peer at adolescence heightens preference for the chemosensory cues of the drug.

Publisher Attribution

March, S. M., Pautassi, R. M., Nizhnikov, M., Fernández-Vidal, J., Spear, N. E., & Molina, J. C. (2013). Olfactory preference for ethanol following social interaction with an intoxicated peer in adolescent rats exposed to ethanol in-utero. Psicothema, 25(3), 355-362.

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Psychology Commons



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