Many people begin to experiment with alcohol during adolescence, an important developmental period during which sex differences in the effects of ethanol appear. In the present study we evaluated the effect of ethanol (0, 0.625, 1.25 or 2.5 g/kg) on the acquisition of a conditioned place preference (CPP) in early and late adolescent male and female mice. In addition, we assessed the capacity of ethanol to induce reinstatement of the CPP after its extinction. CPP was induced in early and late adolescent females with 2.5 g/kg, and in early adolescent males with 1.25 or 2.5 g/kg of ethanol. No CPP was observed in late adolescent males. Priming with ethanol reinstated the CPP induced by the highest dose in early adolescent male and early and late adolescent female mice. Our data suggest that early adolescents of both sex and late adolescent females are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ethanol.
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