Fischer rats consume 20% ethanol in a long-term intermittent-access two-bottle-choice paradigm

PLoS One. 2013 Nov 14;8(11):e79824. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079824. eCollection 2013.


The 20% ethanol intermittent-access (IAE) two-bottle-choice drinking procedure has been shown to produce high voluntary ethanol consumption in a number of rat strains. For this study, we applied this procedure to male Fischer (F344) rats, a strain previously reported to exhibit low levels of ethanol consumption. We also subjected these animals to a two-week ethanol-deprivation-period to see if they would exhibit an alcohol deprivation effect (ADE) signified by a transient increase in alcohol consumption following deprivation. Our data show a separation between high and low consuming animals within this strain, with high-consumers exhibiting an escalation in consumption. In contrast, Fischer rats did not show a significant separation between high and low consumers or any significant escalation in consumption, using the 20% ethanol continuous-access two-bottle-choice drinking protocol. Following the two-week deprivation period, animals in the high (but not the low) IAE group exhibited the transient increase in ethanol consumption and preference typically associated with an ADE. Together, the data suggest that the intermittent access protocol is a useful protocol for increasing ethanol consumption.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / physiopathology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / physiopathology
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Animals
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Species Specificity
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / physiopathology

Grants and funding

This work was supported by funding from the State of California for Medical Research through University of California San Francisco to SEB and Australian Research Council to SEB and the Department of Defense Grant W81XWH-10-1-0247 to SEB. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.