Suppression of voluntary ethanol consumption in rats by gamma-butyrolactone

Life Sci. 1983 Mar 28;32(13):1471-7. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(83)90913-x.


The effect of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) on voluntary ethanol intake was studied in a group of Wistar rats in which a stable preference had been induced by exposure to increasing ethanol concentrations. These rats drank 60% of their daily fluid intake as 15% ethanol solution, corresponding to about 6 g ethanol/kg/day. GBL, injected intraperitoneally at the dose of 200 mg/kg, twice daily for 3 consecutive days, decreased ethanol intake by about 80% on the days of treatment, but did not reduce total fluid intake. Ethanol intake remained significantly reduced up to the 5th day following cessation of GBL administration. GBL, up to a concentration of 10(-3) M, inhibited neither alcohol-dehydrogenase nor aldehyde-dehydrogenase in rat liver homogenates, nor dopamine-beta-hydroxylase in homogenates of adrenal medulla or hypothalamus of rats. It is suggested that inhibition of firing in dopaminergic neurons mediates the suppressant effect of GBL on ethanol preference.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 4-Butyrolactone / pharmacology*
  • Adrenal Glands / enzymology
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Alcohol Drinking / drug effects*
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase / metabolism
  • Furans / pharmacology*
  • Hypothalamus / enzymology
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Furans
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase
  • 4-Butyrolactone
  • Dopamine