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Age-related effects of chronic restraint stress on ethanol drinking, ethanol-induced sedation, and on basal and stress-induced anxiety response



Age-related effects of chronic restraint stress on ethanol drinking, ethanol-induced sedation, and on basal and stress-induced anxiety response



Alcohol 51: 89-100



Adolescents are sensitive to the anxiolytic effect of ethanol, and evidence suggests that they may be more sensitive to stress than adults. Relatively little is known, however, about age-related differences in stress modulation of ethanol drinking or stress modulation of ethanol-induced sedation and hypnosis. We observed that chronic restraint stress transiently exacerbated free-choice ethanol drinking in adolescent, but not in adult, rats. Restraint stress altered exploration patterns of a light-dark box apparatus in adolescents and adults. Stressed animals spent significantly more time in the white area of the maze and made significantly more transfers between compartments than their non-stressed peers. Behavioral response to acute stress, on the other hand, was modulated by prior restraint stress only in adults. Adolescents, unlike adults, exhibited ethanol-induced motor stimulation in an open field. Stress increased the duration of loss of the righting reflex after a high ethanol dose, yet this effect was similar at both ages. Ethanol-induced sleep time was much higher in adult than in adolescent rats, yet stress diminished ethanol-induced sleep time only in adults. The study indicates age-related differences that may increase the risk for initiation and escalation in alcohol drinking.

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Accession: 057153130

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PMID: 26830848

DOI: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2015.11.009



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