Effects of adolescent alcohol exposure via oral gavage on adult alcohol drinking and co-use of alcohol and nicotine in Sprague Dawley rats

Cassie M. Chandler, Usman Hamid, Sarah E. Maggio, Hui Peng, James R. Pauly, Joshua Beckmann, Kimberly Nixon, Michael T. Bardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Preclinical models simulating adolescent substance use leading to increased vulnerability for substance use disorders in adulthood are needed. Here, we utilized a model of alcohol and nicotine co-use to assess adult addiction vulnerability following adolescent alcohol exposure. Methods: In Experiment 1, adolescent (PND30) male and female Sprague-Dawley rats received 25% ethanol (EtOH) or a control solution via oral gavage every 8 h, for 2 days. In young adulthood, animals were tested with a 2-bottle choice between H20% and 15% EtOH or 0.2% saccharin/15% EtOH, followed by co-use of oral Sacc/EtOH and operant-based i.v. nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/infusion) self-administration. In Experiment 2, adolescents received control gavage, EtOH gavage, or no-gavage, and were tested in young adulthood in a 2-bottle choice between H20% and 15% EtOH, Sacc/EtOH, or 0.2% saccharin. Results: In Experiment 1, the adolescent EtOH gavage reduced adult EtOH consumption in the 2-bottle choice, but not during the co-use phase. During co-use, Sacc/EtOH served as an economic substitute for nicotine. In Experiment 2, the control gavage increased adult EtOH drinking relative to the no-gavage control group, an effect that was mitigated in the EtOH gavage group. In both experiments, treatment group differences in EtOH consumption were largely driven by males. Conclusions: EtOH administration via oral gavage in adolescence decreased EtOH consumption in adulthood without affecting EtOH and nicotine co-use. Inclusion of a no-gavage control in Experiment 2 revealed that the gavage procedure increased adult EtOH intake and that including EtOH in the gavage buffered against the effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109298
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health , USA [grant numbers: T32 DA035200 , R01 AA025591 ]. This content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Adolescence
  • Co-use
  • Ethanol
  • Nicotine
  • Oral gavage
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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