Alcohol use is prevalent during adolescence, yet little is known about possible long-lasting consequences. Recent evidence suggests that adolescents are less sensitive than adults to ethanol's aversive effects, an insensitivity that may be retained into adulthood after repeated adolescent ethanol exposure. This study assessed whether intermittent ethanol exposure during early or late adolescence (early-AIE or late-AIE, respectively) would affect ethanol conditioned taste aversions 2 days (CTA1) and >3 weeks (CTA2) post-exposure using supersaccharin and saline as conditioning stimuli (CS), respectively. Pair-housed male Sprague-Dawley rats received 4 g/kg i.g. ethanol (25%) or water every 48 h from postnatal day (P) 25–45 (early AIE) or P45-65 (late AIE), or were left non-manipulated (NM). During conditioning, 30 min home cage access to the CS was followed by 0, 1, 1.5, 2 or 2.5 g/kg ethanol i.p., with testing 2 days later. Attenuated CTA relative to controls was seen among early and late AIE animals at both CTA1 and CTA2, an effect particularly pronounced at CTA1 after late AIE. Thus, adolescent exposure to ethanol was found to induce an insensitivity to ethanol CTA seen soon after exposure and lasting into adulthood, and evident with ethanol exposures not only early but also later in adolescence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cognitive Neuroscience