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Effect of N-acetylcysteine on motivation, seeking and relapse to ethanol self-administration

Abstract : Alcohol use disorder is a chronic and highly relapsing disorder, characterized by a loss of control over alcohol consumption and craving. Several studies suggest a key role of glutamate in this disorder. In recent years, the modulation of cystine/glutamate exchange via the x(c)(-) system has emerged as a new therapeutic alternative for reducing the excitatory glutamatergic transmission observed after ethanol self-administration in both rats and humans. The objective of this study was to determine whether a treatment with N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a cystine prodrug, could reduce ethanol self-administration, ethanol-seeking behavior and reacquisition of ethanol self-administration. Male Long Evans rats were trained to self-administer 20 percent ethanol in operant cages for several weeks. Once the consumption surpassed 1 g of ethanol/kg body weight/15 minutes, the effect of an acute intraperitoneal injection of NAC (0, 25, 50 or 100 mg/kg) 1 hour before the beginning of each test was evaluated on different aspects of the operant self-administration behavior. We demonstrated antimotivational properties of NAC (100 mg/kg), as ethanol-reinforced responding was reduced in a fixed ratio (-35 percent) and in a progressive ratio schedule (-81 percent). NAC also reduced ethanol-seeking behavior (-77 percent) evaluated as extinction responding in a single extinction session. NAC was able to reduce reacquisition in rats that were abstinent for 17 days, while NAC had no effect on ethanol relapse in rats previously exposed to six extinction sessions. Overall, our results demonstrate that NAC limits motivation, seeking behavior and reacquisition in rats, making it a potential new treatment for the maintenance of abstinence.
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Soumis le : vendredi 25 février 2022 - 17:10:52
Dernière modification le : vendredi 2 septembre 2022 - 14:30:23




Sophie Lebourgeois, Maria Carmen Gonzalez-Marin, Jerome Jeanblanc, Mickaël Naassïla, Catherine Vilpoux. Effect of N-acetylcysteine on motivation, seeking and relapse to ethanol self-administration. Addiction Biology, Wiley, 2018, 23 (2), pp.643-652. ⟨10.1111/adb.12521⟩. ⟨hal-03589632⟩



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