Three groups of male Long-Evans hooded rats were assessed for effects of social opportunity on drinking of ethanol or water. The ethanol/female group received intermittent presentations of a sipper containing ethanol that was followed by 15 s of social interaction opportunity with a female rat. The ethanol/male group received similar training except the social interaction opportunity was with a male rat. The water/female group received training similar to the ethanol/female group except that the sipper contained water. For the ethanol groups, the concentration of ethanol [3%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% (vol/vol)] in the sipper was increased across sessions. With 10% ethanol in the sipper, social opportunity with females induced more drinking and ethanol intake than did social opportunity with males. Social opportunity with females induced more intake of ethanol than water. Post-session plasma samples revealed social opportunity with females induced higher corticosterone and testosterone levels than did social opportunity with males, irrespective of the sipper fluid. This study documents, for the first time, an inter-gender effect on ethanol drinking in rats.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biological Psychiatry
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Social Opportunity