Metabolic mapping of the effects of chronic voluntary ethanol consumption in rats

Lisa Williams-Hemby, Kathleen A. Grant, Gregory J. Gatto, Linda J. Porrino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The 2-[14C]deoxyglucose method was used to examine the effects of chronic, voluntary ethanol consumption on rates of local cerebral glucose utilization (LCGU). LCGU was measured in male Long-Evans rats immediately following the completion of a 60-min schedule-induced polydipsia drinking session. Three groups of animals were examined: animals with a history of ethanol consumption that received ethanol on the test day (ethanol-ethanol), animals with a similar ethanol history that were presented with water on the test day (ethanol-water), and a control group that received water throughout the experiment (water-water). Ethanol consumption on the test day resulted in a highly discrete pattern of metabolic changes, with significant decreases in glucose utilization in the hippocampal complex, habenula, anterior ventral thalamus, and mammillary bodies, whereas increases were observed in the nucleus accumbens and locus coeruleus. Rates of LCGU in the ethanol-water group were increased throughout all regions of the central nervous system examined, indicating that the long-term consumption of moderate ethanol doses that do not produce physical dependence can cause significant changes in functional brain activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-423
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral metabolism
  • Ethanol
  • Hippocampus
  • Rat
  • Voluntary consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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