Proximal ethanol pretreatment interferes with acquisition of ethanol-induced conditioned place preference

Christopher L. Cunningham, Christina M. Gremel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Neurobiological mechanisms underlying rewarding and aversive effects of drugs are often studied by examining effects of various pretreatments on acquisition of conditioned place preference (CPP) or conditioned place aversion (CPA). However, few studies have looked at effects of pretreatment with the same drug used during conditioning. Such studies might offer insight into agonist actions on conditioning while also mimicking real world contingencies experienced by drug users. Previous work from our laboratory, which showed that same drug pre-exposure interfered with acquisition of ethanol CPA but not CPP, was limited by the use of only one pre-treatment time interval (65 min). Thus, the present studies were designed to study other intervals (- 5, - 15, - 30). Pretreatment of DBA/2J mice with ethanol (2 g/kg) reduced the activity response normally evoked by the conditioning dose (2 g/kg) at all pretreatment times, but acquisition of CPP was disrupted only by pretreatment at - 5 min. The overall pattern of findings suggests that ethanol's early pharmacological effects interfered with learning the association between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and ethanol 5 min later. Thus, one would expect ethanol agonists, when administered in close proximity to CS-ethanol pairings, to interfere with control of ethanol seeking by that CS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)612-619
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Conditioned place preference
  • DBA/2J mice
  • Ethanol
  • Ethanol agonist
  • Learning deficit
  • Locomotor activity
  • Reward

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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