Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research

Assessment of the Effects of 6 Standard Rodent Diets on Binge-Like and Voluntary Ethanol Consumption in Male C57BL/6J Mice.

PMID 26110576


In recent years, much attention has been given to the lack of reproducibility in biomedical research, particularly in preclinical animal studies. This is a problem that also plagues the alcohol research field, particularly in consistent consumption in animal models of alcohol use disorders. One often overlooked factor that could affect reproducibility is the maintenance diet used in preclinical studies. Herein, 2 well-established models of alcohol consumption, the "drinking in the dark" (DID) procedure and the continuous 2-bottle choice (C2BC) paradigm, were employed to determine the effects of diet on ethanol (EtOH) consumption. Male C57BL/6J mice were given 1 of 6 standard rodent chow diets obtained from Purina LabDiet(®) , Inc. (Prolab(®) RMH 3000) or Harlan(®) Laboratories, Inc. (Teklad Diets T.2916, T.2918, T.2920X, T.7912, or T.8940). A separate group of animals were used to test dietary effects on EtOH pharmacokinetics and behavioral measures following intraperitoneal (IP) injections of various doses of EtOH. Mice eating Harlan diets T.2916 (H2916) and T.2920X (H2920) consumed significantly less EtOH and exhibited lower blood EtOH concentrations (BECs) during DID; however, during C2BC, animals maintained on Harlan T.7912 (H7912) consumed more EtOH and had a higher EtOH preference than the other diet groups. EtOH consumption levels did not stem from changes in alcohol pharmacokinetics, as a separate group of animals administered EtOH IP showed no difference in BECs. However, animals on Harlan diet T.2920X (H2920) were more sensitive to alcohol-induced locomotor activity in an open-field task. No diet-dependent differences were seen in alcohol-induced sedation as measured with loss of righting reflex. Although these data do not identify a specific mechanism, together, they clearly show that the maintenance diet impacts EtOH consumption. It is incumbent upon the research community to consider the importance of describing nutritional information in methods, which may help decrease interlaboratory reproducibility issues.

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Saccharin, ≥99%
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