Abstract # 82:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation


FAST APPROACH TO NOVEL OBJECTS PREDICTS HEAVY ETHANOL CONSUMPTION IN ADULT MONKEYS (macaca fascicularis)

P. Pierre1, K. A. Grant1,2 and A. J. Bennett1
1Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Medical School Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA, 2Wake Forest University School of Medicine
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     Effective prevention strategies for alcoholism rest on successful identification of factors that increase the likelihood for developing heavy patterns of alcohol consumption. One aspect of temperament, response to novelty, is associated with sensation-seeking in humans. In this study we evaluated whether measures of response to novelty collected prior to any ethanol consumption would predict subsequent drinking phenotype in cynomolgus monkeys. To do this, we measured latency to contact an unfamiliar object as a measure of response to novelty in six ethanol-naïve young adult monkeys. The animals were subsequently trained to use an operant panel to self-administer ethanol and then were given 3 months of induction with increasing doses of ethanol (0.5, 1.0, 1.5 g/kg) followed by 10 months of free access to ethanol for 22hr 7/days/week. We found that monkeys’ response to novelty was significantly correlated with total consumption over an extended period of ethanol administration, Rho(6) = -0.94, P = 0.04. Monkeys with fast latencies to touch the novel object were heavier drinkers compared to their counterparts who were slow to touch novel objects, Z(6) = -1.96, P = 0.05. These data demonstrate that response to novelty may be a useful predictor of heavy drinking in monkeys and provides encouraging evidence that novelty response may serve as a prospective index of liability for excessive alcohol consumption in other populations.