Abstract # 1061 Poster # 189:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation


AN ASSOCIATION BETWEEN PREADOLESCENT RHESUS MACAQUES (Macaca mulatta) RESPONSE TO AN ACUTE STRESSOR AND ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

J. G. Jensen1, K. L. Chisholm1, T. K. Newman1, M. L. Schwandt1, S. J. Suomi2 and J. D. Higley1
1NIAAA/NIH, Laboratory of Clinical Studies, Primate Unit, NIH Animal Center, P.O. Box 529, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA, 2NIH/NICHD, Laboratory of Comparative Ethology
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     Several lines of evidence suggest an association of increased alcohol consumption with stress in adult humans and nonhuman primates. Yet, few studies focus on the relationship between acute stressful experiences and alcohol consumption in preadolescent subjects. We conducted a two-stage pilot study in non-human primates to assess 1) interindividual differences in response to an acute stressor at one year of age, and 2) interindividual differences in voluntary alcohol consumption at two years of age. The study included 15 (7F/8M) rhesus macaques from a single birth cohort. Using the Intruder Challenge Test, we quantified the subject’s response to an acute stressor by measuring latency to approach an unfamiliar intruder. One year later, we administered an aspartame sweetened, 8.4% ethanol solution to measure voluntary alcohol consumption over a 6-week period. Compared to previous studies on adults, the preadolescents displayed a delayed response to the intruder (mean latency = 11min, range = 0-30min). Mean alcohol intake was 1.64mn g/kg and varied by as much as 240%. Increased latency to approach a stressor directly correlated with alcohol consumption (r = 0.63, P = 0.012). Our results showed that stress reactions correlate with alcohol consumption in preadolescent macaques, similarly to adults, demonstrating that this relationship develops early in life. With the factors largely unknown for increase use of alcohol by youth, our results suggest further research into the relationship between stress and alcohol consumption in formative years is warranted.