Abstract # 57:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 8 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation


K. E. Iba1, M. L. Schwandt1, S. Tolbert1, S. J. Suomi2 and J. D. Higley1
1NIH/NIAAA, Laboratory of Comparative and Translational Studies, P.O. Box 529, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA, 2NIH/NICHD, Laboratory of Comparative Ethology
     Studies in humans suggest that individuals exposed to alcohol at a young age are more prone to excessive alcohol consumption and to develop alcohol-related problems later in life. This study looked at voluntary alcohol consumption in younger and older adolescent rhesus macaques to determine if there was an effect of age at first exposure to alcohol on initial alcohol consumption. Previous studies comparing alcohol consumption between adolescent and adult rats show evidence that younger rats consume more ethanol than adult rats. We predicted that younger adolescent monkeys (2 years of age) would drink more alcohol than older adolescent monkeys (4 years of age). Young adolescent (n = 24) and older adolescent (n = 12) monkeys were provided with an 8.4% aspartame-sweetened ethanol solution for six weeks. Compared to the older adolescent monkeys, the young adolescents showed a trend to drink more ethanol solution overall (ANOVA, p = 0.083). When looking at the pattern of consumption across the six weeks, there was a marginally significant interaction between age and week (ANOVA, p = 0.071). Tukey post-hoc tests revealed that young adolescents consumed more ethanol solution in weeks one and two only (both p < 0.05). Our results suggest that younger adolescents may be prone to drink more alcohol than older adolescents at the time of first exposure. However, this may not be an enduring effect.