Abstract # 46:

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

Voluntary Alcohol Consumption in Adult Macaca radiata: A Pilot Study

S. Tiefenbacher1, M. A. Goldstein1, J. D. Higley2, S. J. Suomi3 and M. L. Laudenslager1
1University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Department of Psychiatry, University North Pavilion, 4455 E 12th Ave, A011-09, Denver, CO 80220, USA, 2Section of Primate Models of Psychopathology, LCTS, NIAAA, 3National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Laboratory for Comparative Ethology, NIH
     This study tested whether bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) would voluntarily consume alcohol when provided with a sweetened solution containing increasing concentrations of alcohol. Four adult bonnet monkeys (2 males and 2 females) were removed from social groups and individually tested for 60 minutes, four days a week. During the first two weeks an aspartame solution containing no alcohol (0%) was made available, and the volume of solution consumed recorded. Beginning on week 3, alcohol was added to the solution in increasing concentrations beginning at either 2 or 4% (v/v), to increase the concentration to 6%. Blood samples were occasionally collected to determine resulting blood alcohol levels. A jump in concentration from 0 to 4% resulted in a suppression of voluntary alcohol consumption. After a reduction to 2%, intake was maintained. By increasing the concentration from 0-6% in 2% steps, intake was not suppressed. Substantial inter-individual variability in mean alcohol intake at 6 % was observed, ranging from 65 to 118ml, resulting in alcohol levels between 0.53 and 0.92g of ethanol/kg body weight. Amount of alcohol consumed was significantly correlated with blood alcohol levels observed (r = 0.97, P < 0.05). These data indicate bonnet macaques voluntarily consume alcohol. Bonnet monkeys may provide an additional resource for the study of social, genetic and neurobiological mechanisms of alcohol abuse in humans. Supported by NIAAA grant AA013973 and the Division of Intramural Research, NICH&HD.