The purpose of the present study was to determine the acute effects of the anticraving compound acamprosate (calcium acetylhomotaurinate) and the closely related compound homotaurine on ethanol intake and ethanol-stimulated dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. Male rats were treated with acamprosate (200 or 400 mg/kg intraperitoneally, i.p.) or homotaurine (10, 50, or 100 mg/kg i.p.) 15 min prior to access to 10% ethanol and water for 1 h in a two-bottle choice restricted access paradigm. A separate group of rats was implanted with microdialysis probes in the nucleus accumbens and given an acute injection of ethanol (1.5 g/kg i.p.) that was preceded by saline, acamprosate, or homotaurine. Acamprosate and homotaurine dose-dependently reduced ethanol intake and preference. These compounds also delayed or suppressed ethanol-stimulated increases in nucleus accumbens dopamine release, suggesting that acamprosate and homotaurine may reduce ethanol intake by interfering with the ability of ethanol to activate the mesolimbic dopamine reward system.
- Nucleus accumbens
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