SP 5

Animal models of alcoholism

The aim of the SP is to provide addicted and non-addicted rats and their categorized drinking pattern to the consortium. Animals will be deliverd to SP7 for assesing neuronal input/output and synaptic transfer functions, and to SP11 for functional validation. Drinking behavior of animals is assessed using an automated drinkometer system providing high time-resolution data on animal drinking. The data is analyzed using a model-based statistical approach that yields a clustering of animals into distinct behavioral types, as well as a detailed characterization of these drinking patterns. In combination with tests for relapse behavior this categorization is used to identify alcohol deprivation effect and signs of addiction in animals. In further experiments new putative anti-relapse drugs will be tested in the animals classified as showing signs of addiction. Drinking behavior following drug treatment will be analysed and parametrized using the mathematical model.

Drinking patterns in the experiment (blue) and the fitted mathematical model (red). The figure shows the dynamics of the consumption of water (left) and three different alcoholic solutions of increasing concentration during one day. These dynamics provide the basis of the classification into distinct drinking types.  Picture adapted from L. Villarín Pildaín.