Varenicline and cytisine: two nicotinic acetylcholine receptor ligands reduce ethanol intake in University of Chile bibulous rats
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Rationale Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are pharmacological targets that have recently been implicated in the reinforcing effects ofmany drugs of abuse, including ethanol. Varenicline and cytisine are nAChR partial agonists in clinical use as smoking cessation aids. However, their efficacies to reduce alcohol consumption have not been fully studied. Objectives This study aims to compare the effects of varenicline and cytisine on ethanol consumption by rats bred for many generations as high ethanol drinkers (UChB). Results Repeated dosing (0.5 or 1.0 mg/kg/dayi.p.) of varenicline or cytisine, for three consecutive days, to male UChB rats pre-exposed to 10 % (v/v) ethanol and water 24 h/day for 4 weeks, significantly reduced alcohol intake and preference of ethanol over water during 1- and 24-h ethanol access periods. This effect was specific for ethanol intake and was not observed for 0.2 % saccharin or water consumption. Varenicline appears to be more effective than cytisine, probably due to its more favorable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. Long-termuse of both nAChRs ligands formore than 8–10 days induced tolerance to their effects on ethanol consumption. Conclusions This preclinical study in UChB rats demonstrated that both varenicline and cytisine reduce alcohol intake, with varenicline producing a greater and longerlasting reduction than cytisine. However, dose adjustment will have to be considered as a possible way to counter tolerance arising after continued use.
Artículo de publicación ISI
DOI: DOI 10.1007/s00213-013-2974-3