Late adolescence and young adulthood, corresponding to the high school and college years, are vulnerable periods for increased alcohol and nicotine use. The dramatic increase in the prevalence of electronic cigarette use is particularly concerning in these age groups. Late adolescents and young adults are more likely to engage in cycles of binge drug consumption, and alcohol and nicotine are frequently used together. However, there are few data examining the combination of alcohol and nicotine in binge models in animal models. In this study, our objectives were to determine how voluntary nicotine consumption beginning in late adolescence influenced subsequent binge alcohol consumption in young adulthood, how a combination of alcohol and nicotine binge consumption differed from alcohol-only binge consumption, and whether nicotine would be consumed when presented in a binge procedure. Male C57BL/6J mice voluntarily consumed unsweetened alcohol and nicotine in continuous-access bottle-choice procedures in combination with cycles of drinking-in-the-dark. Our results show that experience with voluntary nicotine consumption in late adolescence did not affect subsequent binge alcohol consumption in early adulthood. However, mice that consumed nicotine in adolescence showed an initial decrease in alcohol preference, and consequently increase in nicotine preference, on the first session of combined ethanol and nicotine binge consumption in adulthood compared with mice that drank only water during late adolescence. Lastly, we found that mice readily consumed unsweetened nicotine when presented in a binge procedure, and the level of consumption exceeded the nicotine consumption observed in the combination alcohol and nicotine binge. Our data show that expansion of the patterns of alcohol and nicotine co-consumption in a mouse models is possible, which will enable us to dissect relevant molecular targets underlying these consumption patterns and better inform drug development efforts.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural