Evaluation of acute effects of melatonin on ethanol drinking in ethanol naïve rats

Zahoor Ahmad Rather, Mukta N. Chowta, Ganaraja Bolumbu, K. B. Rakesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective was to evaluate the acute effect of melatonin on ethanol drinking in ethanol naïve rats and to determine the specificity of the effect of melatonin on ethanol intake as compared to an intake of plain tap water or sugar water. Materials and Methods: A total of three experiments (2 weeks duration each) using different drinking solutions (ethanol, plain tap water, sugar water) was conducted in individually housed male wistar rats of 5 weeks age. Each animal had access to bottles containing drinking solutions for 2 h a day. In each experiment, on day 1, day 2, day 4, day 5, day 8, day 9, day 11, day 12 rats received drinking solutions. Each individual rat received single doses of saline, melatonin (50 mg and 100 mg/kg), and naltrexone on day 2, 5, 9, and 12, 1-h before receiving drinking solution. The order of drug administration is permuted such a way that each animal received the drugs in a different order in different experiments. Results: Melatonin has significantly decreased ethanol consumption by the rats and effect is dose-dependent. Naltrexone also has caused a significant reduction in the ethanol consumption. The maximum reduction in ethanol consumption was seen with melatonin 100 mg/kg dose compared to melatonin 50 mg/kg and naltrexone. There was no statistically significant effect of melatonin on plain water and sugar solution intake. Conclusions: Melatonin decreases ethanol consumption in ethanol naïve rats. The effect of melatonin is similar to naltrexone affecting selectively ethanol consumption, but not plain water and sugar water consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-387
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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