Sexual Deprivation Increases Ethanol Intake in Drosophila

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Science  16 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6074, pp. 1351-1355
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215932

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Toward Addiction

Addiction can result when substances, such as drugs or alcohol, co-opt the brain's natural reward system. Shohat-Ophir et al. (p. 1351; see the Perspective by Zars) explored this potential in Drosophila by examining the relationship between the natural reward stimulated by mating and the unnatural reward offered by ethanol consumption. Males deprived of mating increased consumption of ethanol, and, when permitted to mate following deprivation, their ethanol consumption decreased. At a mechanistic level, mating increased the neurotransmitter neuropeptide F (NPF), while mate deprivation decreased NPF levels.

  • Present address: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Center, Ashburn, VA 20174, USA.

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