The effects of adenosine ligands R-PIA and CPT on ethanol withdrawal

Michael B. Gatch, Cleatus J. Wallis, Harbans Lal

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24 Scopus citations


The potential anxiogenic or anxiolytic effects of R(-)N6-(2- phenylisopropyl)adenosine (R-PIA), an adenosine agonist, and 8-cyclopentyl- 1,3,dimethylxanthine (CPT), an adenosine antagonist, were tested during chronic exposure to ethanol and to ethanol-induced withdrawal in rats. Effects on anxiety were measured by the elevated plus maze and dark-light box. Ethanol consumption and preference was tested in an additional experiment. In testing of elevated plus maze performance during withdrawal from ethanol, R-PIA produced no change in the anxiety-related behaviors of total arm entries and percent open arm entries, but produced a significant decrease in percent open arm time. CPT produced at least partial recovery from the anxiogenic effects of ethanol withdrawal on all three measures of elevated plus maze performance, although peak effects were seen at the intermediate dose of CPT (0.08 mg/kg) for total arm entries and percent open arm time. CPT also showed anxiolytic effects at low to intermediate doses (0.04, 0.08 mg/kg) in the dark-light box. CPT did not reduce the preference for ethanol over water or the total consumption of ethanol over a range of ethanol doses. In summary, the adenosine agonist, R-PIA, exacerbated the effects of ethanol withdrawal, whereas the adenosine antagonist, CPT, at least partially blocked the anxiogenic effects produced by ethanol withdrawal. These results suggest that adenosine antagonists, at least at some doses, may be useful for ameliorating the anxiogenic effects produced by ethanol withdrawal, although it does not appear useful for reducing consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1999


  • 8-Cyclopentyl-1,3,dimethylxanthine
  • Adenosine receptor
  • Anxiety
  • Ethanol consumption
  • Ethanol-withdrawal
  • R(-)-N-(2- phenylisopropyl)adenosine
  • Rats


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