Aspirin pretreatment reduces ethanol withdrawal severity in a mouse model of binge drinking
Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and indomethacin, which inhibit prostaglandin (PG) synthesis, have a pronounced effect on a broad range of ethanol (EtOH) actions. Given this, it is somewhat surprising that NSAID treatment has not been found to alter major signs of ethanol withdrawal. To date, the only effect found has been indirect, that is, NSAID treatment reduces the efficacy of PG precursor administration in the treatment of ethanol withdrawal via the inhibition of PG formation. However, in those studies reporting negative results NSAID administration was delayed until EtOH withdrawal. Studies demonstrating NSAID-related attenuation of other actions of EtOH have typically employed a pretreatment paradigm in which NSAIDs are administered prior to, not after, ethanol exposure. Thus, it may be that the point in the ethanol exposure/withdrawal episode at which NSAIDs are administered could be crucial in determining their effects of the ethanol withdrawal syndrome. To address this issue, we employed a multiple-exposure ''binge drinking'' model. On each of 6 treatment days, male BALB/c mice were injected subcutaneously with either acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, 150 mg/kg) or the buffer vehicle, followed 1 h later by either ethanol (4.0 g/kg) or saline (0.9%) by gavage. Ethanol withdrawal severity, as measured by handling-induced convulsions, was determined 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 24 h after EtOH gavage. ASA pretreatment was found to significantly reduce handling-induced convulsions in ethanol-intubated animals. In fact, the attenuation was of such a magnitude that the ASA-pretreated ethanol group did not significantly differ in withdrawal severity from non-ethanol-exposed controls. This effect was not likely due to ASA-related alterations in ethanol pharmacokinetics. These findings have relevance for the understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying ethanol dependence, as well as the potential role of PGs in this phenomenon.
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