Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

A new generation of mTORC1 inhibitor attenuates alcohol intake and reward in mice.

  • Author(s): Morisot, Nadege
  • Novotny, Christopher J
  • Shokat, Kevan M
  • Ron, Dorit
  • et al.

Published Web Location

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic condition associated with devastating socioeconomic consequences. Yet, pharmacotherapies to treat behavioral phenotypes such as uncontrolled heavy drinking are limited. Studies in rodents suggest that the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) plays an important role in mechanisms underlying alcohol drinking behaviors as well as alcohol seeking and relapse. These preclinical evidence suggest that mTORC1 may be a therapeutic target for the treatment of AUD. Thus, the aim of the present study was to test the potential use of newly developed mTORC1 inhibitors, RapaLink-1 and MLN0128, in preclinical mouse models of AUD. First, we used the intermittent access to 20 percent alcohol in a two-bottle choice paradigm and tested the efficacy of the drugs to reduce alcohol intake in mice with a history of binge drinking and withdrawal. We found that both inhibitors reduce excessive alcohol intake and preference with RapaLink-1 exhibiting higher efficacy. We further observed that RapaLink-1 attenuates alcohol consumption during the first alcohol-drinking session in naïve mice, and interestingly, the effect was still present 14 days after the initial treatment with the drug. We also found that RapaLink-1 did not alter the consumption of water or saccharin, revealing a specific effect of the inhibitor on alcohol intake. Finally, we report that RapaLink-1 blocks the retrieval but not acquisition of alcohol place preference without affecting locomotion. Together, our findings suggest that RapaLink-1 may be developed as a new medication to treat and prevent the development of AUD.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View