Ethanol (EtOH) dosage, frequency, and paired associative learning affect the risk of alcoholism. Recently, Spanagel et al. reported that acamprosate calcium (Acam Ca) prescribed for alcoholism exerts an anti-relapse effect via Ca. Ca is contained in foods, sometimes consumed with alcohol. Therefore, we investigated the association among oral Ca ingestion, EtOH-induced locomotor sensitization, and plasma Ca levels on how to consume Ca for moderate drinking. We used DBA/2 CrSlc mice, and CaCl2 as water-soluble Ca salts. For pre-administration, elemental Ca (50, 75, 100, or 150mg/kg, per os (p.o.)) or water for control was administered 1h before EtOH (2g/kg, 20v/v (%) EtOH in saline) administration intraperitoneal (i.p.) for locomotor sensitization or for plasma Ca level changes. For post-administration, elemental Ca (100mg/kg) was administered 1h after EtOH. Moreover, we employed bepridil and the dopamine D1 antagonist, SCH-23390 to further examine the mechanism of EtOH-induced sensitization. The locomotor sensitization segmentalized for 300s had two peaks (0–90s and 180–300s). Pre-administration of Ca (50, 75, and 100mg/kg) significantly reduced the 0–90-s peak, selectively blocked by SCH-23390, but “non-dose dependently” as Ca 150mg/kg did not have this effect. Bepridil blocked the suppressive effect of pre-administration of Ca (100mg/kg). The effective pre-doses of Ca (50–100mg/kg) maintained plasma Ca basal levels against EtOH-induced decrease of Ca. On the contrary, post-administration of Ca inversely led to significant promotion of sensitization of both locomotor peaks. Oral Ca intake had diverse effects on EtOH-induced sensitization depending on Ca dosage and timing.
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