Clinical Background

Alcoholism is a widespread disorder characterized by compulsive and uncontrolled consumption of alcohol. The impact of repeated heavy use of alcohol can be devastating. Possible implications include cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis, epilepsy, and damage to the nervous system. Currently, very few pharmaceutical interventions are available to help prevent alcohol consumption.

Preclinical Models

Model Description Length Endpoints
Drinking in the Dark (DID)
Ethanol access is limited to 2-4 hrs/day resulting in voluntary consumption to clinically relevant levels of intoxication 7 days Ethanol consumption


Drinking in the Dark

Biomodels uses the Drinking in the Dark (DID) mouse model of alcoholism. In this model, the C57BL/6J strain of mice will voluntarily drink ethanol to intoxication when access is limited to a few hours following the initiation of the dark cycle. This is unlike most animal models of alcoholism in which the animals do not reach blood ethanol concentrations which produce significant intoxication. Currently prescribed alcoholism medications, acamprosate and naltrexone, have been shown as efficacious in the DID model. Biomodels has studied the effect of topiramate, an anticonvulsant drug with successful clinical data for alcoholism, in the DID model. The results demonstrated topiramate is effective in reducing alcohol intake, but not water or saccharin intake.

The Effect of Topiramate on Ethanol Consumption


The Effect of Topiramate on Water Consumption


The Effect of Topiramate on Saccharin Consumption