Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Chana K. Akins


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) has been associated with a dysregulated stress system. Therefore, regulating stress hormones has been investigated as a potential therapeutic target for AUDs. The purpose of the current study was to investigate whether a stress hormone receptor antagonist, PT150, would block the rewarding properties of ethanol. Quail were used as subjects because a conditioned place preference (CPP) apparatus that utilized visual cues was used, and quail readily attend to visual cues. Visual cues in the environment have been shown to become associated with alcohol effects and later induce craving. Starting on day one, quail were pretreated with vehicle or PT150 (20mg/kg). Thirty minutes later, quail received a treatment of either water or ethanol (0.75g/kg) and were placed in their initially least preferred side as determined by a preference test. On alternate days, all quail received pretreatment and treatment of water. Results revealed pretreatment of PT150 blocked the acquisition of a place preference in quail that were treated with ethanol. This further supports that PT150 is highly selective at blocking CORT without causing peripheral effects associated with ethanol consumption. These preliminary findings suggest that PT150 may reduce the rewarding properties of ethanol by blocking the stress hormone receptor.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This project was supported by funds from the University of Kentucky’s Substance Use Priority Research Area (SUPRA), supported by the Vice President for Research (2021-2022).

Included in

Psychology Commons