Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Estradiol valerate and alcohol intake: dose-response assessments

Gina L Quirarte1, Larry D Reid12*, I Sofía Ledesma de la Teja1, Meta L Reid4, Marco A Sánchez3, Arnulfo Díaz-Trujillo1, Azucena Aguilar-Vazquez1 and Roberto A Prado-Alcalá1

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Neurobiología Conductual y Cognitiva, Instituto de Neurobiología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus Juriquilla, Querétaro, 76230, México

2 Labatory for Psychopharmacology, Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 12180 USA

3 Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Querétaro, México

4 Albany Public Library, Albany, NY, USA

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BMC Pharmacology 2007, 7:3  doi:10.1186/1471-2210-7-3

Published: 4 March 2007



An injection of estradiol valerate (EV) provides estradiol for a prolonged period. Recent research indicates that a single 2.0 mg injection of EV modifies a female rat's appetite for alcoholic beverages. This research extends the initial research by assessing 8 doses of EV (from .001 to 2.0 mg/female rat), as well assessing the effects of 2.0 mg EV in females with ovariectomies.


With the administration of EV, there was a dose-related loss of bodyweight reaching the maximum loss, when it occurred, at about 4 days after injections. Subsequently, rats returned to gaining weight regularly. Of the doses tested, only the 2.0 mg dose produced a consistent increase in intake of ethanol during the time previous research indicated that the rats would show enhanced intakes. There was, however, a dose-related trend for smaller doses to enhance intakes. Rats with ovariectomies showed a similar pattern of effects, to intact rats, with the 2 mg dose. After extensive histories of intake of alcohol, both placebo and EV-treated females had estradiol levels below the average measured in females without a history of alcohol-intake.


The data support the conclusion that pharmacological doses of estradiol can produce enduring changes that are manifest as an enhanced appetite for alcoholic beverages. The effect can occur among females without ovaries.