Golden Syrian hamsters were placed individually in cages with three drinking bottles-one empty, one containing water, and the third containing water and ethanol. Control hamsters received water only. After 1 year the experimental hamsters showed a significantly lower concentration of leucine-enkephalin-like immunoreactive substance in the basal ganglia than the control hamsters. This finding indicates that the action of ethanol involves endogenous peptidyl opiates.
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