Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a centrally acting neuromodulator that influences both consummatory behaviors and anxiety. NPY's effects on feeding are primarily regulated through Y5 receptors in hypothalamic sites, whereas NPY-induced anxiolysis appears to be mediated by Y1 receptors in the amygdala. Recently, NPY has been postulated to play a role in the regulation of ethanol consumption. The present study assessed the influence of intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of NPY on the consumption of 10% ethanol or 2% sucrose in rats. Male Wistar rats were trained to self-administer 10% ethanol using the sucrose-substitution procedure and then implanted with an intracerebroventricular (ICV) cannula. The effects of NPY (0-15 microg) on ethanol consumption and sucrose consumption were then examined. ICV NPY infusion had no significant effects on the consumption of 10% ethanol, however, NPY significantly increased the consumption of 2% sucrose, [F(1, 11) = 6.18, p = 0.03]. These data suggest that ethanol intake and sucrose intake are differentially regulated by NPY. It is hypothesized that ICV infusion of NPY may be affecting both Y1 and Y5 receptors producing increased consummatory drive and anxiolysis, two factors that have opposing effects on subsequent ethanol consumption. Therefore, additional studies including site specific injection of NPY will be necessary to provide further insight into the role of NPY on ethanol consumption.