Objective: A primary focus of alcohol research is to provide novel targets for alcohol treatment by identifying genes that predispose individuals to drink alcohol. Animal models of alcoholism developed by selective breeding are invaluable tools to elucidate both the genetic nature and the underlying biological mechanisms that contribute to alcohol dependence. These selected lines (high alcohol preferring and low alcohol preferring) display phenotypic and genetic differences that can be studied to further our understanding of alcohol preference and related genetic traits. By combining molecular techniques, genetic and physiological factors that underlie the cause of alcoholism can be identified. Methods: Total gene expression analysis was used to identify genes that are differentially expressed in specific brain regions between alcohol-naïve, inbred alcohol-preferring (iP) and -nonpreferring (iNP) rats. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, in situ hybridization, Western blot, and sequence analysis were used to further characterize rat glutathione S-transferase 8-8 (rGST 8-8). Results: Lower expression of rGST 8-8 mRNA was observed in discrete brain regions of iP compared with iNP animals, and these expression differences were confirmed. To determine additional expression patterns of rGST 8-8, we used in situ hybridization. Rat GST 8-8 was highly expressed in hippocampus, the choroid plexus of the dorsal third ventricle and the lateral ventricle, and ependymal cells along the dorsal third ventricle and the third ventricle. Western blot analysis showed that rGST 8-8 protein levels were lower in the hippocampus and the amygdala of iP compared with iNP. A silent single-nucleotide polymorphism in the coding region and three single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the 3′-UTR were identified in the rGST 8-8 cDNA. Conclusion: There is regional variation of rGST 8-8 expression in the brain, at both the mRNA and protein level, and the iP strain has lower innate rGST 8-8 levels than the iNP strain in discrete brain regions.