, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 301–305 | Cite as

Circadian rhythm of corticosterone in mice: The effect of chronic consumption of alcohol

  • Ryoko Kakihana
  • Jerome A. Moore
Animal Studies


The effect of chronic consumption of alcohol on the circadian variations of the plasma corticosterone was investigated in DBA/2J male mice. After 15 weeks of alcohol consumption (3.8%w/v for the first week and 7.5% for subsequent weeks) the alcohol groups exhibited a flattened circadian corticosterone curve, the level being intermediate between the peak and trough values of the water control groups. The diurnal patterns of food and liquid consumption were still present at the 10th week of alcohol treatment in the alcohol groups, although the absolute amount of food and liquid consumed at each of the 6-h intervals was somewhat different between the alcohol and water groups. The blood alcohol showed a peak at early morning with the mean of 100 mg/100 ml, but the levels of alcohol during the remaining periods were remarkably stable, the means ranging from 30 to 46 mg/100 ml. Chronic consumption of alcohol, even relatively low concentrations, appears to affect the neural sites in the CNS controlling the circadian rhythm of ACTH release.

Key words

Alcohol Corticosterone Circadian rhythm Mice 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahtee, L., Eriksson, K.: 5-hydroxytryptamine and 5-hydroxyindolylacetic acid content in brain of rat strains selected for their alcohol intake. Physiol. Behav. 8, 123–126 (1972)Google Scholar
  2. Blum, K., Calhoun, W., Wallace, J. E.: Soporific action of ethanol in mice: Possible role of biogenic amines. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 1, 271–276 (1973)Google Scholar
  3. Butte, J. C., Kakihana, R., Noble, E. P.: Circadian rhythm of corticosterone levels in rat brain. J. Endocr. (in press)Google Scholar
  4. Butte, J. C., Noble, E. P.: Simultaneous determination of plasma or whole blood cortisol and corticosterone. Acta endocr. (Kbh.) 61, 678–686 (1969)Google Scholar
  5. Czaja, C., Kalant, H.: The effect of acute alcoholic intoxication on adrenal ascorbic acid and cholesterol in the rat. Canad. J. Biochem. 39, 327–334 (1961)Google Scholar
  6. Dixit, B. N., Buckley, J. P.: Circadian changes in brain 5-hydroxytryptamine and plasma corticosterone in the rat. Life Sci. 6, 755–758 (1967)Google Scholar
  7. Ellis, F. W.: Effect of ethanol on plasma corticosterone levels. J. Pharmacol. exp. Ther. 153, 121–127 (1966)Google Scholar
  8. Eriksson, K.: Rat strains specifically selected for their voluntary alcohol consumption. Ann. Med. exp. Fenn. 49, 67–72 (1971)Google Scholar
  9. Feldstein, A.: Effect of ethanol on neurohumoral amine metabolism. In: The biology of alcoholism, vol. 1, B. Kissin and H. Begleiter, eds., pp. 127–159. New York: Plenum Press 1971Google Scholar
  10. Feldstein, A.: Ethanol-induced sleep in relation to serotonin turnover to 5-hydroxyindoleacetaldehyde, 5-hydroxytryptophol, and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 215, 71–76 (1973)Google Scholar
  11. Gursey, D., Olson, R. E.: Depression of serotonin and norepinephrine levels in brain stem of rabbit by ethanol. Proc. Soc. exp. Biol. (N.Y.) 104, 280–281 (1960)Google Scholar
  12. Halasz, B., Slusher, M. A., Gorski, R. A.: Adrenocorticotrophic hormone secretion in rats after partial or total interruption of neural afferent to the medial basal hypothalamus. Neuroendocrinology 2, 43–45 (1967)Google Scholar
  13. Halberg, F., Peterson, R. E., Silber, R. H.: Plasma relations of 24-hour periodicities in blood corticosterone, mitoses in cortical adrenal parenchy and fetal body activity. Endocrinology 64, 222–230 (1959)Google Scholar
  14. Hays, W. L.: Statistics for psychologists. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1963Google Scholar
  15. Hodges, J. R.: The hypothalamus and pituitary ACTH release. In: Progress in brain research, D. DeWied and J. A. W. M. Weijnen, eds., pp. 12–20. Amsterdam: Elsevier 1970Google Scholar
  16. Hodges, J. R., Mitchley, S.: The effect of betamethasone on circadian and stress-induced pituitary-adrenocortical function in the rat. Brit. J. Pharmacol. 38, 719–724 (1970)Google Scholar
  17. Hunt, W. A., Majchrowicz, E.: Turnover rates and steadystate levels brain serotonin in alcohol-dependent rats. Brain Res. 72, 181–184 (1974)Google Scholar
  18. Johnson, J. T., Levine, S.: Influence of water deprivation on adrenocortical rhythms. Neuroendocrinology 11, 268–273 (1973)Google Scholar
  19. Kakihana, R., Butte, J. C., Hathaway, A., Noble, E. P.: Adrenocortical response to ethanol in mice: Modification by chronic ethanol consumption. Acta endocr. (Kbh.) 67, 653–664 (1971)Google Scholar
  20. Kakihana, R., Noble, E. P., Butte, J. C.: Corticosterone response to ethanol in inbred strains of mice. Nature (Lond.) 218, 360–361 (1968)Google Scholar
  21. Krieger, D.: Food and water restriction shifts corticosterone, temperature, activity and brain amine periodicity. Endocrinology 95, 1195–1201 (1974)Google Scholar
  22. Kuriyama, K., Rauscher, G. E., Sze, P. Y.: Effect of acute and chronic administration of ethanol on the 5-hydroxytryptamine turnover and tryptophan hydroxylase activity of the mouse brain. Brain Res. 26, 450–454 (1971)Google Scholar
  23. Lundquist, F.: The determination of ethyl alcohol in blood and tissues. Meth. Biochem. Anal. 7, 217–251 (1959)Google Scholar
  24. Margraf, H. W, Mover, C. A., Ashford, L. E., Lavalle, L. W.: Adrenocortical function in alcoholics. J. Surg. Res. 7, 55–62 (1967)Google Scholar
  25. Palaic, Dj., Desaty, J., Albert, J. M., Panisset, J. C.: Effect of ethanol on metabolism and subcellular distribution of serotonin in rat brain. Brain Res. 25, 381–386 (1971)Google Scholar
  26. Santisteban, G. A., Swinyard, C. A.: The effect of ethyl alcohol on adrenocortical activity in mice. Endocrinology 59, 391–397 (1956)Google Scholar
  27. Scapagnini, U., Moberg, G. P., Van Loon, G. R., DeGroot, J., Ganong, W. F.: Relation of brain 5-hydroxytryptamine content to the diurnal variation in plasma corticosterone in the rat. Neuroendocrinology 7, 90–96 (1971)Google Scholar
  28. Slusher, M. A.: Effect of chronic hypothalamic lesions on diurnal and stress corticosteroid levels. Amer. J. Physiol. 206, 1161–1164 (1964)Google Scholar
  29. Tabakoff, B., Boggan, W. O.: Effects of ethanol on serotonin metabolism in brain. J. Neurochem. 22, 759–764 (1974)Google Scholar
  30. Zimmerman, E., Critchlow, V.: Dissociation in feedback control of ACTH release. Compound “B” in corticoidtreated rats before and after stress. Fed. Proc. 24, 191 (1965)Google Scholar
  31. Zimmerman, E., Critchlow, V.: Effect of diurnal variation in plasma corticosterone levels on adrenocortical response to stress. Proc. Soc. exp. Biol. (N.Y.) 125, 658–663 (1967)Google Scholar
  32. Zimmerman, E., Critchlow, V.: Effects of intracerebral dexamethasone on pituitary-adrenal function in female rats. Amer. J. Physiol. 217, 392–396 (1969)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryoko Kakihana
    • 1
  • Jerome A. Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations