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Long term reduction of male agonistic behavior in mice following early exposure to ethanol

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Abstract

A system was developed to study the ability of early (pre- and neonatal) ethanol input to induce long lasting neural and behavioral changes. Ethanol was administered to C57B1/10Bg and DBA/1 Bg offspring through their parents who received 10% ethanol as their only liquid supply either before and during pregnancy, or from delivery until 14 days post partum, or during both periods. Thus the offspring received ethanol transplacentally and/or through the mother's milk. The present paper is concerned with the male agonistic behavior at age 50 days of the treated offspring as compared with their pair fed controls. Early ethanol input resulted in a 23% increase in latency to attack in C57 mice and 58% in DBA, as well as a 49% (C57) and 38% (DBA) decrease in time spent fighting. The sensitive period to ethanol effect was apparently postnatal. Prenatal administration had no effect on agonistic behavior. DBA offspring were more aggressive than C57 and the scores of C57 offspring were more variable, thus indicating a lower phenotypic buffering in this strain.

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Correspondence to Joseph Yanai.

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Yanai, J., Ginsburg, B.E. Long term reduction of male agonistic behavior in mice following early exposure to ethanol. Psychopharmacology 52, 31–34 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00426596

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Key words

  • Ethanol
  • Prenatal exposure
  • Postnatal exposure
  • Agonistic behavior
  • Strains of mice