, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 185–189 | Cite as

Increased sensitivity to chronic ethanol in isolated mice

  • Joseph Yanai
  • Benson E. Ginsburg
Animal Studies


Isolated C57BL/10 mice fed liquid diet as their only nutritional supply consumed 44% more diet than did groupedhoused mice. A similar increase due to isolation of 36% for C57BL/10 mice and of 89% for DBA/1 mice was demonstrated when the sucrose in the liquid diet was replaced by an equicaloric (6% v/v) amount of ethanol. The ethanol-drinking isolated mice suffered a higher mortality rate than the grouped mice. When isolated mice were given a restricted amount of ethanol diet to match the consumption of the grouped mice, their death rate still remained higher. It was concluded that isolation increased the sensitivity to ethanol effects. The observed changes in the sensitivity to ethanol effects may have been mediated by the known isolation-induced changes in the levels of brain amines and corticosterone. Generally, DBA/1 mice were more susceptible to chronic ethanol than C57BL/10, and the young more susceptible than the adults.

Key words

Sensitivity to chronic ethanol Ethanol consumption Inbred mice Isolation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bergström, R. M., Sainio, K., Taalas, J.: The effect of ethanol on the EEG of the guinea-pig foetus. Med. Pharmacol. exp. 16, 448–452 (1967)Google Scholar
  2. Brain, P. F., Nowell, N. W.: Isolation versus grouping effects on adrenal and gonadal function in albino mice I. The male. Gen. comp. Endocr. 16, 149–154 (1971)Google Scholar
  3. Chesler, A., Labelle, G. C., Himwich, H. E.: The relative effects of toxic doses of alcohol on fetal, newborn and adult rats. Quart. J. Stud. Alcohol 3, 1–4 (1942)Google Scholar
  4. Deatherage, G.: Effects of housing density on alcohol intake in the rat. Physiol. Behav. 9, 55–57 (1972)Google Scholar
  5. Edmondson, H. A., Hall, E. M., Myers, R. D.: Pathology of alcoholism. In: Alcoholism, G. N. Thompson, ed., pp. 233–290. Springfield, Ill.: Ch. C. Thomas 1956Google Scholar
  6. Elbel, H., Schleyer, F.: Blutalkohol. Die wissenschaftlichen Grundlagen der Beurteilung von Blutalkoholbefunden bei Stra\enverkehrsdelikten. 2nd ed. Stuttgart: G. Thieme 1956Google Scholar
  7. French, S.W.: Acute and chronic toxicity of alcohol. In: The biology of alcoholism, vol. I, B. Kissin and H. Begleiter, eds., pp. 437–511. New York: Plenum Press 1971Google Scholar
  8. Freund, G.: Alcohol withdrawal syndrome in mice. Arch. Neurol. (Chic.) 21, 315–320 (1969)Google Scholar
  9. Freund, G., Walker, D. W.: Sound-induced seizures during ethanol withdrawal in mice. Psychopharmacologia (Berl.) 22, 45–49 (1971)Google Scholar
  10. Kaye, S., Haag, H. B.: Study of death due to combined action of alcohol and paraldehyde in man. Toxicol. appl. Pharmacol. 6, 316–320 (1964)Google Scholar
  11. Kinard, F. W.: Changes in the rate of metabolism following administration of ethanol in the mouse. Nature (Lond.) 200, 852–854 (1963)Google Scholar
  12. Kuriama, K., Rauscher, G. E., Aze, P. Y.: Effects 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
  13. Louch, C. D., Higginbotham, M.: The relationship between social rank and plasma corticosterone levels in mice. Gen. comp. Endocr. 8, 441–444 (1967)Google Scholar
  14. McClearn, G. E., Rodgers, D. A.: Differences in alcohol preference among inbred strains of mice. Quart. J. Stud. Stud. Alcohol. 20, 691–695 (1959)Google Scholar
  15. MacGregor, D. C., Schonbaum, E., Bigelow, W. G.: Acute toxicity studies on ethanol, propanol and butanol. Canad. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 42, 689–696 (1964)Google Scholar
  16. Parker, L. F., Radow, B. L.: Isolation stress and volitional ethanol consumption in the rat. Physiol. Behav. 12, 1–3 (1974)Google Scholar
  17. Rodgers, D. A., McClearn, E., Bennett, E. L., Herber, M.: Alcohol preference as a function of its caloric utility in mice. J. comp. physiol. Psychol. 56, 666–672 (1963)Google Scholar
  18. Rodgers, D. A., Thiessen, D. D.: Effects of population density on adrenal size, behavioral arousal and alcohol preference of inbred mice. Quart. J. Stud. Alcohol. 25, 240–247 (1964)Google Scholar
  19. Santisteban, G. A., Swinyard, C. A.: The effect of ethyl alcohol on adrenal cortical activity in mice. Endocrinology 59, 391–397 (1956)Google Scholar
  20. Siegel, S.: Non-parametric statistics for the behavioral sciences. New York: McGraw-Hill Book 1956Google Scholar
  21. Sze, P. Y., Hess, J. L.: Adrenocortical hormone as a mediating factor in ethanol-induced increase of brain ribosomal protein synthesis. Paper presented at the Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Abstracts Soc. Neurosci., p. 219 (1973) (Abstract)Google Scholar
  22. Sze, P. Y., Neckers, L.: Requirement for adrenal glucocorticoid in the ethanol-induced increase of tryptophan hydroxylase activity in mouse brain. Brain Res. 72, 375–378 (1974)Google Scholar
  23. Sze, P. Y., Yanai, J., Ginsburg, B. E.: Adrenal glucocorticoid as a required factor in the development of ethanol induced seizure. Brain Res. 80, 155–159 (1974)Google Scholar
  24. Sze, P. Y., Yanai, J., Ginsburg, B. E.: Effects of early ethanol input on the activities of ethanol metabolizing enzymes in mice. Biochem. Pharmacol. (in press)Google Scholar
  25. Welch, A. S., Welch, B. L.: Isolation reactivity and aggression: evidence for an involvement of brain catecholamines and serotonin. In: The physiology of aggression and defeat, B. E. Eleftheriou and J. P. Scott, eds., pp. 91–142. New York: Plenum Press 1971Google Scholar
  26. Whitney, G. D., Whitney, Y.: Ethanol toxicity in the mouse and its relationship to ethanol selection. Quart. J. Stud. Alcohol. 29 (1), 44–48 (1968)Google Scholar
  27. Widmark, E. M.: Die Maximalgrenzen der Alkoholkonsumption. Biochem. Z. 259, 284–293 (1933)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Yanai
    • 1
  • Benson E. Ginsburg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biobehavioral SciencesThe University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

Personalised recommendations