, Volume 72, Issue 1, pp 73–77 | Cite as

The acute effect of ethanol on behaviour, body temperature, and brain histamine in mice

  • Jenny Papanicolaou
  • Max R. Fennessy
Original Investigations


The possible relationships between ethanol-induced changes in behaviour, body temperature, and brain histamine were studied. Mice were injected intraperitoneally with various doses of ethanol in the range of 0.088–1.75 g/kg. There was a dose-dependent biphasic alteration in behaviour and body temperature, where a low dose of 0.175 g/kg produced excitation and hyperthermia. Doses of 0.875 and 1.75 g/kg caused an increasing state of depression and dose-dependent hypothermia. Behavioural changes induced by ethanol appear to reflect changes in body temperature. When hyperthermia was produced the animals were hyperactive, whereas with hypothermia they were sedated and huddled close together. These changes in behaviour and body temperature closely paralleled the ethanolinduced modifications in whole brain histamine levels, indicating that a relationship may exist between the ethanol-induced changes in these parameters.

Key words

Ethanol Body temperature Brain histamine Behaviour 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Freund G (1973) Hypothermia after acute ethanol and benzyl alcohol administration. Life Sci 13:345–349Google Scholar
  2. Glick SD, Crane LA (1978) Oplate-like and abstinence-like effects of intracerebral histamine administration in rats. Nature 273:547–549Google Scholar
  3. Green MD, Cox B, Lomax P (1975) Histamine H1-and H2-receptors in the central thermoregulatory pathways of the rat. J Neurosci Res 1:353–359Google Scholar
  4. Kalant H (1975) Direct effects of ethanol on the nervous system. Fed Proc 34:1930–1941Google Scholar
  5. Kwiatkowski H (1943) Histamine in nervous tissue. J Physiol 102:32–41Google Scholar
  6. Lewis SJ, Fennessy MR (1979a) Effect of acute and chronic morphine on rat brain histamine levels. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 6:223Google Scholar
  7. Lewis SJ, Fennessy MR (1979b) The effects of acute and chronic morphine administration on brain regional histamine levels in the rat. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 6:689Google Scholar
  8. Lewis SJ, Fennessy MR, Laska FJ, Taylor DA (1980) A modified method for the isolation and determination of brain histamine using Bio-Rex 70. Agents and Actions 10:197–206Google Scholar
  9. Lomax P, Green MD (1975) Histamine and temperature regulation. In: Lomax P, Schonbaum E, Jacobs J (eds) Temperature regulation and drug action. Karger, Basel, p 85Google Scholar
  10. Mello NK (1978) Alcoholism and the behavioural pharmacology of alcohol: 1967–1977. In: Lipton MA, Mascio A Di, Killam KF (eds) Psychopharmacology: A generation of progress. Raven Press, New York, p 1619Google Scholar
  11. Meyers RD, Yaksh TL (1969) Control of body temperature in the unanaesthetized monkey by cholinergic and aminergic systems in the hypothalamus. J Physiol 202:483–500Google Scholar
  12. Ritzmann RF, Tabakoff B (1976) Body temperature in mice: a quantitative measure of alcohol tolerance and physical dependence. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 199:158–170Google Scholar
  13. Tabakoff B, Anderson RA, Ritzmann RF (1976) Brain acetaldehyde after ethanol administration. Biochem Pharmacol 25:1305–1309Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenny Papanicolaou
    • 1
  • Max R. Fennessy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

Personalised recommendations