Overview of Mouse Assays of Ethanol Intoxication

John C. Crabbe1, Andy J. Cameron1, Elizabeth Munn2, Mark Bunning2, Douglas Wahlsten2

1 Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, Oregon, 2 University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Neuroscience
Unit Number:  Unit 9.26
DOI:  10.1002/0471142301.ns0926s42
Online Posting Date:  January, 2008
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There are many behavioral assays to assess sensitivity to ethanol intoxication in mice. Most are simple to implement, and are sensitive to a particular dose range of ethanol. Most reflect genetic influences, and each test appears to reflect the contribution of a relatively distinct collection of genes. This genetic heterogeneity implies that no single test can claim to capture the construct “ethanol intoxication” completely. Depending on the test, and when measurements are made, acute functional tolerance to even a single dose of ethanol must be considered as a contributing factor. Whether or not a test is conducted in naïve mice or as part of a test battery can influence sensitivity, and do so in a strain‐dependent manner. This unit reviews existing tests and recommends several. Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 42:9.26.1‐9.26.19. © 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: ethanol; intoxication; ataxia; mouse; inbred strains; genetics; test batteries

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Choosing a Mouse Ethanol Sensitivity Assay—What is the Question?
  • General Features of Any Good Laboratory Test of Mouse Behavior
  • Dealing with Ethanol
  • Tests of Ethanol Sensitivity
  • Testing for Genetic Differences
  • The Role of Acute Functional Tolerance
  • The Role of Serial Testing
  • Choosing Among Intoxication Tests
  • Conclusions
  • Acknowledgments
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
  • Tables
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Literature Cited

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