Biphasic effects of ethanol on open-field activity: Sensitivity and tolerance in C57BL/6N and DBA/2N mice

John C. Crabbe, al et al

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147 Scopus citations


Male C57BL/6N (C57) and DBA/2N (DBA) inbred mice were found to differ in open-field behavior after an acute ip injection of ethanol and in the development of tolerance to repeated injections. DBA Ss showed only increased activity for 28 min after ethanol doses up to 2.67 g/kg when compared with saline-injected controls; C57 Ss showed dose-related increases in activity during the first 4 min, followed by dose-related decreases in activity. The effects endured for at least 60 min after injection in both strains. In a 3rd experiment, Ss were injected daily with saline or 2 g/kg ethanol and tested on Days 1, 5, 9, and 13 for open-field activity. On the 17th day, all Ss were tested after an ethanol injection; neither strain showed tolerance to the activity-stimulating effect of ethanol. Some evidence for tolerance to the effect of ethanol to reduce activity in C57's was found. In a 4th experiment, twice-daily injections of ethanol for 10 days produced marked tolerance to the depressant effect of an injection on the 11th day in C57 Ss; no tolerance to the stimulant effect of ethanol was found. DBA Ss injected twice daily for 19 days did not display tolerance when tested on Days 10 or 20, instead showing more marked stimulation of activity after ethanol than mice treated chronically with saline. Implications for the genetic control of responses to ethanol are discussed. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)440-451
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • development of tolerance, male C57BL/6N vs DBA/2N mice
  • ethanol, open field behavior &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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