Effects of maternal strain on ethanol responses in reciprocal F1 C57BL/6J and DBA/2J hybrid mice

K. I. Gabriel, C. L. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Variations in maternal behavior, either occurring naturally or in response to experimental manipulations, have been shown to exert long-lasting consequences on offspring behavior and physiology. Despite previous research examining the effects of developmental manipulations on drug-related phenotypes, few studies have specifically investigated the influence of strain-based differences in maternal behavior on drug responses in mice. The current experiments used reciprocal F1 hybrids of two inbred mouse strains (i.e. DBA/2J and C57BL/6J) that differ in both ethanol (EtOH) responses and maternal behavior to assess the effects of maternal environment on EtOH-related phenotypes. Male and female DBA/2J and C57BL/6J mice and their reciprocal F1 hybrids reared by either DBA/2J or C57BL/6J dams were tested in adulthood for EtOH intake (choice, forced), EtOH-induced hypothermia, EtOH-induced activity and EtOH-induced conditioned place preference (CPP). C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice showed differences on all EtOH responses. Consistent with previous reports that maternal strain can influence EtOH intake, F1 hybrids reared by C57BL/6J dams consumed more EtOH during forced exposure than did F1 hybrids reared by DBA/2J dams. Maternal strain also influenced EtOH-induced hypothermic responses in F1 hybrids, producing differences in hybrid mice that paralleled those of the inbred strains. In contrast, maternal strain did not influence EtOH-induced activity or CPP in hybrid mice. The current findings indicate that maternal environment may contribute to variance in EtOH-induced hypothermia and EtOH intake, although effects on EtOH intake appear to be dependent upon the type of EtOH exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-287
Number of pages12
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Conditioned place preference
  • Ethanol
  • F1 hybrids
  • Hypothermia
  • Inbred strains
  • Intake
  • Maternal effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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