Genetic Animal Models in the Study of Alcoholism

John C. Crabbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Several methods have been applied to the study of the genetic determinants of ethanol (EtOH) sensitivity in animals. The use of inbred strains has indicated that virtually all responses to EtOH have a significant degree of genetic determination. Studies with large batteries of inbred strains have elucidated the common genetic control of several clusters of EtOH‐related variables. Studies with Recombinant inbred strains have identified single genes that may influence EtOH withdrawal severity and EtOH preference drinking. The best developed method has been the use of selective breeding to develop lines of mice or rats differing in EtOH‐related behavioral characters. Illustrative examples of potentially important research findings from experiments with LS/SS, P/NP, and WSP/WSR selected lines are discussed. Significant progress has been made in the use of genetic animal models to further our understanding of EtOH‐related traits. Several avenues for further research appear to be promising, and specific directions to be pursued are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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