Mice deficient in corticotropin-releasing factor receptor type 2 exhibit normal ethanol-associated behaviors

Amanda L. Sharpe, Sarah C. Coste, Sue Burkhart-Kasch, Na Li, Mary P. Stenzel-Poore, Tamara J. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Stress is believed to influence alcohol use and relapse in alcoholics. Animal studies suggest an interaction between corticotropin- releasing factor (CRF) and its receptors and the behavioral effects and consumption of alcohol. The objective of these studies was to examine the effect of corticotropin-releasing factor receptor type 2 (CRF2) on ethanol consumption, conditioned taste aversion, sedation, and hypothermia. Methods: CRF2-null mutant or knock-out (KO), and wild-type (WT) mice were used to assess consumption of increasing concentrations of ethanol in a two-bottle, 24-hr test and during daily limited-access sessions. Ethanol-induced conditioned taste aversion (CTA), loss of righting reflex (LORR), hypothermia, and ethanol metabolism kinetics were also examined in the CRF2 KO and WT mice. Results: CRF2 KO mice did not differ from WT mice in sensitivity to ethanol-induced CTA, LORR, hypothermia, or ethanol metabolism kinetics. There was no genotypic difference in ethanol intake or preference in the 24-hr, two-bottle choice procedure, and only modestly reduced consumption of the 7.5 and 10% ethanol solutions in KO versus WT mice in the limited-access procedure. Conclusions: CRF2 deficiency had little effect on several ethanol-associated behaviors in CRF2-null mutant compared with WT mice, suggesting that this receptor does not have a primary role in modulating these behaviors. Evidence of a role for this receptor in neural circuits subserving stress-coping behaviors suggest that future studies should focus on the role of endogenous CRF2 in ethanol-associated behaviors in mice that are stressed or withdrawing from dependence on ethanol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1601-1609
Number of pages9
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Conditioned Taste Aversion
  • Drinking
  • Hypothermia
  • Loss of Righting Reflex
  • Preference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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