Selective breeding for alcohol withdrawal severity

John C. Crabbe, Tamara J. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Mouse lines have been genetically selected to be alcohol Withdrawal Seizure Prone (WSP) or Resistant (WSR). The selection index is the severity of withdrawal handling-induced convulsions seen after removal of mice from chronic exposure to ethanol vapor. Behavioral, pharmacological, and neurochemical results from a replicated bidirectional selection project are reviewed. In reciprocal F1 crosses of the WSP and WSR lines, substantial dominance for resistance to withdrawal was found in both replicated sets of lines. WSP and WSR mice differ principally, and markedly, in traits related to the severity of withdrawal from alcohols and other drugs with depressant properties. This suggests that genes influencing severity of withdrawal from chronic ethanol exposure also pleiotropically influence genetic susceptibility to dependence on other drugs of abuse. However, the results of WSP vs. WSR comparisons for traits related to ethanol sensitivity and tolerance development suggest control in large part by genes different from those influencing withdrawal severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalBehavior genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1993


  • Withdrawal Seizure Prone (WSP)- and Resistant (WSR)- selected lines
  • acute withdrawal
  • ethanol
  • seizure susceptibility
  • tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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