Sensitivity and tolerance to ethanol in mouse lines selected for ethanol-induced hypothermia

Kaitlin E. Browman, Nathan R. Rustay, Natasha Nikolaidis, Larry Crawshaw, John C. Crabbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Within-family selective breeding techniques have been used to create two lines of mice to be insensitive (HOT) and two lines to be sensitive (COLD) to the hypothermic effects of an acute 3.0-g/kg ethanol (EtOH) injection. Previous studies have found HOT mice to be relatively resistant to the development of tolerance to this effect, whereas COLD mice readily develop tolerance. The breeding program is currently in selected Generation 52, and the HOT and COLD mice differ by about 10°C (average of both replicates) in their selected hypothermic response. Starting with selection Generation 20, separate lines of mice were inbred from the HOT-2 and COLD-2 selected lines, while selection continued for the original two replicate lines of HOT and COLD mice. To assess whether different dose treatments would produce differential tolerance development in the HOT and COLD selected lines, we administered different dose regimens across 5 days to HOT and COLD mice. The COLD mice developed tolerance while the HOT mice did not, regardless of total EtOH administered. In a separate study, we administered EtOH (3.0 g/kg) to mice for 3 days to assess a shorter tolerance paradigm. We also present here responses to the selection dose of 3.0-g/kg EtOH in the inbred HOT (IHOT-2) and COLD (ICOLD-2) mice tested after 41 generations of brother-sister mating. In addition, we report recent attempts to find doses of EtOH that would produce an equivalent initial hypothermic response in each of the six lines (HOT-1, COLD-1, HOT-2, COLD-2, ICOLD-2, and IHOT-2). When doses were selected to produce similar initial hypothermic sensitivity, tolerance was tested by giving three daily doses and examining the attenuation of the hypothermic response on the third day. All three COLD lines developed significant tolerance, while the HOT lines did not. The HOT and COLD mice provide a genetic model to study mechanisms mediating acute EtOH-induced hypothermia as well as tolerance development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-829
Number of pages9
JournalPharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • COLD mice
  • Ethanol
  • HOT mice
  • Hypothermia
  • Inbred strains
  • Selected lines
  • Tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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