Stress and ethanol-induced hypothermia

Christopher L. Cunningham, Laura L. Bischof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Three experiments examined the effects of three stressors on the hypothermic response to IP injection of ethanol in rats. Although all three stressors elicited hyperthermia in the absence of ethanol, only electric footshock reduced ethanol hypothermia. Handling/rectal-probing and bright, flashing light enhanced ethanol hypothermia. Type of cage floor (solid vs. grid) affected overall magnitude of ethanol hypothermia, but did not affect handling-induced enhancement of ethanol hypothermia. It is suggested that events which trigger release of endogenous opioids may enhance ethanol hypothermia. This kind of ethanol-stress interaction has important implications for studies of the acute and chronic effects of ethanol, including studies of learned tolerance. It may also have implications for understanding the impact of stress on voluntary consumption of ethanol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-382
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987


  • Ethanol
  • Hypothermia
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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