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Alcohol Clin Exp Res 2001 Nov;25(11):1551-1557

Evidence That the Lore-1 Region Specifies Ethanol-Induced Activation in Addition to Sedative/Hypnotic Sensitivity to Ethanol.

Owens JC, Bennett B, Johnson TE.

Institute for Behavioral Genetics (JCO, BB, TEJ) and the Department of Psychology (JCO, TEJ), University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.

BACKGROUND: Low-dose ethanol-induced activation (LDA) and initial sensitivity to alcohol are both predictors of alcohol abuse in human populations. Our hypothesis is that one or more genes specifying hypnotic sensitivity also specify LDA. We tested this hypothesis by using congenic mice derived from the inbred long-sleep (ILS) and inbred short-sleep (ISS) strains, which carry an ILS region introgressed onto an ISS background. METHODS: LDA was assessed by assigning mice randomly to receive one of five doses of ethanol ranging from 1.2 to 2.4 g/kg. On day 1, animals were injected with saline and placed in a brightly lit activity monitor for 30 min, after which they were returned to their home cages. On day 2, mice were injected with ethanol (20% w/v), their activity was monitored for a 30-min period, and LDA was determined by subtracting day 1 activity. The blood ethanol concentration of each animal was then assessed at 30 min by retro-orbital collection of 25 &mgr;l of blood. RESULTS: Ethanol had a significant effect on the activity of ISS mice, but ILS mice showed no activation at any dose, similar to the activities of the outbred lines. All three congenic strains were activated at several doses. Lore-2 and Lore-5 were not ILS-like (less active than ISS) at any dose. In contrast, ISS.ILS-Lore-1 congenics (carrying an ILS-derived Lore-1 allele on the ISS background) were significantly less activated than the ISS controls at 1.8 and 2.4 g/kg of ethanol. CONCLUSIONS: The Lore-2 and Lore-5 congenic regions do not affect LDA. In contrast, the Lore-1 congenic region carries one or more genes specifying both initial hypnotic sensitivity to ethanol and LDA.