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Behav Brain Res. 2007 Feb 12;177(1):37-44. Epub 2006 Dec 11.

Analysis of alcohol-related phenotypes in F2 progeny derived from FH/Wjd and ACI/N rat strains reveals independent measures and sex differences.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, ACHRI, 1120 Marshall Street, Slot 512-40B, Little Rock, AR 72202, USA.


Ethanol associated addictive behaviors are governed by a combination of multiple gene action (polygenic or quantitative trait) and environmental factors. We produced F2 progeny from F1 crosses derived from the alcohol-preferring Fawn-Hooded (FH/Wjd) rat strain and the alcohol-nonpreferring ACI/N strain. We compared different phenotypes related to alcohol intake in more than 600 F2 progeny. We found that female rats had significantly higher mean voluntary and forced ethanol, water, saccharin and total fluid intakes than male rats. Therefore, we compared these measures in the top 15th percentile with those in bottom 15th percentile of the F2 total ethanol intake distribution separately for males and females. The two tail comparison of means showed that only the trait of alcohol preference differed significantly in both males and females, suggesting that alcohol preference is closely related to alcohol intake. Because of the detailed information about the F1 parents of the F2 progeny, it was possible to determine parental effects. For swim test immobility, for example, the F2 progeny derived from FA(m)/FA(f) parents (ACI maternal inheritance) had the lowest mean value of 130s while the F2 progeny from AF/AF parents (FH maternal inheritance) had the highest mean value of 157s (p<0.005). The F2 progeny derived from FA/AF parents (FH maternal inheritance) showed higher mean values of forced alcohol intake than FA/FA parents (FH paternal inheritance) (6.58 and 6.36g/kg/day, respectively) suggesting that the FH mother had a significantly (p<0.0001) greater effect on forced alcohol intake than the FH father. It is concluded from these analyses that alcohol-related phenotypes are segregating independently and may be influenced by maternal and sex factors.

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