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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Feb;91(4):560-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2008.09.017. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

Age-related differences in the blood alcohol levels of Wistar rats.

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Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences Department, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, United States.


Knowledge of blood alcohol levels (BALs) that are achieved following ethanol administration is critical for contemporary efforts to develop animal models of alcoholism. Adolescent and adult male Wistar rats were administered varying doses of ethanol (0.75, 1.5 and 3.0 g/kg) via gavage or intraperitoneal injection and BALs were measured over a two hour period. The results showed that adolescent animals had lower BALs across all time points in comparison to adults following administration of 0.75 g/kg ethanol and that 1 h after administration of 1.5 g/kg ethanol, adolescent animals showed an enhanced rate of elimination. The highest dose of ethanol (3.0 g/kg) produced comparable BALs for both adolescents and adults during the two-hour sampling period; however, the BALs for both ages were lower following administration of ethanol by gavage at this dose. Furthermore, an order effects analysis highlights that depending on the route of administration, initial dose size can influence the BALs produced by lower doses of ethanol. The current data identify the importance of measuring the level of alcohol in the blood to confirm that target BALs are achieved for adolescents and equivalent BALs are being reached for both adolescent and adult animals when such comparisons are made.

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