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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1988 Jun;12(3):388-93.

Effects of ethanol on mature offspring of mice given ethanol during pregnancy.

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Medical University of South Carolina, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Charleston 29425-0742.


Male offspring of mice maintained on isocaloric liquid diets containing either 20% ethanol or sucrose derived calories during pregnancy were tested on their ability to discriminate different ethanol doses as adults. They were trained to lever-press for a food reward on each of two levers in an operant chamber, and were then maintained on an FR20 reinforcement schedule. After response rates stabilized, ethanol discrimination training was initiated by reinforcing only responses made on the drug appropriate-lever after i.p. injections of ethanol (1.0 g/kg) or water. After learning to discriminate the 1.0 g dose, the animals' ability to discriminate doses of 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.0, and 1.5 g/kg was assessed by determining the percentage of responses made on the drug lever during a 2-min test period. Compared to sucrose controls, mice exposed to alcohol in utero learned the lever response more slowly and were less responsive to injected ethanol as evidenced by a reduced effect of the drug on response rates and by a reduction in their ability to discriminate the presence of injected ethanol. The results indicate that prenatal ethanol exposure can have long term consequences which reduce the effects of ethanol in fully mature animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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