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Int J Neurosci. 1983 Nov;21(3-4):265-77.

Effects of ethanol on rat cerebellar Purkinje cells.


The effects of ethanol on cerebellar Purkinje cells were studied in awake rats immobilized and mechanically ventilated. Single unit activity of 58 cerebellar Purkinje cells was observed for 1 to 8 hr following a single intraperitoneal administration of ethanol doses ranging from 0.25 g/kg to 3.0 g/kg. The alteration in Purkinje cell activity was related to the dose and the blood level of ethanol. Low doses of ethanol tended to excite and high doses tended to inhibit the spontaneous activity of Purkinje cells. At the peak levels of blood ethanol, cerebellar Purkinje cells often exhibited rhythmic short bursting discharges and the periodic intense activation followed by suppression. In contrast to previous observations that actions of ethanol were short, the present data indicate that cerebellar Purkinje cell activity was continuously affected for a few to several hours following a single dose of ethanol. The data are compatible with behavioral observations that impaired coordination in acute ethanol intoxication also had a similar time course.

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