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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1993 Mar;44(3):547-54.

Differences in ethanol-induced behaviors in normal and acatalasemic mice: systematic examination using a biobehavioral approach.

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Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


In studies designed to further examine the previously reported involvement of catalase in ethanol-induced effects, we attempted to confirm earlier observations by using normal (C3H-N) and acatalasemic (C3H-A) mice. These mice are identical in every respect and differ only in their catalase activity. Data suggested that the application of 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole (AT), a catalase inhibitor, to both substrains of mice resulted in a proportional decrease in motor activity, thus supporting our earlier observations. We also showed that this effect was specific to ethanol because AT did not have any effect on cocaine-induced motor activity in both substrains. Contrary to the effects of ethanol, these substrains did not differ in motor activity in response to cocaine. In an additional study, we observed that acatalasemic mice differed from the normals in their pattern of voluntary ethanol consumption. Acatalasemic mice consumed more ethanol but only when it was presented in the range of concentrations between 12 and 18%. Finally, we also obtained data suggesting that acatalasemic mice have longer duration of sleep time following ethanol administration compared to normals. Catalase activity was measured in both substrains. Results, once again, confirmed earlier data that the substrains differ in this activity and that AT further decreases brain catalase activity in both mice. Finally, when brain homogenates derived from both substrains were incubated with ethanol significant differences in the amount of generated acetaldehyde were found between the two mice strains. Together, these results provide strong support for the involvement of brain catalase in a variety of ethanol-induced behavioral effects.

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