Physiological and Behavioral Normalizing Actions of a Single Alcohol Dose in Mice

  • T. Edward Reed
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 85B)


The concept of a normalizing action of alcohol, such that a deviant pre-alcohol value of some physiological parameter is made more normal after alcohol, was proposed by Kissin and Hankoff in 1959. Almost all data on normalization by alcohol have been on alcoholics; there appear to be no published data critically testing this concept in normal humans or in animals. Data from a study of the role of heredity in responses to acute alcohol doses in a genetically heterogeneous mouse strain now provide evidence that for several parameters normalization by alcohol in normal mice does occur.

Three quantitative scores, 3-minute open-field activity score (OF), heart rate (HR), and rectal temperature (RT), were obtained twice on each of 990 to 1055 HS mice, once before alcohol and once after alcohol (1.4 g/kg, i.p.). The individual pre-alcohol scores (X1), post-alcohol scores (X2), and differences (X2 — X-1) were corrected for important covariates, such as sex and weight, before use. There are very significant (10‒5 level) negative correlations between alcohol response, (X2 — X1), and deviation of pre-alcohol score from the population mean, (X1 — X1 ) in the total data and in each of three critical sub-sets of data, for HR and RT. The correlations, using total data, for these are -0.80 and -0.65, respectively, a formal demonstration of normalization. For both parameters the effect of extreme deviants has been tested for and for HR separate saline controls were run.


Heart Rate Rectal Temperature Alcohol Dose Alcohol Response Rectal Tempera 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Edward Reed
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Zoology and AnthropologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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