Alterations in Activity Following Alcohol Administration During the Third Trimester Equivalent in P and NP Rats

Edward P. Riley, Susan Barron, Ted Melcer, David Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


There is considerable variation in the consequences of alcohol abuse during pregnancy on infant outcome. Although it is clear that a number of factors contribute to this variability, one hypothesis that has received recent attention is the role of genetic differences in response to alcohol. This study examined activity levels in the alcohol‐preferring (P) and alcohol‐nonpreferring (NP) rats following neonatal alcohol exposure. Although these lines were selectively bred for differences in voluntary alcohol consumption, they also differ in their sensitivity and tolerance to alcohol. The P and NP offspring were artificially reared and administered ethanol (either 6 or 4 g/kg/day) from postnatal day 4 (PN 4) until PN 10 via intragastric cannula. An artificially reared isocaloric maltose group and a normally reared control group were also included. From PN 18 to PN 21, subjects were tested daily for 30 min in an automated activity monitor. Exposure to either the 4 or 6 g/kg dose of ethanol resulted in overactivity in P rats. However, only the 6 g/kg dose group displayed overactivity among the NP offspring. Furthermore, the level of overactivity displayed by the alcohol‐exposed P rats was significantly greater than that displayed by the alcohol‐exposed NP rats. These data suggest that genetic differences in response to alcohol may be a predictor for the behavioral teratogenic effects of alcohol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240-1246
Number of pages7
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1993


  • Activity
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Neonatal Alcohol
  • P and NP Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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