Membrane lipids and ethanol tolerance in the mouse. The influence of dietary fatty acid composition

GR John, JM Littleton, PA Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Mice of the TO Swiss strain received diets containing different amounts of saturated or unsaturated fat throughout life. These diets produced characteristic changes in cardiac phospholipid fatty acid composition, but produced no significant differences in fatty acid composition of phospholipids from a crude membrane fraction of brain. When littermates of these animals were exposed to ethanol vapour in an inhalation chamber it was observed that mice which had received a diet high in saturated fat lost the righting reflex at an estimated concentration of ethanol in blood higher than that required for mice receiving a control diet, or a diet rich in polyunsaturated fat. Analysis of the brain membrane fraction from those animals which had received ethanol revealed that mice receiving the highly saturated fat diet now had a significantly greater proportion of saturated fatty acids in brain membrane phospholipids. These results are discussed in relation to the hypothesis that brain membrane lipid composition may influence the behavioural response to ethanol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-555
Number of pages11
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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