Adolescent Intermittent Ethanol Alters Behavior in Adulthood in an Animal Model of Binge Alcohol Exposure.

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Dr. Antoniette Maldonado-Devincci



Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


More than 90% of alcohol consumed by young people is in the pattern of binge drinking. This pattern of alcohol consumption occurs during a critical developmental period when the adolescent brain is undergoing dramatic maturational changes that can influence long-lasting changes in behavior control and affective behaviors in adulthood. Sex differences in the influence of adolescent binge alcohol exposure have been observed in rodent models. This study’s focus is to investigate the long-term impact of binge alcohol exposure during adolescence in males and females. We exposed fifty-seven C57BL/6J male and female mice to adolescent intermittent ethanol (AIE) vapor inhalation exposure from postnatal day (PND) 28-41. Specifically, on PND 28-29, 32-33, 36-37, and 40-41, adolescent mice were exposed to vapor inhalation of volatized ethanol, or air as a control, for 16 hr a day/overnight. Each cycle consisted of two consecutive days of ethanol, or air, exposure followed by two days of non-exposure. Mice underwent an abstinence period from PND 42 until testing in adulthood. In adulthood, we assessed behavior in the open field testing to examine changes in general exploratory behavior and affective behaviors of anxiety-like behavior. Data were analyzed by two way ANOVA for sex and exposure. Blood ethanol concentrations during AIE ethanol exposure were 295.8 ± 23.3 mg/dl for females and 269.1 ± 25.0 mg/dl for males. Using total distanced moved (TDM) as a measure of general exploratory behavior, adolescent male and female mice that were exposed to AIE showed lower TDM compared to their air-exposed controls. Additionally, ethanol exposed males exhibited more boli compared to air exposed males, an effect absent in females. When using the center zone as a proxy for anxiety-like behavior, there was no difference in the number of entries to the center zone or the amount of time spent in the center. Together, these data indicate that AIE alters behavior in adulthood in male and females.

This document is currently not available here.