Binge Alcohol exposure during adolescence alters behavior in open field test in adulthood in male and female C57BL/6J mice

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Dr. Antoinette Maldonado-Devincci



Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2019


Alcohol is known to effect the brain and cause behavioral changes including anxiety, depression, withdrawal, and tolerance. When studying the effects of binge alcohol exposure during adolescence on long-term changes on similar behaviors in adulthood, we used an animal model to examine this relationship. In the present work, we exposed adolescent male and female C57BL/6J mice to vapor intermittent ethanol exposure from postnatal day (PND) 28-42. Mice underwent abstinence until early adulthood (PND 43- 69) and were subsequently accessed for behavior in the open field test, followed by tests for determining anxiety-like and depressive-like behavior. We expected ethanol to impact both the males and females in a similar manner. In the open field test we quantified distance traveled and rearing in the in entire area as a measure of general exploratory behavior and measures of distance and time spent in the center zone as a measure of anxiety-like behavior. In the open field, males exposed to ethanol defecated more than females exposed to ethanol and male and females exposed to air, indicative of anxiety. Both male and female mice exposed to ethanol moved less than those exposed to air. In contrast, alcohol had no effect on rearing, but females reared more than males. In the center zone, ethanol exposure did not alter center entries, center time, or distance traveled. Together, these data indicates that binge alcohol exposure during adolescence caused long-lasting changes differently in males compared to females, with males showing an anxiety-like phenotype in adulthood following alcohol exposure during adolescence.

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