Increased sensitivity to picrotoxin as an index of physical dependence on alcohol in the mouse

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A relatively simple and rapid method has been developed to induce tolerance to and dependence on alcohol in mice. Alternating intraperitoneal injections of metabolically stable tert-butanol and ethanol for 4 consecutive days resulted in a physical dependence on alcohol, which was quantified by the latency and ED50 of picrotoxin-induced CNS hyperexcitability - myoclonic and tonic seizures and mortality - during the withdrawal period. The data indicate that alcohol-dependent animals in the withdrawal period are more susceptible than alcohol-naive controls to picrotoxin. Withdrawal hyperexcitability can be quantified by the ED50 of picrotoxin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1984



  • Convulsion
  • Dependence
  • Ethanol
  • Picrotoxin
  • Tolerance
  • tert-Butanol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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