Ethanol has been demonstrated to disrupt numerous forms of learning. For example, ethanol disrupts fear conditioning in rats. Surprisingly, the opposite result was reported for mice. Because of the importance of mouse models in ethanol research and the predominance of transgenic mice generated on a C57BL/6 background, the present study examined the effects of acute ethanol administration on fear conditioning in C57BL/6 mice. Fear conditioning was chosen because of the apparent contradiction in results between mice and rats, because of its popularity in assessing forebrain-dependent learning and because the task examines two types of learning: (i) the hippocampus-dependent contextual learning and (ii) the hippocampus-independent conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus learning. Dose-response curves were generated for ethanol (0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 g/kg) given on either training day, testing day, or both days. Ethanol, in a dose-dependent manner, disrupted fear conditioning when given on training day or given on both training and testing days. Ethanol given on testing day only did not disrupt fear conditioning. The present results demonstrate that ethanol disrupts fear conditioning in C57BL/6 mice.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)