Affective Behavior in Withdrawal Seizure–Prone and Withdrawal Seizure–Resistant Mice during Long-Term Alcohol Abstinence

Matthew C. Hartmann, Sarah E. Holbrook, Megan M. Haney, John C. Crabbe, Alan M. Rosenwasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: While the acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome has been well characterized both in human clinical studies and in experimental animals, much less is known regarding long-term affective disturbances that can sometimes persist during protracted abstinence. Nevertheless, since relapse often occurs long after acute detoxification and may be predicted by persistent affective disruption, a better understanding of the long-term behavioral consequences of prior alcohol dependence may lead to improved strategies for relapse prevention. Methods: Male and female Withdrawal Seizure–Prone and Withdrawal Seizure–Resistant mice from the second selection replicate (WSP-2, WSR-2) were exposed to a 10-day chronic-intermittent ethanol vapor protocol (CIE) or plain air and then tested repeatedly on the sucrose preference test (SPT), marble burying test (MBT), and the light–dark box test (LDT) over 7 weeks of (forced) abstinence. Results: While WSP and WSR mice differed significantly on tests of anxiety-like behavior (LDT, MBT), we found little evidence for long-term affective disruption following CIE in either line. The major exception was in the LDT, in that WSP but not WSR mice displayed longer latencies to enter the light compartment following CIE relative to air-controls. Conclusions: Selective breeding for acute withdrawal severity has resulted in differences in anxiety-like behavior between WSP and WSR mice. In contrast, however, genes contributing to the severity of acute withdrawal convulsions appear to have little overlap with those predisposing to affective disruption during long-term abstinence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1478-1485
Number of pages8
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Affective Behavior
  • Chronic-Intermittent Ethanol
  • Protracted Abstinence
  • Withdrawal Seizure–Prone
  • Withdrawal Seizure–Resistant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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