Correlation of Purkinje Neuron Depression and Hypnotic Effects of Ethanol in Inbred Strains of Rats

Steven W. Johnson, Barry J. Hoffer, Rodney Baker, Robert Freedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The effect of locally appled ethanol on spontaneous discharge rates of cerebollar Purtcinje neurons was compered In two inbred etroins of rats which differ in their sensitivities to the acute hypnotic effects of this agent. Ethanol, applied locally to neurone by micropressuts election with multibarred micropipettes, was significantly more potent for reducing neuronal firing rates in Fischer 344 rats when compared to Brown Norway rats. The hypnotic effect of ethanol, measured by lose of righting reflex, lasted significantly longer in the Fischer 344 strain of rats. These results suggest that susceptibility to a behavioral effect of ethanol might correlate with an effect on firing rates of cerebeller Purkinje cells in rats. In mice, selective breeding has produced “long sleep” and “short‐sleep” strains of mice which differ not only In sensitivity to the hypnotic effect of ethanol, but also to the enesitivity of cerebeaer Purkinje cells to depressant effects of this drug. Because electrophysiological investigations are in many ways easier to perform in rats than In mice, genetic differences in rats may provide an important means for analyzing central nervous system actions of acute ethanol administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-58
Number of pages3
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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