Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping efforts in alcohol (ethanol) research are beginning to generate promising data that may ultimately lead to the identification of genes influencing alcohol addiction. Rodents have been extensively utilized to study ethanol's rewarding and aversive effects, and to demonstrate the existence of genetic influences on traits such as free- choice ethanol-consumption, ethanol-conditioned place preference and ethanol- conditioned taste aversion. The purpose of the current investigation was to verify or eliminate from further consideration putative QTLs for free-choice ethanol consumption originally identified in BXD Recombinant Inbred (RI) strains and other informative genetic crosses. B6D2F2 mice were utilized in a verification testing strategy to evaluate the viability of putative ethanol consumption QTLs. When data were combined from BXD RI, B6D2F2 and short- term selected line (STSL) mapping studies, verification was obtained for two QTLs, one on Chromosome (Chr) 9 (proximal-mid) and another on Chr 2 (distal), and suggestive verification was obtained for QTLs on Chrs 2 (proximal), 3, 4, 7, and 15. In addition, the possible genetic association of ethanol consumption with conditioned place preference was evaluated. Genetic correlations were estimated from BXD RI strain means, and QTL maps for these traits were compared to evaluate the possibility of a genetic association. The correlational analysis yielded a trend (r = 0.34, p = 0.09), but no statistically significant results. However, comparisons of QTL mapping results between phenotypes suggested some possible genetic overlap for these traits, both putative measures of ethanol reward. These data suggest that the determinants of these two measures are genetically diverse, but may share some common genetic elements.
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