Genetic Analyses of the Biphasic Nature of the Alcohol Dose‐Response Curve

Bruce C. Dudek, Tamara J. Phillips, Martin E. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Ethanol (ETOH)‐induced locomotor activation and depression were studied in 23 genotypes of mice. This included a diallel cross of four inbred strains tested with a range of ETOH doses from 0 to 2.75 g/kg. The diversity in shapes of the biphasic ETOH dose‐response curves was both qualitative and quantitative, and additive gene action characterized the genetic control of the dose‐response curve. Small dominance effects were typically directional in the direction of more activation, or resistance to sedation. No evidence was found for maternal effects, sex linkage, or epistasis. Sex differences were seen in the increased susceptibility of male mice to locomotor sedation at higher ETOH doses. In the diallel cross, there was no correlation between the degree of activation produced by low ETOH doses and sedation produced by higher doses. This indicates that while considerable genetic influences exist for both activational and sedative domains of ETOH effects, these genetic influences are relatively independent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-269
Number of pages8
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Biphasic Drug Effects
  • Diallel Cross
  • Ethanol
  • Pharmacogenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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