Investigation of ethanol-induced impairment of spatial memory in γ2 heterozygous knockout mice

Raymond B. Berry, Dev Chandra, Jaime L. Diaz-Granados, Gregg E. Homanics, Douglas B. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


GABAA receptors, the major inhibitory receptors in the mammalian central nervous system, are affected by a number of drug compounds, including ethanol. The pharmacological effects of certain drugs have been shown to be dependent upon specific GABAA receptor subunits. Because benzodiazepines and ethanol have similar effect signatures, it has been hypothesized that these drugs share the γ2-containing GABAA receptors as a mechanism of action. To probe the involvement of the γ2 subunit in ethanol's actions, spatial memory for the Morris water maze task was tested in γ2 heterozygous knockout mice and wild type littermate controls following ethanol administration at the following doses: 0.0, 1.25, 1.75, and 2.25 g/kg. While baseline learning and memory were unaffected by reduction of γ2 containing GABAA receptors, ethanol dose-dependently impaired spatial memory equally in γ2 heterozygous knockouts and wild type littermate controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-87
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Ethanol
  • GABA receptor knockout
  • Morris water maze
  • Spatial memory
  • γ2 subunit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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