Reversed light-dark cycle and cage enrichment effects on ethanol-induced deficits in motor coordination assessed in inbred mouse strains with a compact battery of refined tests

Elizabeth Munn, Mark Bunning, Sofia Prada, Martin Bohlen, John C. Crabbe, Douglas Wahlsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


The laboratory environment existing outside the test situation itself can have a substantial influence on results of some behavioral tests with mice, and the extent of these influences sometimes depends on genotype. For alcohol research, the principal issue is whether genotype-related ethanol effects will themselves be altered by common variations in the lab environment or instead will be essentially the same across a wide range of lab environments. Data from 20 inbred strains were used to reduce an original battery of seven tests of alcohol intoxication to a compact battery of four tests: the balance beam and grip strength with a 1.25. g/kg ethanol dose and the accelerating rotarod and open-field activation tests with 1.75. g/kg. The abbreviated battery was then used to study eight inbred strains housed under a normal or reversed light-dark cycle, or a standard or enriched home cage environment. The light-dark cycle had no discernable effects on any measure of behavior or response to alcohol. Cage enrichment markedly improved motor coordination in most strains. Ethanol-induced motor coordination deficits were robust; the well-documented strain-dependent effects of ethanol were not altered by cage enrichment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-271
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 31 2011



  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Cage enrichment
  • Inbred strains
  • Laboratory environment
  • Light-dark cycle
  • Motor behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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